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kazoo. how to get a sound

Mo the caller 16 Jan 07 - 11:38 AM
Scrump 16 Jan 07 - 11:40 AM
Mo the caller 16 Jan 07 - 11:44 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Jan 07 - 11:47 AM
Scrump 16 Jan 07 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Ella who is sooze 16 Jan 07 - 12:28 PM
guitar 16 Jan 07 - 12:32 PM
Bee 16 Jan 07 - 01:10 PM
Mooh 16 Jan 07 - 01:54 PM
Scrump 16 Jan 07 - 01:58 PM
Bernard 16 Jan 07 - 02:00 PM
Bernard 16 Jan 07 - 02:02 PM
Mooh 16 Jan 07 - 02:10 PM
Bat Goddess 16 Jan 07 - 03:11 PM
Mo the caller 16 Jan 07 - 03:18 PM
The Villan 16 Jan 07 - 03:38 PM
Bill D 16 Jan 07 - 04:52 PM
Herga Kitty 16 Jan 07 - 05:46 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Jan 07 - 06:11 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Jan 07 - 06:26 PM
Max 16 Jan 07 - 06:51 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Jan 07 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Jan 07 - 07:37 PM
Jack Campin 16 Jan 07 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Dani 16 Jan 07 - 08:47 PM
Bill D 16 Jan 07 - 10:32 PM
Scrump 17 Jan 07 - 05:06 AM
Mo the caller 17 Jan 07 - 05:57 AM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jan 07 - 06:19 AM
Scrump 17 Jan 07 - 06:32 AM
Roger the Skiffler 17 Jan 07 - 09:27 AM
Mo the caller 17 Jan 07 - 11:19 AM
SINSULL 17 Jan 07 - 11:26 AM
Scrump 17 Jan 07 - 11:50 AM
Songster Bob 17 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jan 07 - 06:06 PM
GUEST, Topsie 17 Jan 07 - 06:29 PM
Sooz 18 Jan 07 - 02:50 AM
Scrump 18 Jan 07 - 03:06 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Jan 07 - 03:20 AM
Mo the caller 18 Jan 07 - 07:23 AM
PoppaGator 18 Jan 07 - 02:11 PM
CapriUni 18 Jan 07 - 03:40 PM
Mo the caller 18 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Dani 18 Jan 07 - 04:34 PM
JohnInKansas 18 Jan 07 - 05:03 PM
Herga Kitty 18 Jan 07 - 05:14 PM
SharonA 18 Jan 07 - 06:02 PM
CapriUni 18 Jan 07 - 06:16 PM
Rowan 19 Jan 07 - 12:18 AM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jan 07 - 12:37 AM
Scrump 19 Jan 07 - 04:29 AM
Geoff the Duck 19 Jan 07 - 07:03 AM
Fibula Mattock 19 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM
Trevor 19 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jan 07 - 08:27 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Jan 07 - 09:38 AM
reggie miles 19 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM
NormanD 19 Jan 07 - 12:35 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jan 07 - 07:12 PM
reggie miles 19 Jan 07 - 08:07 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jan 07 - 08:30 PM
reggie miles 19 Jan 07 - 09:14 PM
Gurney 19 Jan 07 - 09:50 PM
Leadfingers 19 Jan 07 - 10:58 PM
Geoff the Duck 20 Jan 07 - 08:11 AM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Jan 07 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Dani 20 Jan 07 - 09:47 AM
Geoff the Duck 20 Jan 07 - 04:08 PM
Leadfingers 20 Jan 07 - 05:05 PM
KT 20 Jan 07 - 05:38 PM
SINSULL 21 Jan 07 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Dani 21 Jan 07 - 03:56 PM
Snuffy 22 Jan 07 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Jim 23 Jan 07 - 03:08 PM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Jan 07 - 06:26 PM
Geoff the Duck 24 Jan 07 - 08:05 AM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Jan 07 - 08:21 AM
Geoff the Duck 24 Jan 07 - 08:25 AM
Scrump 24 Jan 07 - 08:46 AM
EBarnacle 24 Jan 07 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,IB48 24 Jan 07 - 03:16 PM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Jan 07 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,debcalifornia 09 Jun 07 - 07:19 PM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Jun 07 - 09:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 08 - 11:49 AM
The Sandman 25 Dec 08 - 08:25 AM
Bill D 25 Dec 08 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Newbie 14 Dec 10 - 05:15 PM
Dan Schatz 14 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM
Gurney 15 Dec 10 - 12:34 AM
Roger the Skiffler 15 Dec 10 - 04:49 AM
Little Hawk 15 Dec 10 - 12:32 PM
Roger the Skiffler 17 Dec 10 - 05:18 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 10 - 01:12 AM
GUEST,erbert 28 Dec 10 - 02:08 AM
GUEST 07 Jan 11 - 02:36 PM
Roger the Skiffler 08 Jan 11 - 06:46 AM
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GUEST 22 Jun 11 - 07:28 AM
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Subject: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:38 AM

