Picture of The incredibly simple cardboard box electric diddley bow / cajon
I had an idea in my head for a simple and cheap way to tune a string using stuff lying around the workshop. 

For this you will need:

- A Box (small, chunky and sturdy is best)

- A wooden stick of some kind (could be a mop handle, dowel, again anything sturdy) All i happened to have was some bamboo from grandmas garden.

- 1 long bolt with 2 nuts to fit it

- 1 piezo transducer (I think in the states you usually buy a buzzer and take it apart, here in the UK we have maplins who sell them naked - http://www.maplin.co.uk/piezo-transducers-3202)

- 1 1/4 inch mono chassis socket (again, maplins comes in useful http://www.maplin.co.uk/1-4-mono-chassis-socket-1252)

- 1 piece of wire (guitar/banjo string would be ideal, if you don't have that you can strip a small length of washing line, they usually have a good width wire inside the plastic core)

- 1 piece of very hard wire, or a nail, bent into a figure of 8. or a washer with a hole or a small L-bracket would suffice. as long as it can fit onto your long bolt. (i'll explain more in step 6)

- 1 small piece of scrap wood to act as a bridge


soldering iron

Step 1:

Picture of
The first step is to solder the piezo to the 1/4 inch chassis socket.

Red/black to either pin, it makes no difference.

You have now made the easiest contact mic set-up you're likely to find anywhere.
maddirk3 years ago
Awesome ! Thank you. :)
ASCAS3 years ago
Nice work! Well done!
But what software am I supposed to use?
offtandiscord (author)  ASCAS3 years ago
I only used software to record with, you can simply plug this into an amp to play on also.

A very good piece of software to record with is Reaper (http://www.reaper.fm/). which has a never-ending evaluation period and is pretty cheap anyway!
thanks! well done :))
Project 233 years ago
Can u make a video so we can see how it works? Great instructable by the way.
offtandiscord (author)  Project 233 years ago
There's a video of it in action in step 8!

if that doesn't work for whatever reason it's on the youtubes here:
susanrm3 years ago
This is so cool!! What software/setup did you use to live record the tracks and add more to them?
offtandiscord (author)  susanrm3 years ago
I recorded the tracks onto computer with Reaper, which is a useful semi-free audio recirding fella.

There are no extra tracks though, I used an effects pedal called a loopstation (Boss RC-20XL) which you can instantly loop and record ontop of.
Thanks for the info! Love it!
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Wow, awesome!