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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this project, you'll investigate the physics of standing waves on guitar strings. You'll learn about the different modes (i.e., patterns) of vibration that can be produced on a string, and you'll figure out how to produce the various modes by lightly touching the string at just the right place while you pick the string. This technique is called playing harmonics on the string. By the way, we chose a guitar for this project, but you can do the experiments using any stringed instrument, with… Read more
Music_p009
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need a guitar (or other stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear harmonics by picking (or plucking) the string while lightly touching it in just the right place.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
This is a great project for a musician who is interested in the physics of stringed instruments. If you've every played an acoustic guitar, you may have noticed that picking a single string can make one or more of the other (unpicked) strings vibrate. When this happens, it's called sympathetic vibration. What intervals lead to the strongest sympathetic vibrations? Find out for yourself with this project. Read more
Music_p011
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need a properly tuned acoustic guitar (or other acoustic stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string while changing its effective length by fretting (or fingering) it.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a rockin' project for guitarists with an interest in the physics behind the music. Have you ever wondered why the pitch of the note changes when you fret the string? You can find out for yourself with this project on the fundamental physics of stringed instruments. Read more
Music_p010
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need a guitar (or other stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string while changing its effective length by fretting (or fingering) it.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you love to make music, but do not have access to all the instruments you would love to play? Check out this fun science fair project about the physics of musical sound production. You will make musical instruments with drinking straws, one for each note on a one-octave major scale. Can you figure out the right lengths for a series of straw "oboes" in order to play a musical scale? Read more
Music_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You must have an understanding of waves or a willingness to learn about them in order to do this science fair project. Familiarity with a musical instrument and playing a reed instrument is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz once said, "The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument." Check out this project to learn about sympathetic vibrations, one way to make piano strings sing. Read more
Music_p012
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need a piano which is in tune. You'll also need to know enough about the piano to find notes by their letter names.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that your guitar has a secret? Yes, that's right—hidden along each string are special places where you can play harmonics and make your guitar sound like a bell! In this music science fair project, you'll find out where the main harmonics are located on a guitar, and then see how those locations are related to the length of the strings. So get out your guitar—it's time to ring in a science fair project! Read more
Music_p030
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Access to an acoustic guitar is required.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
If you like playing electric guitar, this could be a cool project for you. Have you ever wondered how an electric guitar works? In this project you'll wind one or more of your own electric guitar pickups and test them out in an inexpensive electric guitar. How will the sound change with the number of turns you use in the coil? Or with the strength of the magnets you use? Read more
Music_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need an inexpensive electric guitar in which to install and test the pickup(s) you make. You'll also need a guitar amplifier.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision required when potting (melted wax-coating) the pickup
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Want to start a garage band, but Mom or Dad won't let you because it will make too much noise? This is a good project for someone who is interested in acoustics and likes to build things. Who knows, it might help you figure out how to make everyone happy. Read more
Phys_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Note: Project costs will be lower if you already have good quality speakers connected to a computer that can play audio files.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Very loud sounds can cause hearing damage. Be sure to keep your speaker volume at reasonable levels when doing this experiment.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this project you'll learn how to make a piezoelectric pickup for acoustic guitar using inexpensive components. You can then connect your acoustic guitar to an amplifier, and record your own music. If you are interested in electronics and like playing acoustic guitar, this could be the perfect project for you. Read more
Music_p005
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You need to know at least the basics of playing guitar to do this project. You'll also need an inexpensive acoustic guitar and an electric guitar amplifier.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
Walk into any music store and you'll find a dizzying array of string choices for your classical guitar, including rectified nylon, clear nylon, carbon fluoride, bronze wound, phosphor bronze wound, silver-plated copper wire, Polytetra-flouro-ethylene (PTFE), each in a range of tensions from low to high. There is no single best brand or best material. All have their advantages and disadvantages. A set of strings that sounds "sparkling" on one guitar might sound dull on another, primarily because… Read more
Music_p021
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You will need a guitar, a guitar tuner, and a personal computer with sound processing software, or the ability to run and execute signal-processing programs.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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