Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Candy Box Guitar Thoughts

You eat, bang it and pluck it.  What post consumer product is this? Answer: the candy box guitar.
What inspired you to make a candy box guitar video?  I had eaten some Mike and Ike candy and when it became 3/4 empty I discovered its musical possibilities.  I also enjoyed Good and Plenty and found the boxes had a slightly different set of notes when I hooked it up to my chromatic tuner.
What did you want to express in your video? I wanted to say you can make music with just a rubber band and an empty box. The simplicity and affordability of the instument does not make it any less fun.  Think about the possibities.  If you were stuck in an airport and had a rubber band and a candy box  you could make some music.  Your children could play their own candy box guitars as I did in this video.

Can you really play a candy box like a guitar?  Yes and some extra techniques you would not be able to do with a guitar.  The squeeze box method creates a ragtime sound when you place your thumb over one or two bands and squeeze.  The instrument forms a chord when you squeeze and release.  I have two candy boxes and I banged then together like I would a pair of erasers.  This bang method sounds like a drum with the added bonus of rubbing rubber bands together to strike random sequence of notes.  Plucking an open string produces a soothing bass sound.  I could slide my finger on the band and bend the notes.

Did you have fun making the video?
Yah, it was fun, but there were challenges. I recorded the video clips seperatly from the audio. Let's be honest, the video was not synchronized.  It took a while to set up the microphone and the audio equipment.  While I recorded I had fun and treated it as seriously as I would any instrument.  I focused on the techniques seperatly which I recorded in Audacity.  I transferred my samples to LMMS and and added effects and combined the audio tracks.  I tranferred my music back to Audacity and add  a few tracks to layer then converted it to an mp3 format.  I was amazed how many sound files I recorded to select a few for my tune.  If you would like to make your own candy box guitar you can visit my instructable for more tips.

What other post consumer items you have had a chance to work with?  Well, I collected a few empty tins which make decent shakers after I add some beads and shake it.  One of my large cookie tins makes makes an interesting drum giving it a bouncy resonance.  My windsor chair makes a decent cajon impression.  A cajon is a box that the drummer sits on and spanks with the palm of her hands.

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  1. Your suggestions are so --helpful. You should create a designing how to guide. I'm not a large document crafter, but will try one of these for myself this season. Yours converted out so adorable. I was away last few days. I wish your store went well and was a achievements for you! Contract Packaging