It’s the beginning of August. The sun is shining, the wind is warm, it’s the height of summer. In Indiana, school is starting. For many students, this means that English, math, biology, history come roaring back from the long summer. For a growing number of students, this also means the beginning of the musician’s journey!
At Paige’s Music, we have partnered with many schools throughout the state to become the supplier of school band and orchestra instruments. For many families, the easiest option is to rent. Renting with Paige’s Music is a great opportunity to participate in music-making. We make rental easy and convenient and provide you with peace of mind.
All of our band and orchestra rentals include free repair and replacement, free deliveries and pick-up, exchange, return, and early purchase discount options.
We have several convenient options for renting an instrument on our Debut Rental plan.
Band camp is one of the most fun, difficult, and trying times during any musician’s career.
You will gain many great friends, make some great memories, and be pushed to achieve musical greatness as an individual and in an ensemble.
As an alumni of the Avon Marching Black & Gold, the Marian University Marching Band and as a staff member of the Greenfield-Central Cougar Pride, I have a plethora of tips to help not only survive band camp, but also to achieve at the highest possible level!
While you will achieve greatness, there is no way around band camp being an activity that is strenuous and will require more effort and dedication than almost anything else you will ever do! To help you through this, here is a checklist of things you can do to make sure you are prepared no matter where, when or how you are rehearsing:
Being hydrated is the easiest thing you can do to achieve at band camp. This is Indiana, and as you already know, Indiana generally has very hot summers! You should fill a one-gallon jug with ice and water. Why one-gallon? This will be enough to get you through every minute of the day without having to refill it as well as keep it cold from sunrise to sunset. Hydrate often. Every time a staff member gives you a water break, drink!
You can also supplement with a sports drink such as Gatorade, Powerade, and etc., but remember, every time you take a sip of your sports drink, take a drink of water as well!
Flexibility is one of the most important aspects of marching band, especially in trends where the shows are faster, more difficult, and more strenuous than ever before. Start off every day with a good stretch. Also stretch during water breaks and meal breaks. For a sample stretch routine, click here: http://www.builtlean.com/2011/05/25/basic-stretching-exercises-routine/
Take Care of Your Instrument
No matter how well an instrument is designed, harsh weather requires careful attention to the condition of your instrument.
Oil your valves daily. Take one valve out of the casing at a time and put a few drops of oil on it, re-insert the valve and twist it gently to coat the entire inside of the valve. Take the valve out, and oil it again and re-insert it and lock it shut.
Grease all tuning slides as necessary. Never wait until they are “frozen”!
Polish your instrument at the end of each day to get all the dirt, dust, and sweat off of the finish. This will keep it clean and protect the finish.
Clean your mouthpiece daily. Use a mouthpiece brush and warm water with soap. This will prevent build up and will allow you to play your instrument correctly.
Clean your instrument at the end of each day. Use the appropriate swab to clean the inside of the instrument and be sure to clean off your keys with the appropriate cloth. Keeping your instrument clean is essential to playing great every day!
Clean your mouthpiece daily. Clarinets and saxophones can use a mouthpiece brush; flutes can use the appropriate cleaning cloth.
Grease the instrument cork as necessary. Summer heat can cause the cork to swell during the day. Keeping your cork greased will go a long way in making sure you can take your instrument apart to keep it clean and to store it in the case.
One of the best things for you to do to preserve the finish of your instrument is to lay it on a towel. Throughout a typical band camp day, your instrument will spend a great deal of time on the ground, whether it be in sectionals, a drill block, and etc., instead of laying your instrument on the hot, rough concrete, place a towel under it to prevent the instrument from getting scratched.
Whether this is your first band camp or fourth band camp, you will have a great time, make new friends, and experience the beauty and passion of music making with great musicians around you. Remember, no matter how hard you work, enjoy yourself and choose to be great!
The DCI Tour Premiere is in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium this Thursday, June 23rd. The gates open at 7pm with the show starting at 8:30pm. We think you should be there! Here are just a few reasons why!
1. Experience the shows live before anyone else
While the Drum Corps International Summer Tour will be taking place over the next 8 weeks and there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the performances and productions the corps have to offer, there is nothing like seeing each show live with an audience for the first time.
Drum Corps International is the premier drum and bugle corps organization featuring well-known corps such as the Blue Devils, The Cavaliers, Carolina Crown, and many other famous and fantastic performance ensembles.
Modern drum and bugle corps are the “Division 1” of the marching music and Drum Corps International is “Marching Music’s Major League” and the top groups compete for the World Class World Championship in August in Indianapolis.
For a taste of the best drum and bugle corps has to offer, please enjoy this video!
