Sunday, June 30, 2013


What a beautiful Sunday!  Despite the heat and rain! LOL  Great day to just mess around in the air conditioning.  First thing this morning just before sunrise it was perfect for some Pickin' On The Porch.  Lots of the time I am just messing around with different chord progressions and pickin' patterns.  Nothing like waiting on the sunrise with a hot cup of coffee and a guitar or ukulele.  For me it's like a time of meditation or prayer where the outside world stops and my focus is making music to please myself.

Here's a little tune that appeared this morning.  I kinda like this and will mess around with it more seriously later.  Already got some lyrics running around in my head.  Right now I just call it "Can't Get There".

I shot this video today with the camera sitting on the work table outside the workshop facing west.  The original video ran right at four minutes.  I compressed that video to play in one minute to match the length of the soundtrack.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


uke-zoo-ist   noun 
a player of the ukulele and the kazoo
The One, Only And Original
Wigan, United Kingdom

Way back when I was a kid one of my favorite things to read was the Readers Digest.  They had a monthly article titled something like "The Most Unforgettable Person I Have Ever Met".   Readers sent in submissions for this article. Though I have never met Barry Barmcake in person I still consider him one of the most unforgettable "UkeZooist" it has been my great pleasure to cross paths with.

Since most ukulele players that I know also incorporate a kazoo of some sort in their performance from time to time. I came up with the term "UkeZooist" to best describe these talented musicians.  Though Barry doesn't use one of my kazoos he does use a commercially made kazoo occasionally. So he is in fact by the Doc Kazoo Dictionary of Kazoology a full flegged UkeZooist.

Unforgettable is the one word that comes to mind when I introduce Barry Barmcake to whom ever will read this blog.  I love his style, humor and music.  There are so many things that make his performance unforgettable.  Personally I love what I call the Barry Barmcake Road Trip music videos live from his motor car!  Occasionally accompanied by one of his friends.

As a new ukulele player myself I love his Facebook Page "Learn To Play The Barmcake Way".  I always learn something new when I visit that has really helped me learning to play my ukulele.  You can visit at this link:

I also love his YouTube Channel!  Here's one of my favorite videos!

You can always get a taste of  his Wigan style of comedy by visiting him at the Barry Barmcake Depreciation Society at this link:

Last but not least there is one thing that you have to remember is that Barry Barmcake is from Wigan, UK.  His native tongue is Wiganese.  But fear not, Barry has taken care of that as well on his other FaceBook Page "You Too Can Learn To Speak Wiganese"!

Please be sure and go to the links above and give Barry Barmake a visit. All you have to do is click a link and have fun.  Tell him Doc Kazoo sent you!

Doc Kazoo

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Hard to believe that picture was taken just hours ago and those beautiful Conch Fritters have been consumed by a couple of ukulele/kazoo friends who are either on vacation or spending the weekend in Key West, Florida.  I told them about this place and the fritters and they went there today!!!  Sure wish I had a dozen and a cold beer!  

Man does this picture take me back to 1971 and my first solo road trip in my first "car lot" car that I had to make payments on. LOL  A 69 Malibu.  It was November and getting cold in Carolina and I had a week vacation from work to celebrate my 20th  birthday.  Normally the destination would have been to Myrtle Beach but it was as cold there as it was where I was.   So the warmest place within my budget was way down south in Key West!!!!  I don't know which was the better, Key West or getting the ride getting there.  No interstate back then and mostly two lane.  Just the 301 South to US 1, keep heading south and stop at the water. LOL  

That's when I first discovered the 4th of July and their conch fritters!  I was so happy to find out that the restaurant and the conch fritters are both still there.  If you get to Key West you gotta visit and have a dozen! 

A big old Doc Kazoo Thank You! for sharing this picture and the memories! :-)

Happy Kazooing,



Now I have heard that said a time or two over the years when speaking of kazoo making. LOL    I bet if Stradivarius were alive today he would hear the same thing about his fiddles.   Without a doubt the science of instrument making does exist.  But equally the art of instrument making coexist with the science.

