Tips Posts

3 Reasons Why Marching Band Will Help You Win at Life

Marching band is as “Indiana” as the famed pork tenderloin at Nick’s Kitchen (Huntington, IN). We know form Google analytics that the Japanese and Indonesians cannot get enough of the Avon and Carmel marching band performances. Directors from all over the country come to learn from the extraordinary talent that make these programs run like clockwork. Marching band is an absolutely positive addiction.

I could cite any number of studies that show correlation between music education and academic achievement, creativity, and etc., I am not going to bore you with that—after all those are usually statistics that can be read in a variety of days. I do want to talk about what are real life benefits outside of the classroom. Here are three that I live every day:

Heat, High Humidity, and String Instruments

Regina in Encore Orchestral Strings has some great advice for all of the string players out there.  Keep reading!

We’re approaching the time of year where temperatures are averaging above 75 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity levels in Indiana. We all know that cold winters present it’s own challenges, but the summer heat can create just as many issues. Wood is an organic material that will always react to the temperature, which is why we have to be careful about where the instrument is being stored.

We have seen fingerboards come unglued, necks pop out of place, and varnish essentially melt. With the high levels of humidity and scorching temperatures that we endure in Indiana, you want to be careful with how you store your instrument and where it is being stored. One of the most common scenarios that we hear about from our customers involves leaving an instrument in the car on a hot summer day.

No matter what the temperature outside is, it is safest to bring the instrument inside with you wherever you are. We recently had a cello come in that suffered quite a bit of cosmetic damage due to it being left in a hot car for an extended amount of time. Not only was the varnish ruined by the heat, but the cello itself was stuck to the inside of the case which caused even more damage to the back of the instrument. My best advice to give is to keep your instrument close to you… if you’re uncomfortable with the temperature where your instrument is being stored, more than likely the instrument is uncomfortable too!

Have a look to see what an excessive amount of heat can do to a cello:

Three Exciting New Trombone Albums to Check Out

With so much new content out there it can be difficult to sift through everything. Here are three new albums featuring trombonists that I can’t stop listening to. Read what the artists have to say about the works and follow the links for more information on the performers. Be sure to pick up your copies of these albums with the information listed.

Steve Davis – Correlations

Steve Davis has been one of my all-time favorite trombonists since I first heard him. His style and sound are heavily influenced by JJ Johnson, and his harmonic sensibilities draw additionally from players like Jackie McLean and Freddie Hubbard. Davis never plays more or less than the music demands. A sensitive and thoughtful player, he consistently bring something fresh to each track while paying homage to the masters.

Music In The Gig Economy – A masterclass with Richard Dole on navigating your freelance career as a musician.

Richard Dole is an active tenor/bass trombonist and educator in Indianapolis and the surrounding region. He has toured or performed with Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Steve Lawrence/Edie Gormé, Barry Manilow, the Hollywood Concert Orchestra China tour, and in 2008 traveled with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra to Egypt for a US State Department Tour.

Whew!  This makes him a perfect candidate for teaching a masterclass on how to navigate a career as a freelance musician.

Ball State University Trombone Day II

On April 6th, 2018 Ball State University hosted Trombone Day II. This event was a full day of rehearsals, masterclasses, lectures, and performances that showcased all of the fine resources the school has to offer. Chris Van Hof, Assistant Professor of Music Performance (Trombone), led the event, and trombone legend, Jim Pugh, was the featured artist of the day.

Mouthpiece Clocking: Voodoo Magic or Real Science?

As a brass player, there are naturally good days and bad days. Days where the instrument sings effortlessly, and days where you want nothing more than to touchdown spike your instrument into the pavement. What if I said that this issue could partially be within your control without changing the way you play?

Sizing Up – One Size Does Not Fit All

Not everyone is going to start off with a full-size instrument.  Violin-family instruments are somewhat unique in that people of all sizes and ages play them, and they are sized to fit the stature of the player.  You rarely see a 3 year old studying a brass or woodwind instrument because these are larger instruments that require a certain physicality to them to play properly.

5 Ways To Keep Up With Your Instrument Over Summer Break

Don’t fall behind on maintenance.

Summer vacation is a fantastic way to recharge and prepare yourself for the following year. While you’re spending time outside and taking a break be sure to keep up with your instrument to set yourself up for a strong start to the next year. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind this summer that will keep your instrument, abilities, and interests in top shape.