Posts tagged “gear”

November 9, 2017

Be suspicious of instrument bling

photo, AyaaaIf 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 ...

August 3, 2017

Endorsement deals

photo, Sebastien WiertzFirst, 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 ...

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.

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.

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 ...
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