*Disposable plastic cup (best) or paper cup or coffee can. You can use other things, but I know these work.
*Some kind of string, about 2 feet (60 cm) long. I've used cotton string, nylon twine and dental floss. I've even heard of people using shoe laces.
*Something sharp and round to punch a hole in the cup.
*Something to keep the string from pulling out if a knot doesn't work (you might not have to do this, but you will if the string is thin like dental floss or with a paper cup. You can use a matchstick or toothpick or twig.
Punch a small hole in the middle of the bottom of the cup--just big enough for the string to fit through--and push the string through the hole.
There are two ways to attach the string to the bottom of the cup:
Tie the end to the matchstick or toothpick. This is more work but better because you don't have to be as careful about yanking too hard.
Alternately, tie a very big knot on the end of the string that goes through the cup, to keep it from pulling through the hole. I use a variation of the simple "overhand knot." However, I loop it several times to make the knot fat.
Usually, you will need to wet the string. Wetting it serves the same purpose as the rosin applied to bowed string instruments. You might not have to with waxed dental floss. Hold the cup in one hand and the string--near the cup--between thumb and forefinger. Pull. You should hear a noise, and it should be loud.
Here's a short (5 sec) video of some kids making it work.
Ethan Maas of Seattle, Washington sent the following innovation:
I made the Moose Call that's on your site but I made the string a little longer
than you suggested. I was feeling lazy and I didn't want to measure it exactly...anyway
this made it possible for me to step on the string and pull it taut. It was
then I I began to pluck it while loosening and tightening the string. It worked
much like a washtub bass. I didn't know if you care about this bit of information
(I imagine that you already knew it), but in the off chance you may want to
include this on your site...or maybe not....
Actually I didn't know, Ethan. Thanks for the suggestion!
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