Introduction: Keep the Beat

For years, I would clap my hands or tap my foot on the ground to keep a beat to music. Whether it was listening to music or playing my own instrument, these were the ways I was taught to keep the beat. But in the 21st Century, why not create a device the allows the user to press a button to help them keep the beat? There are many different outputs that could happen as a response to pressing the button. For my device, pressing the button on and off will cause a light to go on and off. I will use a Makey Makey to help create the circuit needed to work the light.


One - Makey Makey

One - 2.5V Light Bulb

One - Light Bulb Holder

One - Breadboard

One - Push Button

Two - Alligator Clips

Three - Connector Wires

Step 1: Makey Makey Preparation

A ttach the USB cable to the USB Power Connector on the Makey Makey. The USB cable comes with the Makey kit. Use one connector wire and insert it into the 5V (5 volts) slot on the Makey Makey. The 5V slot can be found on the back of the Makey Makey at the top. Take a second connector wire and insert it into GND (Ground) slot on the Makey Makey. The GND slot is beside the 5V slot. At the other end of this connector wire, attach the end of an alligator clip to it.

Note: If using an LED light, consider using the Key Out slot for your connector as 5 volts is too much power.

Step 2: Breadboard Preparation

Take a bread board and attach it to a piece of cardboard. Take a third connector wire and put it under the power rail. I put this third wire at G3. Attach the other end of the connector wire to one end of a second alligator clip. Remember the connector wire attached to the 5V slot in the Makey Makey? Attach the other end this wire to the breadboard. I put this wire at J1.

Across the middle of the breadboard is a ravine. Attach a push button so that half its connectors are above the ravine and half are below the ravine. You may notice that the push button ends up being attach at columns 1 and 3 which are the two columns where our connector wires are also located.

Step 3: Creating the Circuit

If using a light bulb and light bulb holder, connect the two parts together. At this point you have the following connections:

(1) Connector Wire connected to GND slot and alligator clip #1 (mine is white)

(2) Connector Wire connected to 5V slot and breadboard slot J1

(3) Connector Wire connected to breadboard slot G3 and alligator clip #2 (mine is red)

Take the unattached ends of both alligator clips and hook one end to the top of the screw on each side of the light bulb holder.

Step 4: Light It Up!

Attach the USB Connector to a computer to provide power to the Makey Makey. To make the light work, press the push button down. Practice by singing a song or listening to music to get the beat and then press the button to use the light to help you maintain the beat. Have Fun!

Step 5: Add On: Optional

Based on suggestions, I added a Scratch visual that involves a rectangle increasing and decreasing in beat to the pressing of the push button and the light going on and off. In order to add this feature to the push button, I attached a connector wire to the G slot on the back of the Makey Makey. I then attached the other end of the connector wire to a slot on the third column of the breadboard above the connector wire already there.