Carrot Kazoo

An instrument you hum, sing or talk into it. The paper rattles and creates the distinctive rasping sound.

Difficulty of construction: starstarstarstarstar (5 stars hardest, 1 star easiest)

Video of Prof. Trevor Cox demonstrating how to make a carrot kazoo- also available to download in quicktime or windows media player format

Carrot Kazoo

Ingredients

  • 1x Medium to large carrot (or another vegetable you can drill into a tube
  • 1x Kitchen Knife
  • 1x Drill
  • 1x Longish drill bit, say 15mm, long enough to drill a hole lengthways through the carrot.
  • A small piece of greaseproof paper.

Make a cut across the carrot to create a flat end to drill into. Carefully drill a hole through the carrot lengthways. Check you can sing or talk down the carrot. If you can’t, the hole is probably blocked or not big enough. Drill another large hole from the side of the carrot into the centre of the bore. Cover the side hole with greaseproof paper and lightly hold in place with your fingers around the edges. Start singing ...

The key to this instrument is to find the frequency the paper wants to rattle at, so experiment with singing at different pitches. You might need to fiddle with the paper to get it to work. It should be covering the hole so it gets moved by the air, but not so tightly held that it can’t rattle. You can hold the paper in place with your fingers or elastic bands, but this must not’t be on top of the hole, otherwise you stop the paper moving.