Brass Posts

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.

Meet Alex Carter – New Trumpet Specialist at Paige’s Music

Hello everyone, my name is Alex Carter and I am the new Trumpet specialist at Paige’s Music. Not originally being from Indiana, I only learned about the store six years ago after I had moved here to pursue graduate studies at Ball State University. Like most young musicians, I began band classes in 5thgrade and the reason I chose Trumpet is because that is what we had at our house! Lucky for me though, it worked out and I enjoyed playing it.

When time for university studies came I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree for music education and performance. While I didn’t go on to become a band director, my passion for teaching was (and is) still alive so I continued to practice and learn about trumpet and ended up at the University of Michigan for a Master’s degree and began teaching lessons outside of school. Upon graduating I came to Indiana to continue studying how to teach trumpet and performing with the Da Camera Brass Quintet and several regional orchestras in the central Indiana area.

In the last three years I have been performing around Indianapolis, and subbing in the Louisville Orchestra and Fort Wayne Philharmonic. I have also continued teaching students as part of the faculty at Anderson University and Purdue University – Fort Wayne. I love talking all things trumpet and always enjoying trying new horns, mouthpieces, mutes… you name it! If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact me or come on in to the store. I look forward to meeting all of you and helping in any way I can.

Alex Carter
317-842-2102
317-382-1099
317-813-2465 (direct line)
acarter@paigesmusic.com
www.paigesmusic.com

Meet Becky Nash – Brass Technician at Paige’s Music

We’re very excited to introduce you to the latest addition to our brass technician staff in our repair shop, Becky Nash. Learn more about her by reading our quick Q&A with her below!

Position: Brass Technician

Start Date: May 2019

Training or Education:
Bachelors in Music Education from Drake University in Des Moines, IA

Band Instrument Repair Diploma from Red Wing (Minnesota State College – Southeast)

Where are you from originally:
Pekin, IL

What instruments do you play:
Trumpet

What do you enjoy most about being a technician:
I love the variety of instruments and repairs I see. No two horns are the same, no damage is the same and it’s my job to find the solution.

What is the most unusual repair you’ve had to deal with:
Finding fuzzy mold on trumpet pistons is always fun, but I think the most interesting thing I’ve witnessed is a trombone slide that not only had a pencil shoved all the way down to the crook, but also a battery. Needless to say, the slide had to come apart. Yikes.

What is your most memorable musical experience:
In college, a group of us decided to pile in a car (a car that couldn’t go faster than 55mph without shaking) and drive the 6 hours to Chicago to watch the CSO play a Sunday matinee of the Rite of Spring. It was fantastic.

How to Ease back into Playing After Summer Break

I speak from experience when I say that playing after a long break is tough! If you haven’t picked your instrument up in a few weeks, it can be really difficult to play! Everything feels alien—your chops swell up, you get exhausted after a few notes, you lose your range, and etc. I get it, I get it—hanging out at the pool with your friends is more fun than playing concert F for 30 minutes a day. Here are a few tips to ease you back into playing after summer break:

The Legacy of Carl Fontana

July 18, 2019 would have marked Carl Fontana’s 91stbirthday. Fontana remains one the most influential, prolific, and recorded trombonists of all time. His legacy lives through his countless recordings with greats such as Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Davis Jr. Please listen to a few selections below and read more a more detailed biography below.

2019 International Trombone Festival Review

Each year the International Trombone Association(ITA) hosts the International Trombone Festival (ITF). Held in the summer, this week long festival offers youth workshops, professional development, concerts, masterclasses, and show space for dozens of the world’s top manufacturers of instruments and accessories. This year’s ITF was held on the campus of Ball State Universityin Muncie, IN. One of the ITF’s main objectives is to unite musicians from all parts of the world, but another goal is to showcase the amazing musicians on a more local scale.

Have You Heard with Jim Pugh

In the summer of 2012 I attended the Skidmore Jazz Institute in New York where I had the privilege of working with some of my biggest musical heroes. In addition to coaching and classes with greats like Pat LaBarbera and Todd Coolman I was also able to study privately with Curtis Fuller and Jim Pugh.