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Guitar 1 - touch tunes

Advanced | MakeCode, Python | Pins, Sound | Electricity, Electronics, Input/output, Sound

Step 1: Make it

What is it?

Play different tunes by using the micro:bit’s touch sensor.

These two videos show you what you'll make and how to code it:


Coding guide

How it works

  • This project is the same as the Jukebox project but instead of using the micro:bit’s buttons, you’ll make your own input device using cardboard covered in strips of tin foil connected by crocodile clip leads to the micro:bit's pins.
  • Flash the program onto your micro:bit.
  • Attach one end of three crocodile clip leads to pins 1, 2 and GND (ground or Earth pin). Attach the other ends to a cardboard guitar or keyboard.
  • With one finger touch the foil connected to GND, and with another finger touch the foil connected to pin 1 and then pin 2. It should play a different tune depending on which strip of foil you touch.
  • The micro:bit is using pins 1 and 2 as touch inputs. When you touch either of these pins and the GND pin, you’re completing an electrical circuit. A small amount of electricity flows through you, the micro:bit can detect it and the program triggers the playing of a tune.
  • If you do not have a V2 micro:bit, which plays sound, attach headphones to pins 0 and GND.
photo showing how to connect silver foil pads to micro:bit pins 1, 2 and GND

What you need

  • micro:bit and optional battery pack
  • MakeCode or Python editor
  • three crocodile clip leads
  • cardboard, tin foil, glue stick and scissors to make a guitar or keyboard
  • optional headphones, buzzer, or speaker with additional two crocodile clip leads for V1 users

Step 2: Code it

1from microbit import *
2import music
4while True:
5    if pin1.is_touched():
7    if pin2.is_touched():

Step 3: Improve it

  • Change the tunes that are played when you touch the tin foil.
  • Program your own tunes.
  • Show different pictures, letters, numbers, or words depending on which tune you picked.