Last night I played some jazz with friends, including the 19-year old stepson of the tenor player. This kid is an absolutely awesome musician. He's completely blind and he's obsessed by music and sound. Plays drums in a gigging band right now, but he'll blow your doors off on keys or accordion, too. Last night he blew MY doors off sitting in on clarinet all night! His social skills are a little immature right now, but I must say it's disconcerting to have a 19-year old remember EVERYTHING YOU PLAYED in a tune and give you a rundown on where you made mistakes and where you were out of tune. Our piano player is really good, tons of education and experience, but she got "disconcerted" by J, too. Anyway, at the end of the night he's quite overjoyed at having played some jazz with grownups, and he's really delighted by the DB. Wants to have a go at playing it. Never touched one before.... Imagine this, then: I'm standing behind the bass, off to the right, holding the bass up by its shoulders. J is standing to the left, fingering the strings OVERHAND with his right hand, pizz'ing with his left hand. That little SOB was playing amazing stuff going way up the neck within seconds. Watching his (very fast) orientation process was fascinating. He's exploring his fingerings, finding fifth and octave doublestops. Once he zeroes in (first or second try), he's off to the races. Then he's CONNECTING these positions right away, getting all over the first octave of the board. And his tone is good, way beyond what you'd expect of a first-timer. It was a unique musical experience for me, to play with someone whose ears are EVERYTHING to him and who exploits it so fully in music. Unbelievable. And: his clarinet didn't squeak once.