I know that different type woods will to some degree provide a different sound and can add or reduce the degree of warmth.  I also believe there is a difference in sound resulting from the type of  final finish applied to the instrument.  These factors are certainly more subjective to the individual listener.  

A few years ago I shipped a 6" Custom Performer to a kazooist in Nazareth, Pa who shared with me an interesting theory that he had with regards to kazoo making he called the "natural key".  It is a theory that I have tinkered around with making my 6" FatBoy Kazoos .  My theory is that when I follow the formula for a Fatboy Kazoo, each one I make will have the same dynamic range, power and control and overall performance.  By the way, each 6" FatBoy Kazoo has a natural key of E.  Well at least this is my part of the theory. LOL  It seems to work.  My FatBoys are consistently praised by musicians around the world in 21 countries!  I now use this formula on each of my made to order kazoo models.

The final sound of the kazoo is also based on the design of the resonator membrane and the specs for the paper and membrane used to make the resonator.  Since I designed and make my resonator membranes this factor is always consistent.

I believe in many ways our humble instrument, the Kazoo, has been sadly under estimated as a "true musical instrument"  and relinquished to the world of toy shops and first grade school bands.  To really appreciate the Kazoo as a musicial instrument one only has to take a look back to Delta music of the late 1800's around Memphis and New Orleans as well as the Ukulele music of the Roaring 20's.  Thank goodness there is a revival of Ukulele Music around the world and the humble kazoo is also enjoying it's own revival.  There is no better combination for a busker than the kazoo and ukulele!!  

So as I look back on what I just wrote I be danged if there ain' been a little Rocket Science involved all the time! LOL  If you get some time drop by the Yahoo Kazooz Group and take a look at some of the old patent pictures and specs for kazoos.  I think you will agree that there has been some science in kazoo making for a long time. LOL

Happy Kazooing To All

Doc Kazoo

Friday, June 21, 2013



What a great day off at the homestead.  Had a great morning in the studio mixing some guitar and ukulele tracks that I recorded last week.  Still trying to find something good enough to share with the ukulele.  One thing for sure is that I am having a great time learning to play that little thing.

One thing I like the most about the ukulele is the size.  It is small enough to pick just about anywhere.  Lots of times I am editing video and running a process on the computer that may take a couple minutes to a half hour for the computer to complete the task.  I keep the ukulele within reach for such times. LOL  I can sit here at the computer and pick while I wait very comfortably.

This afternoon we had a terrible storm move through and I grabbed the camera and shot some video and thought I would make a kazoo music video of my old song  "Don't Be Kazooless".  

No ukulele in this tune.  This recording includes my Dean acoustic/electric guitar, FatBoy Kazoo,  Carolina Finger Tappers, and vocal tracks mixed and mastered by this old kazoo maker.  It ain't perfect but I sure had a lot of fun making it! 

This time of year afternoon storms are a daily thing.  Usually they start building mid afternoon when the breezes from the Atlantic meet those from the Gulf of Mexico.  They can be very severe and are always accompanied with lots of lightning.  Frequently even tornado activity.  This video will give you a good example of when I will be closing the workshop due to weather.  Be that weather afternoon storms or extreme heat.  It will be like this for the next couple months.

It reminds me of Monsoon Season that I experienced years ago in the Philippines when the daily rains arrived and everything turned from brown brush to lush green foliage.  The heat and humidity remind me of there as well.    Without air conditioning the population of Florida would certainly decrease dramatically. LOL

Well tomorrow and am going to head down to the workshop and hold a good field day!  That an old navy term for "clean the place up"! LOL  I gotta make some resonator membranes and a few other maintenance things.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Greetings to musicians everywhere.  I would like to introduce everyone to my better half, Lynette,  and the Homestead Music website - your source of quality sheet music for piano and flute.

Lynette is a private piano and flute teacher with B.A., M.A., and M.M.E degrees in piano, flute, and music composition.

All of the 600+ music titles available in the Homestead Music Shop are original arrangements by Lynette.  More titles being added each day.  Special orders of traditional or public domain titles in all genres are also available.

