N7 on CNN.com

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By Shanon Cook

NEW YORK (CNN) — The members of the band Naturally 7 are experts at blowing their own horns — and they do it without a trumpet or trombone in sight.
In fact, you won’t see a single instrument when they hit the stage. They are the instruments.
“People are always imitating instruments,” said first baritone and arranger Roger Thomas. “People are driving; they hear their favorite song; it gets to the guitar solo part… They don’t stop singing. They actually start imitating the instrument they hear. We just decided to be crazy enough to bring [that idea] to the stage.”
The septet even came up with a name for it: “vocal play,” a total reliance on the human voice to mimic a range of instruments and sounds, including the harmonica, bass guitar, trumpet and DJ scratches.
Warren Thomas takes beatboxing to a whole new level with his imitation of a drum kit, complete with snare. (He also impersonates a mean guitar.) Rod Eldridge has never played a real trumpet before, though you wouldn’t think that if you saw him duplicate the sound of one, lips pursed, his hands in front of him, pressing on imaginary valves.
“To produce the sound, I have to visualize that I’m holding that instrument or whatever in my hand,” he said.
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