Help.
I thought it might be easier to play than a recorder.
My husband can do it but not explain what to do with lips, teeth etc. I get nothing.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:40 AM

Stick it in yer gob and sort of hum into it. That's the easiest way to describe it I know. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:44 AM

That was quick Scrump. But that's what I tried - nothing. Do I need to seal my lips round it (its got a rectangular opening), or tight like a flute enboucheur (sp) or what?


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:47 AM

Kazoos don't produce sound, they only alter sound. You can't just blow into a kazoo like you can with a recorder. You have to hum the tune. The air vibration from humming causes the kazoo diaphragm to vibrate.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:49 AM

I think you need to put your lips around the opening, yes. I guess if not, then some of the pressure would leak out into the air without passing through it.

Try actually singing words into it (with your lips around it) and see if anything works.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Ella who is sooze
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:28 PM

make an oooooo shape with your lips... make the ooo sound.... place kazoo in chops.... enclose lips around mouth piece and ooooo to your hearts content...

high or low... it doesn't matter...

then, after long and fitful playing, ask friend/colleague/passer by, to remove offending article after collision with an unsupportive, uncooperative and vengeful audience member (family members or friends) have finally had enough of the kazoo...


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: guitar
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:32 PM

you put in between your lips, seal the opening, and then hum the tune, it like a paper and comb thing


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bee
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 01:10 PM

Hint: do not blow into it like it was a whistle. Once it's in your mouth, pretend it's not there and try humming a tune.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mooh
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 01:54 PM

Ah, the lowly Kazoo!

I have in my hands two "The Original American Kazoo Hand Crafted All Metal Kazoo If You Can Hum...You Can Play!". They claim to have been established in 1916, to have been making Kazoos the same way with the same stamping presses since then, and that one can visit their factory and museum in Eden [where else] New York, "the Kazoo capital of the world". In the packaging there is a Kazoo, but no !@#$%^' instructions.

Perhaps a trip to www.kazooco.com would help?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 01:58 PM

Try saying doo doo doo der der der dah dah dah etc. with the kazoo in yer cake'ole.

Any luck yet?


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 02:00 PM

If it doesn't change the sound of your humming by adding a buzzing noise to it, then maybe the bit of paper is missing from the round bit on top?

A kazoo is a glorified 'comb and paper', as mentioned above...!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 02:02 PM

Oh, and perhaps rather than pretending it's not there, maybe you should pretend you're not there! Hee hee!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mooh
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 02:10 PM

Wikipedia says to sing rather than hum into the Kazoo, and it makes sense...

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 03:11 PM

Experiment with hums and sounds -- lots of possibilities.

Am I the only person in the world who actually owns (and has listened to and copied onto tape) two (count 'em, not one, but TWO) kazoo LPs?!? (LPs -- I know, that's dating me.)

I, personally, like classical kazoo -- like Wagner or "March of the Queen of Sheba" performed on the kazoo.

Linn


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 03:18 PM

Still nothing.
How do I seal my lips round a rectangular plastic mouthpiece.
No bit of paper that I can see either.
I'm sure I remember making them work as a kid.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 03:38 PM

Mrs Sooz is a Kazoo expert as well as Jason from Jet Skiffle & Blues.

Jason has a Brasso Kazoo. Not sure if he fills the Brasso Tin with Whisky before he performs :-)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:52 PM

"How do I seal my lips round a rectangular plastic mouthpiece."

Lips are pliable...but it is not necessary to make a perfect seal...it is just a matter of saying something like "whu-whu-whu or ta,ta,ta" into it. It really doesn't involve moving air (blowing) although I'm sure some air DOES move.

4 seconds after you get it, you'll say "Oh, is THAT all it was?"

Be sure there IS a good piece of vibrating paper/membrane in the (usually) top hole.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 05:46 PM

I agree with previous comments about paper and comb. Try singing or humming through Izal hard toilet paper wrapped around a comb....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 06:11 PM

No bit of paper that I can see either.

Well, that's the problem, ain't it? Let's make sure...

Look at this picture of a kazoo. If it's similar to that, and has the little thingy that can be unscrewed on top, unscrew it. Inside, there should be something that looks like a washer but with a piece of what looks sorta like onion-skin paper over it. If it's not there, or if the paper has a hole in it, you have a dead kazoo. If it's a metal one with the screw thingy, it can be brought back to life by fashioning a new diaphragm from thin, yet strong, paper. If it's a plastic kazoo and the diaphragm is broken, go buy a new one, and get a metal one this time.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 06:26 PM

What we called 'waxed paper', which was thin moisture resistant paper,but now probably replaced by something with plastic in it, and used to wrap sandwiches, was what we used when I was a kid for both the comb, and repairing kazoos.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Max
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 06:51 PM

This is the greatest thread I have ever seen on this site. I love it. Try The Kazoo and Tambourine Repair Company. I know they can help.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 07:00 PM

I've heard of them afores, somewheres...

Hi Max!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 07:37 PM

Similar to playing a comb.

Except the comb is easier and cheaper and more sanitary.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 08:24 PM

A kazoo contains nothing but emptiness.

It has a narrow end, which you put in your mouth, and a wider end towards the outside. Thus your breath fills the emptiness linking the Small Emptiness with the Greater Emptiness.

Simply go OM, and the emptiness will be emptied into the emptiness.

Every shrine room should have one.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 08:47 PM

Jack, will you marry me?!

In the meantime,

Any mudcatter worth his or her salt would have sent Mo straight to me.

OK, Mo, your husband needs to SHOW, not TELL, and all will be clear. Failing that....

What kind of sound do you hope to get from it?!

Start with a song/sound you know well, that you think NEEDS the kazoo.

Do you know how to play a paper towel tube? We called it the "Doot-Doot".

You can start like this: Put the kazoo to your mouth, with your hand around it next to your lips and go: "do, doo da: do, doo da: do, doo da: do, doo da." and keep making noise 'til it feels good.

More later....

Dani


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 10:32 PM

"greatest thread ever" huh, Max? *grin*...well, in the top 573, I guess..


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 05:06 AM

What people are calling "waxed paper" above is often called "greaseproof paper" in the UK, in cae that helps.

You say you have trouble getting the 'rectangular' end of the kazoo in your mouth. Here's an idea Mo - try playing the kazoo the other way round, i.e. insert the narrow end in your mouth. It should still work, as you are blowing down the tube and should be able to cause the paper membrane to vibrate. Worth a try, and if it works, why not? (ISTR when I was a kid and was given a kazoo, never having seen one before, I played it the 'wrong' way round, as I assumed the wide bit was away from your mouth, as with most wind/brass instruments! It still worked OK though, as I recall).


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mo the caller
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 05:57 AM

You mean I should have the wide end in my mouth?

In the light of morning I can see the membrane ok.

I mentioned that I was thinking of getting a kazoo and my husband came home yesterday with a plastic one that he'd seen in a toy shop for 75p.

Should it amplify my humming, or am I just not humming loud enough? (I've seen bottomless plastic bottles fixed to the round hole by someone in a session I go to)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:19 AM

You have to get both the volume and the pitch of your humming just right for the correct resonance to occur. Keep trying - but you don't need a lot of volume. I found a bit of a nasal drone sometimes helps too.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:32 AM

Mo, maybe you should take up the harmonica or something :-)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 09:27 AM

Well, as anyone who has heard me perform will attest, I am the most unmusical Mudcatter possible but even I have no difficulty getting a (usually off-key-but that's me) sound out of a kazoo. As everyone has said...(puts on Lauren Bacall voice): "Put your lips together and hum....you do know how to hum don't you?".
Apologies to scriptwriters of "To Have and Have Not".

RtS


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mo the caller
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 11:19 AM

Yes!!! Using the big end works better (on some notes, it still comes and goes a bit)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 11:26 AM

Dani,
It sounds like you've got your kazoo mixed up with some other battery operated appliance. How good does your kazoo feel?
I too was kazoo challenged until Charmion explained I had the wrong end in my mouth. Wonder what Spaw will make of that?
SINS


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 11:50 AM

Yes!!! Using the big end works better (on some notes, it still comes and goes a bit)

Now I'm confused! I thought the problem was that you were not able to play with the big end in yer gob.

Anyway, it seems you've cracked it!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Songster Bob
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM

"No bit of paper that I can see either."

That's the problem, it seems to me. The diaphragm is missing. No buzzing sound without it. There should be a piece of waxed paper in the little "conning tower" (think "submarine" in shape) on the side of the thing. If it's not there, unsrew same (if it's a plastic 'zoo, you're out of luck, so you'll need to buy a new one). Take a bit of waxed paper and put it into the hole so it covers the opening into the main corridor of the kazoo, then re-screw the top back on. If there's a remnant of a stiffer bit of cardboard there, glue the paper to same and trim to fit, then reinstall. You can make a stiffener yourself if needs be -- those stick-on things for reinforcing ring-binder holes in school papers should do, or cut one from a shirt cardboard.

In any case, without the diaphragm, it can't work right, no matter what.

Bob


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:06 PM

The paper could be damaged, torn, or just totally missing. maybe some little kid opened it and stuck a finger in it to see how it worked...

As if I would ever have done that as a kid...


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:29 PM

I didn't know you could still get Izal toilet paper. When I was a child we used to have Bronco. It didn't smell so medicinal, and the 'Bronco' was written in nice curly writing.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Sooz
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 02:50 AM

In my experience, waxed paper and greaseproof paper are both much too heavy and you won't get much of a sound. Tissue is what you need - as light as possible. Bronco or Izal are borderline but usable!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 03:06 AM

Ah! No paper! That's like trying to play a comb on its own - no wonder you've been having trouble :-)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 03:20 AM

We would assume that the kazoo you're trying to play can be played by others? Or that you cannot play the same other kazoo that works for someone else? Either case would eliminate problems with the instrument, and imply that it's only your own lack of kazootiness that's the problem.

An instruction that has worked for a few others similarly challenged:

1. With your mouth SHUT hum, a note or a tune. Obviously the sound will come out of your nose, but there likely will be little sense that there's any air going out at all. You can demonstrate that there is a very small flow of air since when you pinch your nose shut you cannot hum with your mouth shut.

2. Continue to hum exactly as before, but open your mouth slightly. You'll probably note that the sound gets a little louder, since some of it is now coming out of your mouth - which probably is a little larger hole in your head than your nose.

3. Resume humming with your mouth SHUT and bring the kazoo - either end, up against your lips. Relax the lips enough to slide the kazoo between them with out changing that you're humming "through your nose."

4. Note that you do not Blow, Suck, Breathe, or in any other way attempt to move air through the kazoo. The ONLY thing that's really supposed to enter it is the SOUND of your humming. There will unavaidably be a small bit of "flow" along with the sound, but it's entirely incidental, unnecessary, and actually a bit undesirable.

(It's traditional to use "Grandfather's Clock" as the tune one hums to demonstrate.)

John


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 07:23 AM

Scrump, both ends of this one are rectangular.

There is a plastic membrane, visiable in daylight, not artificial light.

Thanks JohninK that was what I needed.

I'm half way there now


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 02:11 PM

This IS, indeed, the greatest thread ever.

First, I found it hard to believe that anyone would need kazoo instructions.

Then, I began to see how difficult it can be to provide written instructions for this particular activity, as opposed to a live demonstration.

Mo: assuming that you haven't been putting us on all along ~ that is, that you were truly unable to play a kazoo that worked perfectly well for your husband ~ I think you two really need a good marriage counselor. If hubby couldn't teach you this very simple procedure in person more easily than JohninKansas could write it out, well then, in the words of Cool Hand Luke, what we have here is a serious failure to communicate!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 03:40 PM

Speaking of homemade kazoos -- I could never get much of a sound from a comb and tissue paper (maybe I had trouble holding the paper taught enogh), but I've had great success with the "toilet paper tube" kazoo:

items needed:

empty toilet paper tube
Waxed or greaseproof paper
scissors to cut the paper
a strong rubber band.

Cut a circle from the waxed paper that's a couple of inches wider in diameter that the diameter of the end of the toilet paper tube. Fit it over the end of the cardboard tube, and hold it tightly in place with the rubber band (will probably have to put at least one twist in the band, so it can go around the tube a couple of times).

Decorate at will.


Hold the finished kazoo tight against your mouth (obviously, you're not going to put your lips around it), and hum, sing or speak into it.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM

Do you use recycled toilet paper as well.
Why would anyone recycle toilet paper.
Or put a toilet roll near their mouth.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 04:34 PM

Sweet Jesus, Sinsull.

Now.

On a kazoo that allows for membrane replacement, I've experimented with LOTS of materials, and my favorites are New York Times wrappers (the blue ones) and cereal bags, the lighter the better. Stay away from organic cereals, the Trix and Cocoa Pebbles stuff will work better for you.

If someone could PM Gutbucketeer, he might share is recipe for home-made kazoo with megaphone. THAT one is REALLY fun and easy to play.

Dani


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 05:03 PM

CapriUni -

Quite likely the problem you have with other styles of kazoo is that you're blowing too hard.

The style you describe effectively prevents air from flowing through the kazoo, so that the flow is only through your nose and only "the hum" gets into the kazoo.

If you consciously learn to hum while you DO NOT BLOW EXCESSIVELY INTO THEM other kinds of "kazoo" will respond with truly affectionate, appropriate, and lively response to your ministrations.

John


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 05:14 PM

Topsie - I didn't check on current availability of Izal when I posted, but I've just Googled and found that Jeyes are still producing and selling it. When I tried Googling on Bronco, I got links that suggest it's a collector's item!

Kitty

PS I still don't understand why Izal was ever thought suitable as toilet paper rather than for humming through in the first place!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:02 PM

CapriUni, I once had a boyfriend who created "bass kazoos" from empty rolls of gift-wrapping paper. He would cut several holes down the side of the tube and cover them with waxed paper or scraps of thin plastic grocery bags, securing them to the tube with adhesive tape (not applying tape to the paper where it sat over the holes, of course).

*sigh* I should never have let that man get away... ;^)

Mo, if the thought of playing a toilet paper roll makes you squeamish, you could always use paper towel rolls instead -- cut 'em in half if you want 'em shorter.

...and just for the record: no, toilet paper will not make good kazoo-paper material. Too porous.

Sharon (ignoring the tongue in Mo's cheek)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:16 PM

Do you use recycled toilet paper as well.

No, it's too soft and thin, (and wet, by that point) to give you a good vibration.

Why would anyone recycle toilet paper.

I don't think anyone would (see above).

Or put a toilet roll near their mouth.

Well the cardboard inside the paper roll is as clean as any other cardboard (I would think), seeing as it has never been touched by anything other than human hands. It's certainly cleaner than a comb, when you think about it...

But if the association makes you squeamish, I suppose you could cut a cardboard mailer tube to the same length.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Rowan
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 12:18 AM

At last we've got the diaphragm fixed! I've noticed there's often a few problems that arise when the diaphragm's not working.

About 25 years ago I heard an EP of the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra; the only two tracks I can remember were "Stayin' Alive" and "Also Sprach Zarathustra", which many would know as the opening music to "2001, A Space Odyssey".

Great stuff!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 12:37 AM

"there's often a few problems that arise when the diaphragm's not working"


ooooooooooooooooo.....


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 04:29 AM

Only on Mudcat could you find a thread this long, about how to get a sound out of a kazoo!

Mudcat - you never cease to amaze me!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 07:03 AM

When I was little my dad used to refer to a kazoo as a "Tommy Talker", which pretty much describes how you produce a sound. You talk down it and it rattles. You sing down it and it rattles musically.
You use the large end to get as much air vibrating as possible.
You sound you produce (without the kazoo attached) needs to be fairly loud or the kazoo will not vibrate enough for the correct effect.

The Yorkshire Mudcat gatherings have featured the Selby Kazoo Orchestra, which led to my construction of a bass kazoo from miscellaneous items of plumbing.
Bass Kazoo - a la Duck
I have since added the flush from an old toilet cistern, which looks like a Sax bell end and also provides an interesting "wah-wah pedal" effect.

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM

Never underestimate the power of the kazoo playing its own little solo during a rousing rendition of Ryan's Polka.
You will get kicked out of the session though.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Trevor
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM

"Don't tell me Wal, you put it in your ear!"


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 08:27 AM

"Put yer ka-zoo in yer ear and go tinga-linga-loo!"

Well, actually it should really be more like

"Put yer ka-zoo in yer ear and go zutu-zutu-zoo!"


