The kazoo is a fun and quirky instrument. It's cheap, easy to use, and it's not just for kids. Even bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jimi Hendrix have used it in their music.
Part 1 of 3: Acquire a Kazoo
Step 1. Establish your purpose
Want to play for fun, for a class, or to add an extravagant addition to your band? This will determine the quality of the kazoo you need.
- The kazoo is generally a very cheap instrument. You can find plastic kazoo at dollar stores, malls, or toy stores.
- If you are looking for something of a slightly higher quality or with a different aesthetic, consider purchasing a wooden kazoo. You can also go for a metal kazoo. If you choose the latter, take care that it does not rust and dry it every time you touch it.
- If you're going to be using it a lot, consider buying a few kazoo, as each one costs only a couple of dollars. This will ensure you have a spare in case the first one breaks.
- An electric kazoo is another alternative for musicians and those interested in making recordings with this instrument.
Step 2. Choose a color
The kazoo is an extravagant instrument that comes in a range of rainbow colors.
- Pick a fun color that encourages you to use it.
- Add a customization. Consider putting a small sticker on your kazoo. This is great, especially for identification, in case you use it in a classroom where many people have their kazoo.
Step 3. Create a specific case for your kazoo
Although the kazoo is a relatively inexpensive instrument, you should take care of it.
- If your kazoo doesn't have a case, use an old, hard-coated lens case. You can find them at thrift stores if you don't have one yet.
- Write your name on the case with a permanent marker.
Part 2 of 3: Learning to Play
Step 1. Hold the kazoo horizontally
Unlike larger instruments like the clarinet, you can use one hand to hold your kazoo.
The mouthpiece of the kazoo is the widest, flattened end
Step 2. Hum with the kazoo
To make sounds with the kazoo, you will need to hum and not blow as humming creates vibrations.
- You should place the kazoo in your mouth like a whistle.
- To make slightly different sounds, try humming different syllables like "son", "what", "brr", or "rrr".
Step 3. Create tones with your humming
The kazoo has no embellishments, so you will create all the tones of a song with your mouth.
- First, practice humming the songs you like without the kazoo.
- Then, try humming them with the mouthpiece of the kazoo in your mouth.
Part 3 of 3: Improve Your Skills
Step 1. Train your ear
Since all the notes created by playing the kazoo come only from your mouth, you will need to practice listening to and recreating notes.
- Listen to the songs you like and sing out loud. Pay attention to trying to match the tone correctly.
- Record yourself humming a song on a recording device or on your phone. Then play the song and your recording at the same time. See how well you match the tone.
- Try playing the kazoo along with the recorded songs.
Step 2. Set aside time to practice each day
Although the kazoo is a simple instrument, you will not improve unless you practice.
- Pick a specific time of day and the amount of time you want to practice.
- Set some goals for each practice session. Write them down in a notebook. Your goals might be to experiment with humming techniques or to practice with specific songs.
Step 3. Play with your friends
Above all else, the kazoo is a fun instrument and you should enjoy playing it.
- Play your favorite songs for your friends.
- If you are in class, practice with other people in your class.
- If some of your friends play different instruments, consider starting a band for fun.
- You can get a great “wa-wa” effect by keeping the fingers of one hand on top of the kazoo and gently lifting them as you blow the kazoo. As you learn, put some feeling into what you do and let the music flow. With a little practice, you'll be playing jazz and blues ostinatos that will wow your friends and neighbors.
- Playing the kazoo usually helps to make a sound that is higher than normal while humming.
- Remember that the kazoo shouldn't be difficult to play. If you are blowing hard and no sound is coming out, try to soften your breath.