Junkyard Jam Band (Print Book)


Junkyard Jam Band (Print Book)

Making music doesn’t have to be about dropping big bucks in the guitar shop or endlessly fiddling with expensive software

There was a time as a teen that I tried to build my own guitar.  I really wanted a new acoustic guitar and that was the only way I could get one.  The end result was not entirely a working guitar, but it was a fun project that got me creating.  I am no stranger to soldering wires on an electric guitar or an old pedal so creating new instruments out of material deemed to be destined to a ‘junkyard’ was intriguing.  No Starch Press always has new and interesting books that capture a super geek’s heart and Junkyard Jam Band is no exception.

Junkyard Jam Band is step-by-step, illustrated book with complete instructions to build standalone instruments like a wooden thumb piano, an Altoids-tin “turntable” that produces old-skool hip hop skritches and scratches, a PVC slide whistle, a Slinkiphone that amplifies a Slinky’s inherent sci-fi sound effects, and even several homebrew synthesizers.  Sound complex?  Not exactly.  The instructions are made with simple soldering techniques and limited carpentry for families that are budding builders who are interested in creating custom instruments.  The author also write another No Starch Press gem called Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids [Paperback] that we have enjoyed and his writing gives you the confidence to try your hand at building something new.  My absolute favorite chapters dealt with creating sequencers since you may recall our love of the Little Bits Synth Kit with Korg that is a huge hit in our house.  We actually learned quite a bit on how to work with analog synthesizers which has added a new dimension to our creating new and interesting electronic music.  Perhaps we will take on a new mission to complete that guitar I started two decades ago, but this time I’d like to see it finished.  At the very least, you will learn more information on musical theory, physics, and easy customization techniques.  Those who have a builder’s mind and ability will be able to create their own musical band with items that had a junkyard destination!

Readers will learn how to:

  • Circuit-bend unsuspecting childhood toys into mutant chiptune beatbox machines
  • Build a crackling, multifunction preamp that will boost any instrument’s volume
  • Transform a cigar box into an electric ukulele
  • Give vocals a robotic makeover with the Droid Voicebox
  • Make a racket with quick-build noisemakers like the Elephant Trumpet and Junkshop Percussion set

Table of Contents


Part I: Quick Projects and Tinkering

Chapter 1: The Slinkiphone
Chapter 2: The Plasti-Pickup
Chapter 3: The Elephant Trumpet
Chapter 4: The CPVC Slide Whistle
Chapter 5: The Scratchbox
Chapter 6: The Droid Voicebox
Chapter 7: Circuit-Bending for
Chapter 8: Junkshop Percussion

Part II: Weekend Projects

Chapter 9: The Playing-Card Pickup
Chapter 10: The Robo-Tiki Steel-Stringed Ukulele
Chapter 11: The Twang & Roar Kalimba
Chapter 12: The Mud-n-Sizzle Preamp
Chapter 13: The Universal LFO
Chapter 14: The Twin-T Phaser/Wah
Chapter 15: The Single-Chip Space Invader Synth
Chapter 16: The Bleepbox 8-Step Analog Sequencer

Appendix A: Electronics Components, Tools, and Skills
Appendix B: Extra Circuits
Appendix C: Music Theory Crash Course

“When you build an instrument yourself, you can do it however you want,” Nelson says. “This is a book designed to empower folks who feel like they have no DIY experience. When a kid or even an adult sees how easy it is to do, they can’t help but start tinkering. My goal is to encourage readers to tap into their capacity to improvise—musically and manually!”

Check out the trailer on YouTube!

About No Starch Press:  ‘The Finest in Geek Entertainment’  This San Francisco, CA Company takes geekery to a whole new level.  Founded in 1994 by William Pollock, a publisher who has over 20 years experience in the industry!   You may recognize some of their best selling books like ‘Steal This Computer’ or ‘Book, Hacking: The Art of Exploitation’.  Geeks everywhere Unite!

Junkyard Jam Band (Print Book)
List Price:  $ 24.95 ($19.95 Ebook)

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