Introduction: Arduino Laser Guitar

Here it is! The one and only Instructable you will ever need. The Arduino Laser Guitar.

What you will need :

- 10 k Resistors

- Laser Module (

- Light Sensors (

- Wire (Mine was salvaged from old usb cables)

- On/Off Button (

- Arduino Uno (

- Music Instrument Shield (

- Battery Source ( I used a 12v battery pack)

- DC/DC Converter or USB Car Charger

Step 1: Guitar Body

  1. Decide what shape you want your Guitar to be. Any Guitar shape will work, because there really aren't that many parts that need to go inside of it.
  2. Pick the material you want to use and draw the shape onto it.
  3. Next cut out the shape twice - Bottom & Top of the guitar.I found a perfectly fitting metal piece that I ended up using as the guitar neck. Anything will work, because it doesn't have an actual function and no wires will even be inside of it.
  4. Measure the side of the guitar and cut pieces of wood to fit the angles and screw them together.
  5. Cover the screws with some wood putty.I used to small pieces of wood to create casings for the lasers / light sensors to sit in. I drilled holes from 2 sides in order to create a "L" shaped hole, through which all the cables are connected to the inside of the Guitar.
  6. Now that you have the Guitar together, just paint it!

Step 2: The Arduino & Music Instrument Shield

  1. Solder the headers, which connect the Arduino to the Music Instrument Shield.
  2. Now upload a sample code and test to make sure everything works. (You will find my code attached)
  3. Troubleshoot any bad connections.
  4. Solder 5 wires to Analog Pins 0, 1, 2, 3, 4. These will be used for the 4 laser sensors and the SoftPot Sensor.
  5. Solder 2 wires to Speaker Output on the Music Instrument Shield. Just as seen in the picture.
  6. Upload the attached Code. Feel free to change the notes / instrument to whatever you like! (See // Comments)

Step 3: Creating a Power Source

Warning : I recycled as many parts as possible in order to save money. There probably is a way more efficientway to do all of this.

  1. Connect your 12v battery pack to the Car to USB charger. This will reduce the voltage from 12v to 5v, which is perfect for your Arduino. I also wired mine to a switch, which will later on turn all the electronics off and on.
  2. The lasers will need a different voltage. This is why I needed the DC/DC Converter. The one I had lets you set it to 2.5v, which is what the lasers need.
  3. Connect the DC/DC converter to the switch as well as the 12v battery pack.
  4. The actual battery pack will be held down inside the guitar with velcro.

Step 4: Light Sensors

  1. Each light sensor is soldered to a 10k resistor and ground. They vary the output voltage from 0 to 5 volts and then the Arduino compares it to the values within the code in order to determine if the sound should play or not.
  2. Once everything is connected you can play around with my code to make it work in a more well lit room if you want. Just change the Threshold number!

Step 5: Lasers

  1. Be careful not to look directly into the lasers. They can and will damage your eyes.
  2. Solder the Lasers directly to the DC / DC converter. Make sure that your Lasers receive the correct amount of voltage, otherwise you might burn them out instantly.

Step 6: Play It!


Step 7: