Brass Posts

Mouthpieces and how to choose, “Unpopular Opinion Edition”

Raise your hand if you’ve had a band teacher or private instructor tell you that you needed to go from your 7C to a 5C, then to a 3C, then to a 1-1/2C and so on and so forth. Ok, now that we’ve all put our hands up, let’s get down to my unpopular opinion: There is no set progression for mouthpieces. They are not like shoes where you start with a size 5 and eventually get up to a size 12.

As discussed earlier on October 3rd, 2019; we talked about some factors that help us choose mouthpieces. Today we will briefly discuss a couple of those and other things to think about when testing mouthpieces.

What Books Should I Get For Lessons?

When I meet with a new student for the first time we always discuss what books they need to have for their lessons. Here are five method/etude books that are essential for good foundations to unlocking your full musical potential through the trumpet.

  • Complete Conservatory Method by Jean Baptist Arban

Widely considered by many to be “The Trumpet Bible”, this is usually the first book suggested by private instructors if you are serious about studying trumpet due to the amount of material that is covered. Any technical aspect of trumpet playing that you will need to succeed will be in this book including nice songs, wicked characteristic studies, and classic cornet solos such as Fantasia Brilliante, Norma Variations, and Carnival of Venice.

  • Technical Studies by Herbert L. Clarke

Mr. Clarke presents exercises that combine several fields and can be utilized for many things. The infamous second study can be played in several tonalities, or you can begin working on playing softer while going higher. The final etude from the fifth study is very challenging as well.

Interested in Studying Music? A Guide To Finding Your Path

Ball State University Jazz Combo

You’ve made the choice: you love music and want to pursue a career in the music industry! Great! So now what? At this point you need to determine which University, music program, and major are right for you. There are more music degrees than just performance or music education. Other music degrees include: Music production or recording technology, music therapy, music business, arts administration, music history, and music theory/composition. Some universities collaborate with local businesses to help offer a degree in popular music theory, analysis and composition. When researching your potential future, you have several resources at your disposal to find out information and some of the work can even be done at home with your parent/guardian.

Recital Reflections: Claiming small victories over performance anxiety

I have never liked recitals. Or auditions. Even playing my solo for Solo & Ensemble. I have always been more comfortable performing when there was at least one other person on stage with me. Some people will tell you if you get nervous it means that you aren’t prepared enough but I think that statement is not entirely accurate.

Conn-Selmer Artist Select trombones now at Paige’s Music

On September 23, 2019 Paige’s Music participated in the Conn-Selmer Artist Select program. This program allows professionals to hand select and play test each instrument from the factory to ensure that only the finest instruments are available to customers. K. Blake Schlabach and Tucker Woerner carefully play tested dozens of instruments, and we are happy to say that our top five selections are now available at Paige’s Music.

Repair Shop Tales – From Trash To Treasure

Every once in a while, we get in repairs that we just have to share.  For our latest installment, we recently had a cornet brought in that was literally found on a trash pile.  One of our highly skilled brass technicians, Sam Richards, performed his magic on this instrument and brought it back to its original beauty.  Here is the customer’s review after receiving the instrument back…

 

Look at this beauty.  It is an E. A. Couturier, made in 1918.  It is a Bb and an A cornet.  It has a turn key on the right side when rotated changes it from the Bb to the A.  It was given to me about 4 years ago by a friend that retrieved it from the trash pile.  He said he didn’t know if it was any good.  I could play it some but it needed work to play correctly.  Thank you to Mr Kevin Cottrell from the Seymour High School for suggesting sending it to Paige’s Music.  They had it only a week and I got it back today.  They did an AWESOME job bringing this old cornet back to life.  I am extremely happy with the service and thrilled to have this beautiful antique sounding as it did 101 years ago.

 

Below are a couple of pictures of the finished product the customer posted on social media.  We’re always up to a challenge here at Paige’s Music Repair, and in many circumstances are able to bring an instrument back to top playing condition, regardless of how badly it may have been damaged.  So no matter how big or how small, you can always trust the pros at Paige’s Music Repair to deliver high quality repairs at a competitive price!

Mouthpieces and how to choose, “Lead Mouthpiece Edition”

lead-mouthpieces

When I was in high school and it came my turn to play lead trumpet in jazz band, I was like most high school students and began searching for a way to improve range and endurance. We all want to nail those high notes at the end of the show or the concert! How can we achieve this? Most students at that point get on the internet or go to a store and ask about mouthpieces to help them play higher. Enter the Bobby Shew Lead mouthpiece or the Schilke 14A4a. Too often have I seen students purchase these mouthpieces and after a couple weeks tell me that they aren’t working for them anymore and then ask me, “why not?” There are a number of reasons.

Local Craftsmen – World Class Instruments

On Monday, September 23, 2019 I was fortunate to visit the Conn-Selmer plant in Elkhart, IN. The point of this visit was to tour the facility, and to personally select professional instruments for the inventory at Paige’s Music. With the help of K. Blake Schlabach, we picked out a collection of Bach Stradivarius 42BOs as well as a King 3B and Bach Stradivarius 12. Through Conn-Selmer’s “Artist Select” program we are able to hand pick each instrument after play testing and inspection to ensure that only the very finest instruments are available to our customers.

In a world with more and more automation it is easy to forget that many of our goods rely on highly skilled craftsmen to complete very precise tasks. Touring the facility and meeting the craftsmen gave real insight into what it takes to make a professional level instrument. Below you will see pictures of some of the steps it takes to create a bell for a brass instrument.