How to Make a Cardboard Box Bass

Written by kirk maltbee
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How to Make a Cardboard Box Bass
A cardboard box bass can be made to play like an original. (standup bass image by Earl Robbins from

The evolution of the bass has led from the old uprights of years gone by to modern bass guitars made from exotic woods and composite materials. However, you don't need to have either when you want to add some bass to your music. Homemade instruments were highly popular among old-time musicians, who used whatever they could find to create their music. Making a cardboard-type bass in the spirit of those folks is a relatively simple task.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard box
  • Broomstick or dowel rod
  • C clamp
  • Metal pin
  • Clear packing tape
  • One bass string
  • Electric drill
  • Utility knife

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  1. 1

    Close all flaps on the box and tape them shut with the packing tape. The box should be at least the size of an egg crate. Cut a hole about the size of an orange on the bottom of one of the sides of the box to serve as a sound hole for the notes to escape.

  2. 2

    Cut another orange-size hole in the top of the box, opposite the side where you cut the sound hole. Drill a small hole through the top side of the wooden rod and thread the bass string through, then insert the small metal pin through the metal ball at the string's end to keep the ball from sliding through the hole.

  3. 3

    Pull the string down the length of the rod and use the C clamp to hold the string in place, allowing enough slack to insert the small wood block between the string and the rod to act as the bridge. Insert the rod and string into the hole in the top of the box to create a simple upright-style bass.

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