You can visit the Homestead Music Shop at to see the complete catalog:

A limited selection of sheet music and song books are also available on eBay at:


PDF Electronic Format Only
Does Not Include Printed Songbooks
No Limit On Number Of Free Titles

For more information or to discuss your music requirements please contact Lynette at:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013



July is the perfect time to get a head start on your Holiday Music Programs !  Throughout the summer you can choose a free music title of equal value for each one you purchase!  

This applies only to PDF Electronic Delivery Format music.

No limit to the number of songs you can get for free!!!

Simply make your music purchase and in your order confirmation email you will be ask for the titles of the free songs you wish to receive.  Simple as that!!!

Visit the Homestead Music Shop at cCrater:


After six years it finally came time for a redesign of the Aswego Homestead Website.  Things had gotten a wee bit cluttered over the years.  Last year we added the Homestead Music Shop to the website and I wanted to have the website homepage focus equally on both the the Kazoo Factory and Homestead Music.  Things are now much less cluttered and more easy to navigate.

For the most part the website redesign is complete.  There are a few tweaks that need to be made and a couple things I want to add over the next week or so.  Drop by and have a look around.

wishin' the best to all!

Doc Kazoo

Sunday, June 16, 2013



Good Sunday morning everyone and greetings from the old kazoo maker.  What a beautiful morning here on the homestead.  This morning when I was pickin' guitar on the porch I had the guitar plugged in recording for almost an hour of just adlib stuff off the top of my head.  This is an old traditional sea shanty that I love to play just for the fun of it!

When I reviewed the recording to select a tune for today's video I remembered something that my dad told me the day I left home for the Navy when I was 18.  "You're gonna find out that Uncle Sam makes a pretty good uncle but he's one hell of a dad!"   

So since the Navy became my adopted dad for over two decades it only appropriate that I selected today's today's Pickin' on the Porch Video.

By the way, I sailed on the aircraft carrier USS NIMITZ shown in the picture you will see in this video.  I am a "Plank Owner" of this lady and  made her first deployment to the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.  I also rode a couple of those smaller ships you see pictured at other times in my sailor days.

So to all you Dad's out there Happy Father's Day!

Doc Kazoo

Friday, June 14, 2013


Great Aswego Kazoo Factory Workshop

A year or so ago I accidentally deleted the Kazoo Factory YouTube Channel!!!With over 300 videos and over 300,000 video views!!!  Only to discover there was no way possible to recover any video!!  So the YouTube Channel everyone sees today is the replacement.

I am very happy to see that today the new YouTube Channel has over 10,000 video views.  It is really nice to get feedback from people saying how much they enjoyed watching their kazoo being made.

The other day in the workshop my brain got to working as I was making a kazoo.  Sometimes that can be good and sometimes it can be not good. LOL   I got to thinking about my approach to kazoo making.  When I add the time it takes to handle the video production department, shipping department and the workshop plus overhead cost I am well below minimum wage. LOL   However when I add the joy of making kazoos for people all around the world and the pride I feel when a performing musician sends me a audio or video with one of my kazoos at work entertaining I am a millionaire.  This is truly the greatest reward of all.  Except maybe getting air conditioning in the workshop.  :-)

Way back when I first decided to produce the update videos a friend thought I was crazy because of the time involved.  In those days my old computer would barely handle my Sony Vegas Studio software and it took nearly two hours to render a 7 minute video!!!!  What a trip that was when I had three or four videos to produce in one day. LOL   Thankfully those days are passed and the same length video now only takes around 30 minutes to render.  Before rendering there is an hour or so editing too.

The update videos have really been a big hit around the world!  A picture truly speaks a 1000 words and a video speaks millions.  Thanks to the Kazoo Factory YouTube Channel the Great Aswego Kazoo Factory will always  be "more than a website with a shopping cart!".

Plus making kazoos in the woods is a great place for an old retired sailor to spend his time and the world a safe place. LOL

Happy Kazooing To All and to All A Goodnight!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The one question I am ask the most is what finish to use on the kazoo.


