Britton Watson Posts

Vandoren Clarinet Reed Guide

One of the questions we frequently we receive is “which reed is best for me?” Vandoren has forged a reputation as an elite maker of quality reeds for clarinet and saxophone that work right out of the box. Each type of reed is designed with a specific sound quality in mind. If you were wondering what each reed is designed for, here is a detailed description for each type of reed!

Traditional

The most widely played reeds in the world with a superiority proven over the years, these reeds suit all styles of music. Traditionals famous for their excellent response in all registers, allowing a pianissimo attack in even the highest notes. They are also extremely flexible, allowing the legato or staccato execution of large intervals while maintaining a richness of tone that gives body and clarity to the sound, which is a hallmark of Vandoren reeds.

Paige’s Music 2017 Year-End Sale

If you’ve been looking for a good reason to exchange your beginner instrument for a more advanced instrument, the month of May is a great time to do just that!

Through the month of May, Paige’s Music will pay the first monthly payment on ALL step-up instruments!

How do I exchange my beginning instrument for a step-up instrument?

There are 2 Convenient Options:

1. Visit Our Store
By visiting our store in Indianapolis, you can complete the exchange in a single visit. This is certainly a very efficient method, allowing you to carefully audition the instruments available.

2. Call Our Store
If visiting the store is not convenient for you, please call the store at 1.800.382.1099. Our retail staff will do their best to provide other options.

In addition to this free rental month, we have several special rebates for new Conn-Selmer and Yamaha pro-level instruments that apply not only to purchases, but also for several instruments available on our rent-to-own program. For information on the rebates available, please click here: http://news.paigesmusic.com/spring-into-savings-on-professional-level-instruments/

We highly encourage you to visit our store and audition the instruments we offer. We have several intermediate and professional options available so you can be sure to find the instrument that suits your playing needs as well as your budget. What makes intermediate and professional instruments different? Check out our blog on http://news.paigesmusic.com/student-vs-intermediate-vs-pro-which-option-is-best-for-me/

If you have any questions about what we offer as well as what qualifies for a rebate, please contact us at 1.800.382.1099 or sales@paigesmusic.com

Spring Into Savings on Professional-Level Instruments

 

If you’ve been waiting to graduate to a professional-level instrument, now is a great time! From April 1 through June 30, 2017, most of our professional-level instruments will qualify for a rebate!


graduate-to-yamaha-paiges-musicYamaha is offering a $100 rebate for the rental or purchase of a new professional-level instrument (600-level or above, 500-level or above for flutes). We currently carry flutes, clarinets, alto saxophones, tenor saxophones, trumpets, French horns, trombones, and euphoniums that are available for rent AND qualify for this special rebate!


Conn-Selmer is offering a $100 rebate on all new professional American-made trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns, trombones, or French horn from C.G. Conn. Vincent Bach, King, and Holton. Many of these instruments are available on our rent-to-own program!

If you have any questions, please call your sales associate at 1.800.382.1099 or email us at sales@paigesmusic.com.

Student vs. Intermediate vs. Pro – Which Option Is Best For Me?

At Paige’s Music, we carry many instrument options. Most instruments fall under a broad category of “student”, “intermediate”, or “professional”.
Student-level instruments designed to be easy to play and easy to hold in the hands of beginning students. Student-level instruments are generally very budget friendly as it is difficult to have clear goals or commitment when your student is just beginning their music education.
Intermediate instruments provide a stepping-stone between student and professional-instruments. Intermediate instruments generally bring several features and design cues from professional instruments down to a more affordable level.
Professional instruments have the highest quality sound and ultimate-expressiveness, the two features essential to professional performance. These instruments are designed to be the very best instrument they can be and are constructed with the highest quality materials and the highest-level artisanship by the most experienced craftsman. These instruments often have advanced features that are only available at the professional level.

Make Sound Your #1 Priority During Practice

Instrumental practice often consists of the classic combination of long tones, scales, and etudes. While this combination of exercises is “classic” for a reason, there is one glaring omission: sound. Sound is the most important of playing no matter if you are a beginning 6th grader or a seasoned professional in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

If you are playing a scale at a very fast tempo, the number of notes passing is irrelevant in each note has poor sound quality. If you are hitting very high notes on your instrument and they don’t sound good, they don’t count for much. If you are playing in an ensemble and you are “in tune” but have a poor sound quality….you get the idea.

FAQ: How Do I Know If I Need To Upgrade My Instrument?

 

At Paige’s Music, we offer a wide variety of instruments that are substantial upgrades or step-ups to the standard student level instruments most musicians start with. How do you know you need a higher quality instrument? Here are a few questions to ask:

How is my instrument holding me back? For example, you are at a point where you have mastered the C major scale and can play it in consistent 16th notes at 120 beats per minute. Despite your great technique, no matter how much you clean and oil your valves, they just do not move as fast as you need them to move and it becomes very difficult to make each note speak clearly. When you come to this conclusion, it is time to try a more advanced trumpet with lighter, faster valves.

The 50th Anniversary Custom Z Saxophone

yamaha-saxes-namm-2017

In 1966, Yamaha launched its first wind instrument, the YTR-1 trumpet; the first Yamaha saxophone debuted a year later. Since then, Yamaha has developed a wide range of saxophones and the technology, craftsmanship, and specifications required to create these magnificent instruments has continued to evolve.

The Custom Z, first introduced in 2003, is the culmination of these advances and offers outstanding features that continue the legacy of Yamaha quality and performance for the most demanding performers and collectors. The Custom Z is the ultimate combination of expressiveness, response and control while staying true to their free-spirited origins

The 50th Anniversary Model Custom Z is limited to production of just 50 instruments and features a metal thumb hook and thumb button, intricate and unique engraving on the neck and it sports a special vintage bronze lacquer.

Preparing A Solo

 

Welcome back from winter break! I hope you enjoyed your time off and are ready to tackle Solo & Ensemble.

Much of the performance year is focused on group ensembles but ISSMA Solo and Ensemble gives you a great opportunity to focus on your individual playing. Mastering solos is an essential part of every musician’s career. Solos are a great way to improve your technical and expressive musical qualities and a great opportunity to become confident performing by yourself in front of others.

Practicing and performing solos requires a great deal of discipline. Unlike your band or orchestra class, you have to make time to not only practice your solo, but you need to schedule practice times with your accompanist, make sure that you know every part of your solo, and you have to balance this with any other activity (such as another ensemble) musical or otherwise.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your solo:

  1. Master the notes and rhythms. This advice may seem basic but the first step in performing at the highest level is to master the basic components of the piece. In addition to notes and rhythm, work hard on making every note sound great!
  2. One you master the notes and rhythms, experiment with tempos in various sections. Part of a great solo (and general musicianship) is to have control over changes in tempo. While being able to stay with a metronome is important in practice, your performance will be much more musical if you allow tempos to fluctuate. Now this doesn’t mean change tempos whenever you want, rather, follow the various tempo markings throughout the piece but don’t be afraid to make the changes dramatic.
  3. Like the previous tip, don’t be afraid to be dramatic with dynamics. In a solo, you have to provide all of the dynamic (volume) changes, so if it’s a forte, make sure it’s dramatically different from piano.
  4. Work with your accompanist and make sure you are on the same page when it comes to tempos, dynamics and playing in sync with one another. The more you practice with your accompanist, the more natural the performance will be!
  5. As always, practice exactly how you want to perform. Never change the way you play when it’s a performance situation.

One final tip is to work on your solo with a private instructor. A private instructor will push you hard and will be able to help you master your instrument with their extreme attention to every aspect of your playing. They can also assist you with the above tips and getting the most out of your solo!