Posts tagged “equipment”

August 7, 2018

Buying more instruments, or making do with what you have

I get asked every so often whether it’s a good idea for a woodwind doubler to try to have a fairly “complete” set of instruments, or whether it’s better to make do with a few and make substitutions as needed. For example, do you need a B-flat clarinet and an A clarinet, or can you just transpose? ...

May 24, 2018

Q&A: Instrument purchases

Answers to questions submitted for the blog's 10th anniversary.

November 21, 2017

Hercules stand clip modification

I made a small modification to my Hercules instrument stands so I could clip them onto my instrument cases for easier carrying. The stands all have this same yellow sort of teddy-bear-head piece on the bottom: Remove the nut from the center of the bear’s forehead: I bought a handful of these. They are almost ...

November 9, 2017

Be suspicious of instrument bling

If you are considering buying the newest, hottest instrument, accessory, gadget, etc., it’s worth asking yourself a few questions: Is this item made out of materials that are usually used for fine jewelry or the dashboards of luxury cars? How likely is it that the most visually-attractive materials also happen to have the ideal acoustical ...

August 3, 2017

Endorsement deals

First, let’s be clear about this: in an endorsement deal, the artist endorses the product or brand. The product or brand doesn’t endorse the artist. If an artist claims to be “endorsed by” a company, that is incorrect word usage. An endorsement deal means that an artist agrees to be publicly associated with a product ...

July 7, 2017

Buy intonation, not tone

How exciting to try out new instruments (or mouthpieces or headjoints or barrels or…) and to find one that really has a great sound! It’s a rite of passage for the young woodwind player, trying out a parade of shiny new possibilities, surrounded by parents, a private teacher, friends, and a salesperson with dollar signs ...

August 11, 2016

Playing modern vs. “vintage”

Most of the time, an average car shopper should consider buying a recent model. Newer cars (ostensibly) have better safety features, better fuel efficiency, and the latest conveniences. Service and parts are likely available and inexpensive. Someone in the market for a “classic” car should know what they are getting into. Some older models might be cheaper ...

June 17, 2016

Woodwind instrument “care kits” are bad news

Congratulations on your new student-level flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, or saxophone! Your music store's friendly sales associate is probably insisting that you purchase a "care kit" as well. I recommend that you do not buy it, because it is, at best, a waste of your money, and, at worst, a hazard to the instrument's wellbeing.

March 10, 2016

Repair or buy new?

Should you have your old (woodwind) instrument repaired, or put the money toward a new one? Here are a few things to consider. First, you should understand the difference between having “playing condition” repairs done and having a full overhaul done. The overhaul is an expensive service, often costing a significant percentage of what you would spend ...

October 6, 2014

Review: ReedGeek “Universal” reed tool

I’m a little late to the party on this, as the ReedGeek has been around for a number of years now and has been widely reviewed, but I finally picked one up (at ClarinetFest) after a long conversation/demonstration with inventor Mauro Di Gioia.  I have been using mine for a few months now and wanted ...
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