2. Experience Music, Old and New.
Throughout its history, drum and bugle corps have had the creative freedom to experiment, explore, and excite audiences around the globe. Today, the world class corps premiering their programs are among the most creative and influential forces within the performing arts. Some of the music you will hear is old, some of it is new, and every take is a fresh interpretation!
You won’t just hear the music, you’ll see the music too! Each corps will feature an incredible color guard as well as instrumental members creating a visual experience to enhance every musical flavor, color, and texture.
I can guarantee that you will walk out of the experience full of inspiration and be moved by each and every performance.
3. Educational Experience
Beyond the artistry of the performances themselves, the corps will be rehearsing and teaching by example. In addition to watching the performances themselves, the warmup areas provide a great opportunity to see how each corps conditions its members for playing, movement, and performing. The great thing about this portion of each performance is that every student learn how a great performance is great in the first place because each performing member has a strong foundation. It’s a great reminder of how important the basics are!
In addition to the informal education provided by watching warmups and rehearsals, Drum Corps International is partnering with the Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) to provide an educational experience for band directors and marching band staff. The event will feature The Troopers and Richard Saucedo, James Stephens, Michael Cesario and Jeff Queen. http://www.imeamusic.org/2017-marching-music-academy/
One more opportunity Drum Corps International is providing is the Kick Start interactive workshop with motivational speaker Fran Kick. The workshop is designed to “kick start” many of the lessons students and organizations will learn over the course of their marching experience. More information on Kick Start can be found here:
4. See the best and brightest future music educators
The spirit of drum and bugle corps is captured not only in the spectacle of the performances, but the torch the members carry on in their careers. Many of the performers are already music teachers and some will become directors of prestigious music programs, from elementary schools to universities. Many of the lessons learned will be passed on and further developed by an activity that transforms music educators for life.
Not only will you see great future music educators, but many students in the audience will audition for membership in one of these groups
5. Downtown Indianapolis
Downtown Indianapolis has been voted as one of the most walkable and family-friendly cities in America! In addition to the lovely downtown selection of restaurants, parks, and other attractions, you will experience drum corps in the beautiful Lucas Oil Stadium. Lucas Oil Stadium is consistently rated one of the best stadiums in the NFL and has been home to Drum Corps International World Championships since 2009.
More information on downtown attractions can be found at visitindy.com
As one of the premier manufacturers of wind instruments, there is a great deal of knowledge and craftsmanship behind the music of the Buffet Group. With all of this expertise, the Buffet Group created the free, fun app: Urban Play.
Urban Play gives the user the opportunity to play along with some of the top musicians including Camille Chapelliere (Clarinet), Regis Moreau (Flute), Al Naniscalco (Saxophone), Fabien Cyprien (Trombone), Michael Rambaud (Trumpet), and many more world class musicians!
All of the playable tracks come in different difficulties and you can start at any point in the track and utilize either just the accompaniment and/or the soloist music track. Another great feature of the app it includes the opportunity for improvisation over a background groove.
Every instrument track is performed by a professional musician so you can not only play along, but have a guide for the musicality and tone to strive for!
As this school year comes to an end, think of all the musical growth you’ve had! Through contests, solo and ensemble performances, and private lessons, you’ve become a better musician and now is your chance to upgrade your instrument!
We have a variety of step-up instruments available for rental. If you have any questions about upgrade options, please call or email us and we can explain how our step-up rental program works as well as the options available for rental.
We encourage you to come into our store and try the various options we have available so you make the decision that is best for you!
Here at Paige’s Music, we value the classic insight of “try before you buy”. This is especially pertinent as musical instruments and their accessories are very personal. We encourage you to not only try out different models of instruments, but mouthpieces as well!
As a musician myself, I have experienced regret purchasing a mouthpiece based on reviews and prestige rather than actually trying that mouthpiece and comparing it to others. While a specific mouthpiece may be famous, maybe it isn’t quite the perfect fit for you. The great thing is, most manufacturers produce several mouthpieces with similar qualities in a variety of sizes and with slight variations. By trying these mouthpieces out, you’ll find the one that is the right size and with the features and sound you want.
When looking to buy an instrument, this same philosophy of “try before you buy” is critical to finding the instrument you need, not just the one you want! For example, if you are looking for a professional trumpet and go by name and reputation alone, you may find that the trumpet has more resistance than you would like. From there, you can try a trumpet with a larger bore or with a reverse leadpipe, features that will alleviate some of that resistance.
When you stop into Paige’s Music and want to try different makes and models of instruments or mouthpieces, just let us know! We have practice rooms available for the purpose of comparing instruments and mouthpieces in a quiet, private environment. As always, our experienced staff is on hand to provide any necessary guidance.