Personally I prefer the traditional beeswax finish for several reasons.  Foremost is that the beeswax is old fashioned way that has proven to be a beautiful natural wood finish for hundreds of years.  I also find it enjoyable to polish my personal kazoos and I love the smell of the beeswax.   How often you polish your kazoo is up to you.  I carry several kazoos in my kit bag and polish them all once a month. If I were out there playing my kazoo every day I'd polish them more often.  It only takes a couple minutes to polish a kazoo.

There is another more subjective reason that I prefer the beeswax finish.  I believe that kazoos finished with the beeswax have a warmer sound.  From personal experience with my own kazoos I also believe that warmth of sound gets better over the years of polishing my kazoos.

The Traditional Beeswax Finish is the selected by most of my customers.  Each kazoo with the beeswax finish is shipped with a tin of Doc's Kazoo Wax.

I make Doc's Traditional Kazoo Wax using 100% natural beeswax and pharmaceutical grade mineral oil based on a formula given me by an old furniture maker.  There are no other ingredients or additives.


I also offer a commercial Butcher Block Finish that is FDA approved for use on wood coming in contact with food for human consumption.  It's made for use on chopping blocks, wood plates/bowls, utensils, etc.  The Butcher Block sealer is more maintenance free and is great for people allergic to beeswax.  

The Butcher Block Finish takes longer to apply due the time required for it to cure between applications.  There is also an additional charge for the Butcher Block Finish.

So the bottom line on what finish to have on your kazoo is that most people choose the traditional beeswax finish but the choice is yours. :-)

Happy Kazooing,
Doc Kazoo

Monday, June 10, 2013



Recently YouTube once again changed the look of our channels and added a new channel trailer video feature.  This is a video that will be seen by visitors who are not subscribers as an introduction to the Kazoo Factory.  This idea I really like.  This is the new Kazoo Factory YouTube Channel Trailer Video.

Happy Kazooing,
Doc Kazoo

Sunday, June 9, 2013

10% Discount During June 2013

The Kazoo Factory Website had over 13,000 visitors last week.  In celebrations I am pleased to announce 10% discount on all kazoos in the ArtFire Shop!!!!

This discount is good for the month of June!

All you have to do is enter the following code at my ArtFire Check Out

CHECKOUT CODE "13000" (without quotation marks)
(One Use Per Buyer)

A big old Doc Kazoo Thank You to everyone who has visited the website over the years!


Happy Kazooing,
Doc Kazoo

"If you ain't hummin' wood you just ain't hummin' folk!


Greetings from the Old Kazoo Maker!!!

Well here I am starting a blog and really got no idea how to start. LOL  So bear with me as I try to lay out some sort of game plan. LOL    In fact I am not really sure to whom this blog is addressed.  Certainly myself if nobody else.  Perhaps family and friends.  Maybe that young man or woman who will be inspired by my kazoo creations and start
 the next generation of folk kazoo makers.

I was born and raised in western North Carolina out in the country on a ten acre small livestock homestead.  Joined the Navy after high school and did a lot of traveling for a lot of years.  Retired in 1991.  So I am basically an old retired Navy Chief turned Kazoo Maker!

I have been making wooden folk kazoos for local folks a long time and a couple years ago decided to offer them online.  In the beginning I sold ready made kazoos.  Today most all of my kazoos are "Made to Order".  My goal is to always be more than just a website with a shopping cart.  So I provide a series of three videos of each customer's actual kazoo being made.  A sort of video visit to the workshop for a few days as I make their kazoo.

I truly never know what kind of kazoo I may be making next. LOL  I do a lot of collaborations with performing musicians on new kazoo designs.  I do believe that I have the World's Largest Selection of Wooden Folk Kazoos in the Great Aswego Kazoo Factory ArtFire Shop.  Almost any kazoo design I have ever made is still available.  If you have a picture of it I can probably make another one but not a carbon copy!

I also make a variety of other folk instruments from time to time but kazoos are my favorite.

Well I guess this is as good of place to start the blog as any. LOL

Happy Kazooing To All!