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Others Like “Building Banjos”

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Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
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
This is a great project for a musician who is interested in the physics of stringed instruments. If you've ever 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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- Less Details
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
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
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- 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
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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- Less Details
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
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
Science Fair Project Idea
A concert piano. It's a beautiful instrument and a spectacular sight when it's all set up on stage. The first thing you may notice when you first look at a concert piano is the impressive-looking soundboard, that large board on the back of the piano that is tilted up at an angle. It is used for amplification. The sound board greatly increases the volume of sound coming from vibrations of the strings. The soundboard is positioned so that it gathers the sound vibrations coming from the strings… Read more
Music_p022
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have a classical guitar and a personal computer with a microphone, or a tape recorder with a visual display of input signals.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Noise is everywhere. From the clanking of a cowbell to the din of the lunchroom, we are surrounded by noise. Sometimes there's no way to get away from it, but there is a way to deal with it—constrained-layer damping. By simply creating a layered sandwich of somewhat flexible materials, what was once a noisy cowbell can become a "noise blanket." This science fair project shows you how to transform a noisy piece of metal into a sound-muffling constrained-layer damper. You'll record the… Read more
ApMech_p040
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must have access to a basic PC with a built-in or simple external microphone and sound card (most recent computers include all that is needed), as well as a sound program like AudacityTM.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using the tin snips. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Here's a fun science project for anyone who plays an electric guitar. You'll learn about the physics of vibrating strings, and find out why the tone of your guitar changes when you switch between the different pickups. Read more
Music_p006
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this project you need to have an electric guitar and guitar amplifier. You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Motors are used in many things you find around your house, like your refrigerator, coffee maker, and even a lawn mower. In this electronics science fair project, you will get to build a simple motor, using a kit, and then test how the number of batteries (amount of voltage) used to power the motor affects its performance. Read more
Elec_p057
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: You will need a switch motor kit, ready for assembly. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so be sure to wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Can you lift a car? No? You say you are not strong enough? True, our bodies are not built to lift heavy loads like cars. Fortunately, our brains are smart enough to harness the power of fluids, like water and oil, to create hydraulic lifts. By pushing a button on a hydraulic lift, a mechanic can easily raise a car with one finger. Lifts can also be used to raise lots of other heavy loads - even such massive things as steel girders to construct a skyscraper! In this mechanical engineering… Read more
ApMech_p048
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Syringes, which are needed for this project, can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Since minor injury is possible, use caution when using a tool such as a saw. Be sure to wear safety goggles when using tools. Use epoxy in a well-ventilated area and follow all of the safety recommendations on the package. Adult supervision is required.
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