Found Sounds: Comb Kazoo
The Mighty Music Makers create musical instruments using everyday objects.
Saxophonist and TV presenter YolanDa Brown heads to the market and finds things on sale to turn into instruments.
Watch the video and see how the children make a Comb Kazoo using a comb and some tissue paper.
Use the activity sheet to make the musical instrument seen in this video with your children.
What's a Comb Kazoo?
A kazoo is an unusual instrument that makes sound when you hum into it. If you can hum a tune, you can play a kazoo.
How it works
An ordinary kazoo also has a small sheet of tissue paper inside, called the ‘membrane’. Humming or speaking into the kazoo causes the membrane to vibrate, making that cool buzzing sound.
This works differently from other instruments you’d blow into, so rather than being a wind instrument, kazoos are more like drums. An instrument that creates sound by vibrating a stretched membrane in known as a Membranophone.
Make your own musical instrument
This activity is a great way to get your children to be creative. Explore sounds around your environment with your children and create music.
You will need:
- Tissue paper
- Safety scissors
- First, you’ll need a square of tissue paper, less than 20cm wide, to place around the comb.
Tip: craft tissue paper or greaseproof paper work best. Fold the square of paper in half.
Next, you’ll need a comb - a wide one with lots of teeth is perfect (you won’t find much success with a hairbrush here).
- Place the comb inside the folded paper so the teeth are pointing away from the fold.
- If the length of the paper is wider than the comb, cut off the excess from the sides.
- You’re now ready to perform! Play your comb kazoo by holding the comb by the edges, placing the fold of the paper to your lips and humming (just blowing won’t make any sound).