Britton Watson Posts

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!

Practicing Over Winter Break

You’ve made it through the first half of the school year! For many of you, that means you’ve probably played a few concerts, recently completed your marching band season, or maybe you’re headed to the Rose Parade. With winter comes the thrill of pep band, the improvisation of jazz band, the spinning of winter guard, or the rhythms of winter percussion. You know by now, being a musician is a never-ending process with performances and rehearsals perpetually around the corner.

With so much going on, you’re probably ecstatic to have a few weeks of winter break to take a break from all the commotion. While it’s great to take a break from any activity that takes up so much of your time, it’s important to incorporate a little bit of practice during your off-time to maintain your peak condition. Many professional athletes can attest to the same thing: just maintaining your physical state during the off-season makes it much easier to perform at your best when it’s game time.

Here are few tips for musicians to maintain their “chops” during the off-season:

Long tones

For a few minutes a day, simply play a few long tones. This will get your air moving and will help you keep the embouchure you’ve developed (brass and woodwinds).

Scales

Working your way through a few scales a day will keep your fingers flexible and coordinated. Any scale (major, minor, chromatic, and etc.) will work!

Lip Slurs (brass)

A few lip slurs will go a long way over winter break. For the purposes of winter break, choose a few simple slurs and take it nice and slow.

Do any combination of the above for 10 minutes a day and you’ll be able ease back into your normal rehearsal routine and perform your best in 2017!

2016 Yamaha Trunk Sale at Paige’s Music

Yamaha Trunk Sale at Paige's Music

If you’ve had your eye on some of Yamaha’s best brass and woodwind instruments, don’t hesitate to stop in on Saturday, December 10th for our annual Yamaha “Trunk Sale”! This is a great opportunity to bundle extra savings with the best Yamaha has to offer!


 

BEAT THE TAX: SAVE AT LEAST 7%

All instruments purchased during the Trunk Sale will save at least an extra 7% (in stock items only). The savings are better at Paige’s Music!

HUGE SELECTION

Paige’s Music will have a wider selection of Yamaha brass and woodwind instruments available with big discounts. Choose from several intermediate to professional flutes, piccolos, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, French horns, and more! All with extra savings!

DOUBLE YAMAHA REBATES

Earn double rebates! Rent or purchase any qualified Yamaha intermediate or Allegro level band instrument between now and December 31st, 2016 and receive a $50 mail-in rebate. On Saturday, December 10th, this rebate will double to $100.

Purchase any qualified Yamaha professional or custom level instrument between now and December 31st and receive a $100 mail-in rebate. On Saturday, December 10th, this rebate will double to $200!

Paige’s Music is proud to partner with Yamaha to bring you these extra holiday savings!

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Paige's Music.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Paige’s Music.

It’s late November. There is a chill in air but it’s made warm in this time of thanks. We at Paige’s Music wish to give thanks to so much:

We are thankful to be in one of the greatest cities for music education in the country.

We are thankful to serve some of the country’s most prestigious music programs.

We are thankful to work with so many schools and teachers committed to music education and making music available to everyone.

We are thankful for our friends and families who make Paige’s Music an inspiring place to work.

Most of all, we are thankful for you, our loyal customers who make it possible for us to support music education for every student across Indiana!

2016 November Super Sale!

super-sale-16

The “Super Sale” at Paige’s Music is one of our biggest sales of the year. If you are thinking of “stepping” up to an intermediate or advanced level instrument this is the best time to do it. We would love to help you find the best instrument for your advancing student or answer any questions about this special promotion.

Here’s how it works – Come to the store and draw a coupon that will allow you to “SUPER SIZE” your savings. The coupons range from 5%-50% OFF* our already low prices!

OR – If you would rather not use the coupon that you selected, you can use our 12 months same-as-cash* option. There’s no interest as long as your balance is paid in full within 12 months. There are minimum payments due each month and our retail staff can help estimate what those might be.

Fall/Winter Rebates at Paige’s Music

Instrument rebates at Paige's Music

Believe it or not the, the winter is coming up fast! To celebrate this gift-giving season, many of the manufacturers Paige’s Music works with are giving generous rebates with the purchase or rental of a new instrument. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your instrument, now is a great time!

If you’ve been looking to upgrade to a professional level instrument, Conn-Selmer (Bach, Conn, Holton, King, Selmer, and etc.) has a $100 mail-in rebate or you can choose a pBone or pTrumpet ($179 value) as your gift! These plastic instruments play rather well considering their all-plastic construction and is available in various colors. The purchase of a Bach instrument and submitted rebate form also enters you in for a VIP trip to the Bach factory in Elkhart, Indiana! More information on the Conn-Selmer rebate can be found here: http://www.conn-selmer.com/en-us/

October Marching Band Update

If you are in Indiana during the fall, you know marching band is a huge deal here! Indiana is home to many of the best marching bands in the country with Avon, Carmel, Center Grove, Chesterton and Lawrence Central all winning the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

This weekend is the famed “Cavalcade of Champions” at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. One of the most storied marching band invitationals in the state. This is the last weekend of invitationals before “playoff” season begins. If you’re looking to see some of best bands from around the state, this is a great show to attend as it features incredible programs, big and small!

The “playoffs” are the process of working from every competitive marching band into the eventual state champion of each respective class. The competitions are hosted by ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) at various sites throughout the state. Each class is determined by school size with Class D being the smallest competitive class and Class A being the largest class. We begin with a regional where the top 10 bands in each class move on from each site into the semi-state stage. At semi-state, the top 10 bands in each class advance to the state finals where each class has a competition to become the state champion.

The ISSMA competitive schedule is as follows:

ISSMA Regionals – October 15th
Chesterton HS (Class B & D)
Lafayette Jefferson HS (Class A & C)
Center Grove HS (Class A & B)
Evansville Central HS (Class C & D)

ISSMA Semi-State – October 22nd
Ben Davis HS (Class A)
Pike HS (Class B)
Decatur Central HS (Class C)
Franklin Community HS (Class D)

State Finals – October 29th
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis (All Classes)

Paige’s Music is proud to support ISSMA and all of the participating groups in the upcoming events. Best of luck to everyone this fall!