About: A retired electronics engineer -motorola. delveing into new craft ideas and contest entries.

Make a Lyre small enough to fit a pocket [pokit-lyre] . Simple electronics included for big sound output..Low cost too.


Reference Pocket Ukulele published Sept 21,2011 by Mistic. That instrument had 4 strings constructed as a typical Ukulele.
Then ,logically, we asked why not more strings covering an octave and one-half? Thus we added more ear-buds as pickups and low and behold the Miniature Lyre was born.To be a lyre the musical instrument had to have a center open for the left hand to play strings also. A hole was drilled and a Coping saw was threaded through it and we cut out a center area. Results a typical Lyre.

The remaining instructions are now straight forward as in the referenced Instructable for the string attachment and tuning.


Refer to Fig 1. for location of materials item numbers.

1-Tuner Screws[12 ea.] 5/8 cup hook, steel, brass plated.Open hook closed with pliers. Use a .095 drill to insert screws.
2-Bridge-Wood rod 5/16x5-3/8 in. A 3/16 rod glued next to it. Used for Note Sharps[#].
3-Lyre Base- wood any type. We used Pine.3/4x8-1/2. Not critical size. Center cut out next.
4-Sound vibration Mike. Low cost ear-buds from Dollar Store .comes witha small FM radio.Radio not used. $1.00.3 sets.
5.Support, mike mount.Pine.1/4x1/4x5.in. Use a .072 rod x 5.in. on top of it. Can be tooth-picks.
6.Anchor for strings.Pine. 1/4x1/4x5. Drill 12 .075 Dia. holes before gluing in place.

7-Crimps.,eyelets 2mm. ID. [24 total] JoAnn's shop.,Brass.
8-Adaptor- R.Shak #274-879.3.5mm.stereo male to dual 1/8[3.5mm.] stereo female.{2ea.} feeds into stereo to mono adaptor Pre-amp.Item 9. Feed out also needs an stereo to mono. adaptor to operate an external Amplifier.
Stereo Phone Jack RS # 274-0246 Pin 2 conn . to 5 as mono out to Pre amp.Hand soldered to input of amplifier.Feed for 3d earBd.

9-Single Pre-amplifier includes a speaker. 9 vdc bat.R.S. #277-1008c. Needs a momo- to stereo adaptor for external stereo amp.
10-Hand rest/Cover. Pine and 3 ply1/8 thick wood. See Fig. 2 for size. [Micheals]
11-String. Polymer elastic type. easier to use than non-stretch nylon.1.mm. total 8 ft. [Micheals] $2.50 for 15 ft.
12.Auxiliary Amplifier. Here we use a low cost stereo I-pod amplifier if more volume is needed. Can also feed any outside Amp.
13.Cut -out. of base . See step one.
14-Foam Tape. used to glue ear bud to Base under the strings. #3M Two sided sticky about .035 thick. 1/2x 5.in.
Other- silicone grease 1/2 oz.Danco Inc>{ 84042] OR Vaseline. to coat strings to keep fingers smoothly plucking.
Finishing materials- Laquer, sealer, etc.

Step 3: TOOLS

For tools refer to above Instructable listed .



Begin with the Base. Cut out center. Sand and finish, drill Tuner holes with a .093 drill in locations shown.The tuners are staggered.
Ref. Fig 1- Cut out Bridges 2, 5, and 6. and glue with E6000 high strength glue.
Item 6 holes must be predrilled before glue-in.
Drill 2 holes for mount of removable cover ..093 holes. Counter sink with a .25 drill about .032 in.Heads of screws must be flush.
Drill pilot holes for these screws. Use 1/8 drill.

Tuner screw- Hand screw each in to the collar of the screw then rotate two more times to set the Thread torque.
Stringing. - Start with left string B note. Anchor at screw first then wind 2 turns counter-clockwise and run to Item 6 hole.
Pull through and strum until you get to the B note on your Pitch pipe or Casio. Then crimp in place using crimp eyelets. . Continue to C note.. When finished use tuner screws to final tune . Let stand 1 hour and re-tune.
Finally. slip an ear bud under B and C note and push to the adhesive foam tape Item 14. Then retune these 2 strings.
Repeat for remaining 5 buds.
Cover- assemble and screw in place.  This completes the assembly.


It can be played standing up right or held between hands . Left hand can select chords.
Without an amplifier the sound is almost silent.
But. using an other earphone you can practice in silence by plugging into the pre-amp output speakerr jack.

Some detuning is evident in the firs few hours of use. Re-tune before use. Eventually the tone will stabilize in a few days.

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    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    use B then C etc pentatonic.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks - I promised someone I would next make a lyre small enough that it can fit a large pocket or overcoat..The pre-amplifier from Radio Shack is small as a pack of cigarettes. It has a very sensitive millivolt input and low current drain
    I am not a lyre player but have fun strumming it or using a pick...