Monday, 5 October 2015

A slightly mad birthday present

My husband already plays banjo, trombone, bass trombone. He can also play clarinet, guitar, trumpet, piano. He plays in three bands. Between the three of us currently at home we have a piano, an organ, three banjos, four trombones, a clarinet, a guitar, two ukuleles, assorted recorders, a double bass, two flutes and a trumpet. Why would we want any more instruments?
He's said from time to time, 'I'd love to have a go on one of those'. If he hears one bumping along at the bottom in a band he enthuses about its sound. It's the only instrument I know of that you have to wear. In case you don't know what it is, it's a sousaphone. This is in E flat, on the small side; the B flats are bigger.
I managed to keep this thing a secret for many weeks while it was being put together from disparate parts. I know next to nothing about brass instruments, but had the good fortune to know someone who does, and who himself plays (among other things) the B flat sousaphone.
I had no doubt that my husband would be able to play it, with a bit of practice, but he surprised even me by making perfectly acceptable sounds within minutes. What a clever-clogs.
There were moments when I doubted: Have I done the right thing here? Will he think I've gone quite mad? No musical instrument is cheap.
But as you can see he's smiling as he plays, and most of this evening he's been walking around chuckling (if a trifle bemused.)


  1. My husband plays trombone (mainly while I am out). He wonders whether yours has heard of a group called Tuba Skinny?
    (In case this seems random, I was at the Writers' Day on Saturday and commenting on blogs is one of my specialities. )

    1. Of course, we were chatting at lunchtime. I'll ask him if he's heard of the group you mention. Thanks for your comment.