A music star from rock band Franz Ferdinand is among those today backing a campaign urging Scots to donate unwanted musical instruments to children.

Bob Hardy, bassist with the Scottish group, said his own career as a bassist began thanks to a hand-me-down instrument, and urged people to be generous. The instrument amnesty, currently titled Play it Again, aims to give young people across the country the chance to enjoy the benefits of music.

It is based on a scheme operating in London and has backing from musicians, charities and organisations including the Scottish Arts Council, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Aberlour - Scotland's Children's Charity.

The campaign will be officially launched later in the year, and details of how exactly it will work are still being finalised. Hardy urged people to be generous when the initiative starts.

He said: "This is a great campaign and as soon as I heard about it I knew I'd like to donate one of my old basses. My life as a bass player started when Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian gave an old bass of his to Alex Kapranos and Alex passed it on to me.

"That bass changed my life and it's exciting to think what future musicians could be set on their way by a similar gift." The campaign is spearheaded by SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, Aileen Campbell.

She said: "There must be hundreds, if not thousands of unwanted instruments lying unused in people's homes.

"I'm asking people to go and have a look under their beds, in their cupboards and lofts, and donate those unwanted instruments they find.

"These donations will give someone else the opportunity to experience the pleasure and benefits learning to play an instrument can bring."