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 09:38 AM

Fibs is playing the kazoo tomorrow,
Kazoo tomorrow, kazoo tomorrow,
Fibs is playing solo on the kazoo tomorrow,
The band all ran away!
Playing her kazoo zoo zoo
Everybody blew blew blew
Corpses came to to too
Hearing Fibula's kazoo zoo zoo.

Apologies to T Paxton.

Giok


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: reggie miles
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM

Okay, I'll have to hum along on this one.

Mo, I've had similar issues with my very own attempts at kazooing and I've played around with the dern things for a long time. Many have already pointed out that there are two causes as to why kazoos will or won't work well. Each of these stem from the only two moving parts involved in this activity 1. the membrain that vibrates on the Kazoo itself and 2. the person vibrating it.

In my own experiences at trying to get the best sound from my attempts at playing kazoo I thought that perhaps exploring the differences in the way they've been made over the years might prove that some kazoos are better than others at the task. I've collected as many older examples as I could find, hoping to locate an Excaliber among kazoos, but I'm not certain that I've really had much luck in doing so. While I've found that the differences in design among these little hummers to be at least partly responsible for their ability to do the job, I'd have to say that the greatest share of what can be accomplished with them is due playing to technique.

That said, I like you Mo have endeavored to ask questions. I've approached those who I heard producing the best kazoo technique. This has been of limited value because it seems that some folks merely have what it takes naturally. While others, like myself, must struggle in their attempts at everything musical to attain a desired level of competency. Now, even with years of half hearted practice at the kazoo, I am still only a mediocre player. This outcome has caused me to leave my kazoo perched atop my stereo speaker at home more often than not.

In my more determined efforts at trying to capture the particular technique that I was hoping for I recall that I had the greatest difficulties with the only moving part on the kazoo, the vibrating membrain. This is certainly the main, no, only key component of most of the kazoos made today. If it is not functioning correctly you get little or no response for all your efforts.

My kazoo of choice was a metal bodied Kazoozaphone. This was a standard metal bodied kazoo that had been produced for many years by the Kazoo Co. mentioned in a previous post, but also included a sousaphone stlyed bell above the membrain's chamber. These kazoos featured a twist off top to the membrain's chamber so that the membrain could be adjusted or changed if damaged from overexuberant kazooing. I know that this sounds unbelievable but in fact the membrains used to be made of a very sensitive material that could be damaged. When this happened they would need to be replaced. At one time the avid player could purchase replacement membrains from the factory but I don't think that they're available anymore.

The one other factor that I had the most difficulty with is making certain that I had the top to the chamber screwed down to the proper tension. Too much tension, or too little, on the membrain seemed to alter the way it could respond. The design of the threads that help this part of the kazoo to stay in place are rather poor and so it would often work its way loose. I used to mount my kazoo in my harmonica rack on my washboard or on the rack that I used around my neck and the vibrations associated with changing harmonicas or my foot stomping or scubbing would all contribute to shaking loose the membrain chamber's lid.

If you have an adjustable top to your membrain's chamber on your kazoo, keep your lid tight. Find an adequate source for replacement membrains as others have suggested and practice, practice, practice.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: NormanD
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 12:35 PM

Wonderful! The mudcat has turned into Blue Peter....

They seem to manage on "Sorry, I Haven't A Clue", with the Swanny-Kazoo round.

Does anyone know how easy it is to play a Swanny Whistle?

Norman


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 07:12 PM

"Does anyone know how easy it is to play a Swanny Whistle?"

Like the violin, an easy instrument to play (i.e. get a sound out of!) but a difficult instrument to play well.

You need to have, or develop, a very good sense of pitch to get a decent performance out of the beasties. Having a good sense of what pitch you need, you then need much practice to be able to get the correct physical placement (on both instruments!) to be able to achieve this.

The 'Swanny' is tricky in that the air column is only HALF THE LENGTH it would be for the same note on a 'penny whistle' - because the air column is not open at the end like a whistle, but closed by the slide.

This means that the distance to move between scale notes is very short, requiring a high degree of precision and repeatability.

Three Words Of Advice: Practice! Practice! Practice!

:-)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: reggie miles
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 08:07 PM

I've never heard a slide whistle referred to as a Swanny Whistle. If you're looking for a great example of slide whistle playing, check out any recordings by the Hoosier Hot Shots. The washboard player, Hezzie, is the best that I know of on slide whistle. He trades licks with the clarinet player in the band and plays leads that are mind boggling.

