Everyboy at some point has picked up a tennis racket and pretended to play it like a guitar. It's human nature. Well now you can do that but have it actually make noises too!

I first made this instrument a few years ago and have been meaning to put up a guide ever since. This won't be a step-by-step 'do this exactly' type instructable. I'm going to show you how I did it, highlight the important parts and let you realise you could have done this all by yourself if you really wanted to.

You Will Need (roughly):

Wooden Tennis Racket

A Piezo Transducer (http://www.maplin.co.uk/piezo-transducers-3202)

A 1/4” Mono Chassis Socket (http://www.maplin.co.uk/1-4-mono-chassis-socket-1252)

3 Tuning Pins (I got mine here: http://windworld.com/products-page/hardware-for-acoustic/zither-tuning-pins/ although if you want to go proper DIY, check out my post on DIY tuning pins here: http://www.vulpestruments.com/2013/02/a-note-on-diy-tuning-pegs.html)

Some scrap wood

A few bolts

Some L-Brackets

Step 1: How to make a Contact Mic

First up, solder the Piezo to the mono socket. Congratulations! You've just made a contact mic.

With this simple little thing you can turn just about anything into a plug-in-able noise making monster.

The piezo works by taking small vibrations and converting that into a small AC-Current via crystals and magic. This, when amplified, makes loud noises.

A little tip for this, I often find the soldering on the white part of the piezo to be quite fragile. I usually place a bit of cellotape ontop of it to help strengthen it. It seems to work!
<p>great job</p>
<p>I also noticed your instructable about the DIY Pickup. What is the difference between these two pickups? What pickup would you recommend for what instrument?</p>
You've given me a reason to take my old Jack Kramer out of its brace! <br> <br> <br>You mention that you have fret ideas, so I'll watch and wait. A number of historic African and Indian instruments might also provide insight there. <br> <br> <br>You use the Bonnie Raitt bird-finger placement for your slide! Speaking of which, an automotive spark plug wrench makes a great slide, with its weight adding a lot of sustain. Beer bottles are also known for their value as ad hoc slides). <br> <br> <br>As you show, the piezo pickup picks up everything. You might consider adding a resonator for a future build - the challenge will be to make one in the shape of the racquet head, and/or to remove the strings and find a way to suspend the resonator inside the head. Alternatively, you could stretch a skin over the head and place the bridge on it (banjo-style), which would also increase the acoustic volume. Of course, that would be getting pretty fancy. <br> <br> <br>Abunda's idea makes a lot of sense for a couple of reasons: <br> <br> <br>1) The racquet strings (&quot;cords&quot;) are already in tension by design. Removing a few (and retaining the stretch of the remainder - you can tie them off) to make way for threading the metal strings would improve sustain and enable more stable and higher tuning - which would also enable locating a &quot;sweet spot&quot; where the racquet string tuning would be most sympathetic with the metal strings. <br> <br> <br>2) Using gut strings would present a true harmonic convergence (!) of the tennis and guitar uses: Premiere racquet strings, as well as classical guitar strings, are made from (generally cow, not cat) gut. Buy them - you could make gut strings, but that's a whole 'nother 'structable... <br> <br> <br>Good job!
A kid's(and a few grownups') dream to reality. You get my vote!
I posted the above comment from a mobile device and it seems to have gotten duplicated 6 times! Sorry for the spam...
can you play it without the amp??
Cool project. <br> <br>One thing that I tried to help increase volume of the pickup, I made the &quot;bridge&quot; out of wood (In place of the 3 metal L brackets. And sandwiched the piezo between the spatula &quot;tailpiece&quot; and the &quot;bridge&quot;. Strings hold the bridge down and squeeze the piezo tight. Very loud.
Yup, there's hundreds of different ways you can do this project! <br> <br>Placing the piexo in various parts of the construction will also lead to different sounds being made. I'm guessing if you placed it away from the bridge it would be a lot quieter but maybe pick up different frequencies...
&iexcl;Nice Nice idea! Next natural evolution step is to use cord's holes (so strings can be tensed by the wood) and maybe place the piezo in a violin-like bridge?
So cool!!
What did you use for the strings
I used the wire from the core of a washing line... <br><br>I make a lot of prototype instruments so had to find a good, cheap source for wire to use. If you take off the plastic layer on most washing line there is a core of twisted wires that work quite well! <br><br>For this though, you can use any string you want. the mic picks up vibrations so any string would work.
Nice! I'll vote on you in Musical instruments contest ;) <br> <br>You're one of the persons on instructables who made an instrument and play on it later. <br>Most of ppl here just make an instrument and cant play on it- you do. <br> <br>cheers
This is awesome!
I can't even count how many times I've "played" a tennis racket "guitar" (just last week being one of them!). It is so cool that you actually can now!
I love the sounds that homemade instruments make!

About This Instructable




More by offtandiscord:Turn a Tennis Racket into a 3-stringed guitar Turn An Electric Motor Into a Pickup! A 5-minute Stringed Instrument from Household Items. 
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