Last Wednesday, I was driving to the office where I volunteer answering phones, and as the IT guy and sometimes accountant. I had Sirius XM tuned to Watercolors, the smooth jazz station. A song by the Rippintons came on … I think it was Cote d’Azur … and I found myself snapping my fingers to the beat. It seems to me there is a special connection between jazz and finger snapping … or finger popping, as it is sometimes known. I will tell you, when we went to see the O’Jays and Gladys Knight last Sunday, there was a lot of clapping and arm waving and dancing in place, but not much finger snapping. Even if there was, it was lost in the wall of sound. Jazz brings a cooler vibe than rock and roll which finger snapping fits as a cooler, less demonstrative way to show that you are into the music without drowning it out. Especially if you snap on the off-beat as taught by the one and only Duke Ellington.
Of course there are those who say finger snapping has nothing to do with cool, that it’s an alternative to clapping that doesn’t require putting down your beer. I can live with that, too.
When my grandkids were little, they were fascinated by my finger-snapping because their little were too small and to soft to produce much sound even if they mastered the motion. I could also amaze them with my double and triple finger snaps, perfected through years of snapping on the offbeat. Those were the good old days … finger snapping no longer amazes … or even amuses them. Reed would rather learn something new on the computer, Maddux would rather cchuck any kind of ball and Savy? Well, Savy would probably like to go shopping. But the next time I see them (which is in about a week), I’ll show them this guy.
So, while reading about the history of finger snapping, I found an article that said that, When you snap your fingers, the noise doesn’t come from your fingers. C’mon, I thought, reading on skeptically. The sound, the article said, comes from you finger striking your palm. No way, I said, snapping my finger and listening closely, but it all happens so quickly, it’s hard to tell, so I tried the article’s suggestion: Try putting a tissue or padding on your palm and the noise will be substantially diminished! And I’ll be damned. Still learning useless facts at 71.
Have a great weekend