Posts tagged “equipment”

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 ...

March 24, 2014

Answering equipment questions

Factoids about which musicians use which equipment are a curiosity, rather than something of great importance.

August 6, 2013

Buying a new instrument for college-level study

If you are preparing to start a college music degree, you may need or want a new instrument. I strongly suggest that you contact your professor before making this purchase. Every professor is of course different, but here are some things that you are likely to discover in most cases: The professor will be happy and ...

April 10, 2013

Follow-up: Hercules woodwind stands

A few months ago I did a review of the Hercules DS538B dual-saxophone stand with flute/clarinet and soprano saxophone pegs. I had some concerns about the stability of my flute on the flute/clarinet pegs, but got some advice in the comments section that the DS602B peg (sold separately) might be better. In the meantime, I’ve gotten to like ...

October 13, 2012

On purple violins

I’m a little late commenting on this, but I still think it’s an issue worth addressing. Last month there was a minor scandal over an incident in a Farmington, New Mexico school orchestra program, where a beginning violinist was informed that she would not be allowed to use her own, um, unique instrument. Most of the ...

October 4, 2012

Review: Hercules DS538B woodwind stand

After my recent glorious victory in the Saxquest trivia contest, I had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket and I decided to get a new stand to hold my saxophones and perhaps some other woodwinds in my office and on gigs. I had been tempted previously by SaxRax stands, which I continue ...

September 12, 2012

The value of a musical instrument

My instruments are valuable. Here’s why: Most of them cost a lot of money. Replacing any of them would be expensive, possibly even prohibitively so. (If you haven’t already, get a good insurance policy from a company that specializes in musical instruments!) I worked hard at choosing them. When I bought my oboe, I went to ...

August 2, 2012

Brand snobbery

I recently met a fellow woodwind player, and the conversation inevitably turned to gear. We had each recently tried out an instrument by a relatively new maker. My new acquaintance found it not to his liking. “I’m a _____ snob,” he proudly explained, naming a very popular and well-established instrument maker. I also recently read ...
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