Introduction: Guitar Top Toe Tapper

About: I am an American teaching English at Shangluo University, Shaanxi. I like making machines that do interesting but fairly useless things - I call them Quixotic Machines.

I am always tapping my toe while playing my guitar and decided to try and translate that into a tapping on my guitar top. It is nice to have a rhythmic background for my guitar playing that doesn't involve me taking my fingers off the strings to bang on my guitar. And it seems to be helpful in improving my timing - or maybe time will tell.

Made from materials I had in the junk box:

wooden spatula, fishing pole tubes, chop stick, rubber ball, epoxy, zip ties, wire and a bicycle leg band.

Step 1: Make a Frame to Hold the Mallet...

I used a wooden spatula as the basic frame and to provide an axle for the drum stick (chop stick) to rotate on.The top tube serves as the axle bearing and it is zip tied and epoxied to the wooden spatula.

The middle tube serves to keep the spatula from turning on the guitar. It is simply bolted to the spatula with two bolts.

The bottom short tube also keeps the spatula from turning and is bolted and expoxied to the spatula.

A hold is drilled in the spatula to accomodate the rear guitar strap peg and a vinyl lock is cut with scissors and it locks the spatula to the guitar by sliding over the guitar peg. Works quite simply and well.

Step 2: Make the Drum Stick Holder/axle

I cut a longer tube to go inside the axle bearing tube. On one end a bolt keeps it from sliding out of the axle tube.

On the other end I drilled a hole at an angle and epoxied a chop stick in the hole to serve as the drum stick.

On the chop stick are two other short pieces of tubing: one serves as a lever to connect the cable to the toe strap and the other serves as a mount for the retraction rubber band.

On the end of the chop stick mount some kind of mallet. I need to experiment with mallets to find one a bit heavier than the rubber ball.

Another improvement would be to have the mallet strike the guitar saddle rather than the guitar top for a boomier and louder sound. Maybe add another chop stick and hit both surfaces - that might be neat.