OK, so I've been using a lot of found object - or junk - musical instruments to support my cigar box guitars recently. (You can hear examples of this on my page at Cigarbox Nation.)

So, I went looking for other junk music out there... found stuff like this - a lesson plan for K-3rd graders on making music with found objects. Now, it's very cool that someone might be teaching youngsters to express their creativity (but too bad it's for an after school rather than during school program). It seems that folks think found object music is just for kids... and very little kids at that.

But I also found Donald Knaack - a percussionist who's been doing serious music on junk longer than I've been alive, lol.

Definitely catch Knaack's podcast. A real gem is a sound made by hitting a piece of metal and then dipping it in water. He talks about it in the lengthy intro in his podcast and then you can hear it in the piece he plays.

Speaking of cool sounds... Rebekah (my wife) recently reminded me of a cool sound she learned from our late friend Peggy O'Neal. I don't know where Peggy learned this and can't ask her now.

To make this sound, you take the oven rack out of the oven; tie a shoe lace to each of the back corners; wrap the laces around your left and right index fingers; stick the fingers in your ears so that it blocks out external sound; lean over so the oven rack hangs freely; and have a friend tap the rack lightly with a hard object - I think we used a wooden spoon, but a drumstick works well too.

The sound is an amazing chime sound... it's also really hard to record. Can't do it with a mic. So I had an assistant, Dylan Seals, with the rack set up, hold a cigar box guitar between his fingers and recorded the sound from the guitar's pickup.

Check it out: Oven Rack Sounds

The recording isn't bad, but the live experience is better... try it!

Still, that recording has come in handy in my recent music recordings... I've sampled it and used both as a chime and as a piano sound.

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