Guides Posts

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.

A Summer Practice Guide for Middle School Band and Orchestra Students

The article below is written by Mr. Alex Keim, band director, at Noblesville East Middle School. When we asked him if we could post it here, he mentioned “It is geared toward 6th grade band, but it is definitely applicable to all middle school students returning to 7th or 8th grade.”  We felt like it was great advice that all middle school band and orchestra students could benefit from.

Tips On Buying A New Trombone

Finding your next instrument can be a daunting task if you don’t have a game plan. The market is filled with a plethora of options, and sometimes it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees.From my time at Paige’s Music and my experience as a player, I can provide my thought process, and hopefully it will help with your future instrument selection.

Start by playing on your instrument.

Always, always, always limit the variables. Bring your current instrument and mouthpiece as well as familiar music. Warm up on your instrument and take note of how it sounds in the space around you. You need to have a control for the experiment, and your current instrument will provide that. Take out uncertainties like unfamiliar music, unfamiliar mouthpieces, and etc.

Quick Tips On Clarinet Care

Daily care and maintenance of your instrument is very important to how well your instrument performs. Watch this quick video below for a few, quick tips on caring for your clarinet.

Practicing Over Break

We like to share this post each year to give you some ideas for practicing at home over 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 2018!

D’Addario Saxophone Reed Guide

Known for the wide variety of high quality reeds, Rico by D’Addario has a reed for every type of performer. If you were curious about the qualities that make each reed different from one another, this guide can help you in making your next reed decision!

Rico by D’Addario
Rico by D’Addario reeds are unfiled and feature a thinner profile and blank. Designed for ease of response, they are ideal for students, revered by educators worldwide, and are a favorite among jazz musicians. D’Addario’s state-of-the-art machinery and reed-making process have resulted in unprecedented consistency in today’s Rico reed.

Royal by D’Addario
Royal by D’Addario reeds are filed and feature a thinner profile and blank. They are ideal for students and advancing players, and are revered by educators worldwide. Royal reeds offer ease of response and increased clarity in the sound. D’Addario’s state-of-the-art machinery and reed-making process have resulted in unprecedented consistency in today’s Royal reed.

Reserve
A premium, filed reed that offers a rich, warm tone, a heavy spine that promotes dynamic flexibility, and exceptional tone quality in all registers, a long vamp profile to produce consistency of response, and a traditional tip thickness for ease of articulation.

Grand Concert Select
Grand Concert Select reeds are filed and feature a traditional tip and thicker spine, providing a quick response. They have a traditional blank thickness, which adds more brilliance to the sound. Grand Concert Select reeds are well suited for ensemble playing.

Select Jazz Filed
Select Jazz reeds feature the thickest spine and blank of D’Addario’s jazz reeds, with a traditional tip shape. The Select Jazz cut offers great projection, focus, and a vibrant sound. They are available in both filed and unfiled models. Offered in third strengths, rather than half strengths, so players can choose the most precise strength for their individual equipment.

Select Jazz Unfiled
Select Jazz reeds feature the thickest spine and blank of D’Addario’s jazz reeds, with a traditional tip shape. The Select Jazz cut offers great projection, focus, and a vibrant sound. They are available in both filed and unfiled models. Offered in third strengths, rather than half strengths, so players can choose the most precise strength for their individual equipment.

La Voz
Similar to the Rico cut, La Voz reeds are unfiled and feature a thinner profile and blank. The La Voz strength range offers greater flexibility, and their deep, powerful tone makes them a standard among jazz musicians. Rico’s updated reed-making machinery and state-of-the-art process have made today’s La Voz reed more consistent than ever before.

Hemke
Frederick L. Hemke reeds are filed and feature a thinner tip and shorter vamp for ease of response. They are a favorite among jazz and classical players alike; they are also popular with advancing students. Rico’s updated reed-making machinery and state-of-the-art process have made today’s Hemke reed more consistent than ever before.

Plasticover
Plasticover features a brilliant, projecting tone and enables a unique voice in various musical styles, from funk to Latin jazz. This coated reed is ideal for quick instrument changes and endures extreme weather conditions. Noted for its durability, Plasticover is a perfect solution for outdoor performances.

D’Addario Clarinet Reed Guide

 

Rico by D’Addario
Rico by D’Addario reeds are unfiled and feature a thinner profile and blank. Designed for ease of response, they are ideal for students, revered by educators worldwide, and are a favorite among jazz musicians. D’Addario’s state-of-the-art machinery and reed-making process have resulted in unprecedented consistency in today’s Rico reed.

Vandoren Saxophone Reed Guide

One of the questions we frequently 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!


“Classical” Reeds

Traditional
This reed is designed to produce a quality, extremely pure sound due to a very thin reed tip (the area of reed with maximum vibration), balanced by a solid vertebral column (more cane in the area which climbs gradually to the heel). Traditionals feature the thinnest tip with the thickest heart, resulting in crisp articulation with a full, dark sound.