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How to Play the Vuvuzela

Believe it or not, vuvuzelas have become the hottest new instruments to learn how to play. After watching the FIFA World Cup, many of my friends in the music department have started to take up playing the thing.  What is a vuvuzela you ask? It is an instrument used by spectators at soccer matches that is used to drive down ticket prices and television ratings by annoying the hell out of anyone willing to suffer through it.

A simple horn right? Wrong.

Like any citizen of the world, I enjoy the occasional soccer game, even though being American makes me by default less enthusiastic.  But when I sat down to watch my first game, I fell in love with the sweet, melodic hum of the vuvuzela.  Since then I’ve begun to play it, and it isn’t as easy as one might think.  With help from other guys in the music department, I was able to come up with a beginners guide to playing the vuvuzela, which is to my knowledge the first of its kind on the internet.

Step 1:  Obtain a vuvuzela–These can be obtained through most online marketplaces like eBay, but its best to buy a plane ticket to Johannesburg, South Africa, and pick one up from any of the thousands of vendors trying to profit from other people’s annoyance.

Step 2:  Playing the instrument–Contrary to popular belief, vuvuzelas only produce sound when there is someone to annoy within its vicinity.  This isn’t normally a problem as usually even the player finds the monotonous B-flat bothersome at times.  In order to produce a higher quality sound, take the vuvuzela to your local high school football game, or perhaps to the golf course.  The sound quality improves still more by simply pointing the end of the horn directly at someone’s head or ear.

Step 3:  Location and Setting–Vuvuzelas ALWAYS sound better in numbers.  A tight formation of 15 to 20 players produces a clear, sharp sound that is sure repel wildlife as well as neighbors.  If possible, attend a sporting event that is sure to attract a television audience, to ensure that not only the people around your seats can hear, but also those people sitting in the comfort of their own home.

The Final Step:  When playing the vuvuzela, sometimes the constant sound isn’t ridiculous or annoying enough for the average listener.  In order to correct this and supplement the 130 decibel B-flat, paint your face and wear the most colorful items in your closet, be sure that the colors clash to enusre that all of the listener’s senses are affected.  Here is a professional vuvuzela player at work:

Professionals can take two at the same time without oral trauma...

So there you have it folks, before you know it, you will be playing the vuvuzela like a champ!


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