Introduction: Kazoo Amplifier From a Paper Coffee Cup

If you are like me, in the majority, a Kazoo fan, you have often wanted a way to make your kazoo louder, but maintain it"s "unplugged" status.

This instructable will demonstrate a simple but high tech amplifier and effect controller, made from a lowly paper coffee cup.

You will need a kazoo, (which will not be harmed), a paper coffee cup, and some tools, pictured below.

Some substitutions are possible, a pen or sharpie can be used instead of the pencil and a pair os scissors or other cutting implement can be used instead of the pen knife. It is possible to use a punch press, (3.5 ton or greater) to replace the pen knife, but we do not recomend it.

As always, be very careful with sharp tools, a pencil is a dangerous weapon when operated incorrectly, although not as mighty as a pen.

Step 1:

As you can see, I am using a Tim Hortons Extra Lare coffee cup, as this is the size my friend who drinks coffee orders.

And of course a larger cup is LOUDER!

Step 2:

This is one of my many Kazoos, you will need one that you can remove the cap and resonator from inside.

Step 3:

You will need to disassemble the Kazoo. This is a perfect time to install a new resonator. More on making new resonators in a follow up instructable.

If your Kazoo is difficult to disassemble, do not use heat and try to avoid vise grip pliers. Gently does it when you are dealing with a sensitive and complicated musical instrument such as a Kazoo.


Step 4:

Trace the shape of the Kazoo cap on the coffee cup base with the pencil. We found after much experimentation, it is easier to trace on the bottom outside, rather than inside.

Using your knife, (or punch press if you have decided to go that route) cut out the traced circle.

Step 5:

Now that the hole has been cut out accurately, check the cap of the Kazoo for fit.

Note: if it does not fit, it is time for you to seek professional help.

Step 6:

Now assemble the Kazoo, remember to include the resonator, and try out your new amplifier!

You can also get a WaWa effect without having to go to Northern Ontario, (WaWa Ontario--google it), by placing your hand, or the original cap, over and off the top of the cup.

One variation on the theme would be to cut the hole in the side of the cup--encouraging projection so the farther rows of the audience could still enjoy the clear sound of the Kazoo.

You may also use the same method to amplify other popular musical instruments such as the whistle shown below.

Coffee Cup Challenge

Participated in the
Coffee Cup Challenge