He's also one of the best around on that ol' Hootenanny (washboard/sound effects gizmo) of his.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 08:30 PM

I think that term may have originated as a brand name somewhere, Dick.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: reggie miles
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 09:14 PM

Here's a late 1930s photo of the Hoosier Hot Shots. If you look close you'll see Hezzie is posed with slide Whistle in hand. I included a slide whistle on my washboard because my goal was to have as many different kinds of sounds available on my washboard (within reason) as a possible.

In the various jugbands that I've played with over the years I always wanted to have the opportunity to include the slide whistle in more of our arrangements but differences among the members as to the creative direction of the bands never allowed this inclusion. These days I don't play much with my ol' Maytag. It's still a work in progress and I have plans to expand it and add more to it.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Gurney
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 09:50 PM

Mo, dear Mo, recycled toilet paper is made from recycled PAPER, not recycled sewage.

Kazoos are about as unhygenic as instruments get.

You could try the different type of kazoo, some brands called a hummazoo, which is circular, like a tiny flying saucer, and is played (often) concealed in the hands, and vamped like a mouth-organ. It looks better than standing there with a thing hanging out of your face, and sounds better too. Much more musicianlike.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 10:58 PM

I think I know the song - 'Can I Kazoo You Up The River'



OK ! I'll get my coat !


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 08:11 AM

The other important thing about a kazoo membrane is that it will vibrate best within a particular range of notes. If you try to sing too deep ot squeak in too high a register you are unlikely to get a strong vibration from your kazoo.
My bass kazoo responds beautifully in the "Spitfire dive" section of the backing for the Dambusters March.

By the way, I would spell it Swannee Whistle. You need accurate positioning of the plunger within the tube and a good ear for a note, so that you recognise the right one when you get it.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 08:42 AM

"My husband can do it but not explain what to do with lips, teeth etc. I get nothing. "

oooooooo


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 09:47 AM

... and Geoff the Duck would know. Listen well, aspiring kazoosters.

I have stood in (certainly NOT mute) admiration of his virtuosity.

Dani


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 04:08 PM

I'm Flattered...
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 05:05 PM

A Kazoo workshop ?? Whatabout Portaferry ??


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: KT
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 05:38 PM

sins, you owe me a keyboard!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 12:10 PM

No problem, KT. I am getting them wholesale now.
A kazoo workshop at the Getaway, Dani? You and AllanC and Janie? Maybe.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 03:56 PM

After THIS thread, you think I'm going to blow on a kazoo in front of THIS crowd?

You're out of your humming mind.

Dani


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:04 PM

Dani,

As the Getaway Kazooer-in-Chief, you can't possibly be excused duty. Make 'em have it!!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 03:08 PM

January 28 is National Kazoo Day. How are you celebrating?
Remeber to hum, not blow.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 06:26 PM

Kazoos don't suck...


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:05 AM

GUEST,Jim
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 03:08 PM

January 28 is National Kazoo Day


Just for clarity - Which Nation?
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:21 AM

I could tell you Geoff, but then you'd have to kill me...


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:25 AM

Fair enough FT.
At least I could give you a fanfare on Bass Kazoo before pulling the handle on the trapdoor.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Scrump
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:46 AM

Talking of bass kazoos - has anyone ever tried crossing a kazoo with a didgeridoo to produce a didgerizoo?

If not - why not?


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 10:17 AM

I don't know but a friend had a kazoosaphone. It was a kazoo grafted onto a kazoo which she could not afford a real sousaphone mouthpiece for.
I have found that the kazoo works very well for Cuban and Brazilian music.
When you replace a diaphragm, try aluminum foil. [Then buy a second kazoo.] As mentioned above, it resonates in a different range than the original and allows you to have instruments in several ranges.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,IB48
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:16 PM

Put in mouth and make like a duck,okay   quack


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:10 PM

Someone local has a kazoo grafted onto a trumpet.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,debcalifornia
Date: 09 Jun 07 - 07:19 PM

Hi John,

I bought what turned out to be an old wooden kazoo made in France at an estate sale. The box and instructions were all in French. Once I figured out what it was I couldn't play it until I found your post, a perfect instruction.

Yes this is the greatest thread ever!