One of the most common things looked over in brass and woodwind performance is breathing. If you aren’t breathing well, it is very difficult to achieve a great sound on a wind instrument. The best instruments in the world won’t sound great unless you have great breathing technique!
Start by finding your diaphragm. Your diaphragm is the muscle that controls your breathing. To find it, place your hand at the bottom of ribcage and inhale for a deep, relaxed breath. You will feel an expansion as your lungs will with air. Notice how your lungs fill from the bottom, this works just like when you fill a cup with water: from the bottom working its way toward the top. Next, exhale and feel your diaphragm compress and push the air out (think about fogging up a mirror rather than blowing out birthday candles). Perform this exercise repeatedly and become aware of your body’s motion.
While performing this exercise, achieve an “O” shape with your mouth and create this open feeling all the way down to your diaphragm. This open shape allows the air to be almost tensionless! You never want to breathe like you’re breathing through a straw. In other words, avoid breathing in a way that restricts the free flow of air. In any wind instrument, tension and restriction never allow the sound to be as good as it could be.
Become aware of what your body is doing during the exercise. You should feel your body rise and fall. The motion should be as natural as possible. Don’t strain yourself or force it to move. For example, if your shoulders are being forced up, this is allowing tension to have a negative impact and on efficiency and relaxation.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of this exercise, perform it with counts: in for 4-out for 4, in for 6-out for 6, in for 8-out for 8, and etc. Mastering this exercise will strengthen your diaphragm and is a vital step in being in control of your air!
There are many other exercises you can develop from the exercise you just worked on. Experiment with different volumes, tempos, and different styles. For example, breathe in 4 quarter notes and out 4 quarter notes at fortissimo or breathe in for 2 counts and out for 4 counts. Always remember to remain tensionless, use warm air, and stay relaxed and open!
Currently, Paige’s Music offers a variety of professional-level trombones, including models from Bach, Conn, and Yamaha. All of these horns feature thicker brass, a large bore, and professional level-craftsmanship. These trombones also feature an F-Attachment.
The F Attachment allows for greater flexibility in how to approach the lower ranges of the trombone. While a standard tenor trombone can only go to E under the staff and the lower pedal tone series, F attachment provides a bridge to the pedal range.
In addition to providing this extended range, the F-Attachment also allows the performer greater flexibility in approaching technical passages in when moving the slide long distances is not always practical.
F-attachments come configured in two different ways: a closed wrap and an open wrap. This concerns the physical shape of the tubing. A closed wrap coils around itself while an open wrap features long, straight tubing shaped like the slide.
One of the main differences between a closed wrap and an open wrap is clarity. As the name suggests, an open wrap tends to be clearer and more resonant than a closed wrap. A closed wrap doesn’t offer quite the same clarity as an open wrap, but it takes up less space and generally offers more resistance than the open wrap.
An F-Attachment does require the performer to tune each note with more care and make bigger adjustments with the slide. Generally, the F-Attachment can cause low notes to be on the sharp side, so the slide must be further beyond the “normal” position. For example, using the trigger and a “normal” 4th position would cause the D below the staff to be very sharp, this can be fixed by simply putting the slide close to the 5th position. When going out to the low B natural, you run out of slide and are forced to make an adjustment by opening the embouchure and forcing the pitch down.
Another advantage of more advanced trombones is the larger bore. A larger bore generally allows for more air to pass through the instrument providing a warmer, darker sound often desired in orchestral, symphonic, and wind ensemble repertoire. The larger bore also allows the lower range of the instrument to be fuller.
In moving from a small bore to a larger bore instrument, there is a learning curve as the instrument will feel different. Practice will allow you to grow into these changes.
One of the major factors in what makes an advanced or professional trombone standout from a student model is the level of craftsmanship. High-quality trombones feature a hybrid of production methods utilizing the best technology for precision engineering and the artistry of great craftsmanship to make for the best possible experience in both sound and quality. One example of this craftsmanship is the manufacturing of the bell. Many high-quality trombones feature a hand-hammered bell while most slides are aligned using computers to make sure the inner and outer slides fit perfectly, providing the best possible slide action.
When it comes to choosing the right trombone, the best advice Paige’s Music can give is to try out trombones. Spend quality time with each instrument and figure out what you like and what you don’t like! Ask questions like:
“What kind of tone do I want?”
“Do I prefer less resistance or more resistance?”
“Does this trombone provide the slide I need for technical passages?”
“Does this trombone provide extra security in higher range?”
“Do I want a closed wrap or open wrap F-attachment?”
Quality time spent playing each instrument will help you discern what you like and what you don’t like and is the most important factor in choosing the right instrument for you!