Introduction: How to Make an Cheap Touch-Capacitive Piano

I'm a big fan of technology and music, and I decided to make this after I was inspired by my former life as a piano student. Anyways...

In this lesson, I'll show you how to make a cheap capacitive touch piano using an Arduino, speaker, and paper. I will show you step-by-step instructions to make this and how to connect the wires. In the end, you will have made your very own capacitive touch piano with 8 keys. Let's get started!

This project is based on capacitive touch sensing, which is a way of human touch sensing, that requires little or no force to activate. It may be used to sense human touch through more than a quarter of an inch of plastic, wood, ceramic or other insulating material (not any kind of metal though), enabling the sensor to be completely visually concealed. Human touch generates a charge, which is capacitance which is sensed and measured by Arduino. Depending on the level of capacitance, Arduino actuates a different note.


Step 1: Prepping the Base

Solder one jumper wire to the base or the bottom of your Arduino where it corresponds to ~5 and connect the other end of the wire to an Male-to-Male jumper wire (I had to do this because my Arduino connector was broken) Put the other end of the Male-to-Male jumper wire on 44g on your breadboard.

Step 2: Keymaking

Make a keyboard out of paper and cardboard, and color in the keys darkly using a pencil. You can find a template here for the keyboard and then print it out: Piano template

Step 3: Schematics

Follow the schematic in where to put the resistors, Male-to-Female jumper wires, ordinary jumper wires, and the wire for the speaker.

Step 4: Paperclips

Solder 8 uncoated paper clips to 8 of the male-to-male jumper wires; these are your capacitive touch keys. Then after you do that, put them on the top of your keyboard, each paperclip corresponds to one key.

Step 5: Code

Here's the code to make this project produce magical sound!

Piano code here

After this, upload the code into your and you should be hearing sounds if you touch the paper clips!

If you've heard sounds, then enjoy your newly made capacitive touch piano:)