Thanks


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Jun 07 - 09:44 PM

We'd love a picture of this, debcalifornia.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 11:49 AM

I think its important to mention that, if you unscrew the diaphragm turret. Loosen the diaphragm. Screw it up lightly again - then the diaphragm will flap around more and give a richer sound.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 08:25 AM

have you ever tried playing one whilst blowing through your nose instead of the mouth ,it is possible to play two at the same time,unison kazoos.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 11:03 AM

...and if you insert one of the little round diaphragms in each nostril, you can have a trio.

I will not suggest how to become a quartet.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Newbie
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 05:15 PM

Come to Nazareth, PA on the Fourth of July for their annual Kazoo parade. Actress Katie Micucci (http://www.katemicucci.com/) will again be the Grand Marshal, and Miss G (Abbe Graber, owner of Woodstock Wooden Kazoos, and Jazz kazooist) will be there also.

Over 600 participants last year (2010) - and we hope to have more this year.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM

Now, see, we were there last year - but the 4th was on the 3rd, and we had missed the whole deal....

Dan


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 12:34 AM

Mo, next time you are in a music shop, buy a Hummazoo. If they are still available. They are a round kazoo, round like a flying saucer, not round like a tube.
You can vamp them like a harmonica. Considerably better.

Rod Felton of Coventry used to add trumpet-like pieces to his kazoos, at the diaphragm part.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 04:49 AM

"Never kazoo tomorrow what you can kazoo today".

RtS
This and similar quotes on some of my other posts are from the tube mirlilonist's bible: Barbara Sewart's Complete How to Kazoo.


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 12:32 PM

Those incorrigible few in this world who insist that they cannot master the kazoo or make a single sound on it need to simply be placed in front of a firing squad, provided with said kazoo (in working order), and given five minutes to produce simple kazoo sounds with it...or die. In most cases this produces a satisfactory result in under three minutes! ;-)


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 05:18 AM

From yesterday's London Evening Standard: "Radio 3 will try to break the record for the largest orchestra of kazoos as it joins Comic Relief...at the Albert Hall on 14 March [2011]...the audience will be given kazoos to play tunes such as the Dambusters March. The current record is 3,861 performers....For tickets visit royalalberthall.com"

RtS
"Two kazoos are not necessarily better than one if one kazooist is musically marginal"


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 01:12 AM

Hello everyone,
Miss G here from Woodstock Wooden Kazoo in Woodstock, NY.
I see in one of these posts that I've been invited to the
Annual Fourth of July Kazoo Parade in Nazareth PA. Cool !!
Please check out my web site and see my lovingly handmade and
wonderful sounding wooden kazoos. www.woodstockwoodenkazoo.com

Happy New Year To All,
Abbe "Miss G" Graber
kazookeeper and maker of fine wooden kazoos.
abbesaber@aol.com


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 02:08 AM

4 or 5 years ago back when I was regularly taking advantage of cheap exchange rate
to buy music gear from USA,
I noticed a guy in the states was selling electric kazoos
with built in transducer pickups on ebay..

I was curious, but never got round to trying one.

probably for the better really.. kazoo and fuzz box and 50 watt tube amp !!!???


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 02:36 PM

"Miss G" of Woodstock Wooden Kazoo says it's more like
singing into the kazoo, "tip of tongue-off roof of mouth"
kind of singing. Check out my website for the best kazoos.
Handmade in Woodstock, NY by accomplished blues singer/kazooist
and sculptor Abbe Graber. Her Original, World Famous,
Woodstock Wooden Kazoo @ http://www.WoodstockWoodenKazoo.com/
are loving made by the "Kazoo Lady of Woodstock" herself.
Many superstar legends stand-by Miss G's Woodstock Wooden Kazoos.
And I'll see you in Nazareth, PA for their July 4th, kazoo parade!!


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 06:46 AM

"If you build it, they will hum"

(Kazoobie.com. T-shirt)

RtS


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:24 AM

Electric kazoo = mike close to your mouth and extremely overmodulated


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 10:25 AM

100


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Subject: RE: kazoo. how to get a sound
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 07:28 AM

Kazoo Extraordinare ~ Abbe "Miss G" Graber
Maker of Fine Kazoos and "Blues Kazoo" master
player and blues singer will be performing
@ the July 4th 2011 Nazareth, PA Kazoo Parade !!
Singing the National Anthem at the start and
winding up the day with "God Bless America"
and a display of her Woodstock Wooden Kazoos.
If you've never seen or heard her kazoos, go to
www.woodstockwoodenkazoo.com and give her a call.
Nazareth, PA ~ Home of Martin Guitars !!


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