With recycled products and kitchen trash, children can create their own music on their own manufactured instruments. Appalachian musicians sometimes had to use what was at hand when store-bought musical instruments were not available or affordable. The Foxfire Books are full of examples of this type of resourcefulness. The can-jo is Russ’s adaptation of the traditional washtub bass that is commonly used in Appalachian musical settings. Materials needed: large coffee can, wooden yardstick, string, paperclip, 2 nuts and bolts.
Directions: Punch a hole in the center of the bottom of a tin can (lid has been removed). Setting open end of can on a counter, drill two holes through the yardstick and the can so that stick extends up from closed end. Fasten with 2 nuts and bolts. Drill hole in other end of stick. Push string through the hole in the can and fasten to a paper clip inside the can so that the string cannot pop out. Stretch the string to the hole in the far end of the yardstick; tie securely and tighten as much as possible. (See picture.)