Day 100 : Brass, blues/jazz


With brass instruments, sound is made when the player’s vibrating pursed lips cause the air inside the instrument to vibrate. A saxophone, though made of brass, is a wind instrument as is the harmonica; both are commonly found along with trombones, tubas and trumpets in blues and jazz bands.

Slide Hampton learned as a child to play a left-handed trombone because that was what he was given even though he is not naturally left-handed. At 80 years old, he is still performing. He is a Grammy winner and is renown widely as a gifted trombonist and master composer, has taught at several universities including Harvard.

Sandy: Inspired by the musical, The Music Man, when the middle school music teacher asked what instrument I wanted to play I told him the trombone. He barely suppressed his chuckle and advised me to try the flute since my arms weren’t long enough. 

Kelly: this is a horrible drawing of a harmonica! But thought the diagram of how to play Home on the Range interesting. According the encyclopedia of Google, 30% of harmonica players are left-handed because they can hold the harmonica in their left hand. Also, some, like famous blind American Piedmont blues musician, Sony Terry, played it upside down. Sandy: My friend, Sam, plays a mean harmonica and wrote the book, How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons. He told me that hand dominance is not an issue when playing the harmonica and that some musicians even play it upside down which doesn’t make a difference. Once you choose a way to play, it is likely you will stick with it.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


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