Let infrared do the boring bit of playing the instrument for you.
If you’re getting into the music game without actually playing an instrument, you can sometimes you can run into some basic practical problems. Luckily, the history of music technology almost reads as the history of allowing the musically fat-fingered get involved, and at the DIY level its no different.
Stephen Cass over at IEEE Spectrum, for example, has written an awesome step-by-step breakdown of how he used an infrared censor knocked off from the one at CERN and an Arduino Mega as an interface to play a hacked Casio synth. Check out the guide here, and get building.
Still in the DIY mood? Here’s how to make your own Kraftwerk-style drum pads.