Video Posts

Quick Tips On Oboe 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 oboe.

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.

Summer Is Almost Here – Go See A DCI Show!

Summer is almost here and school is almost over. If you’re looking for some awesome entertainment that will blow you away, you should check out DCI or Drum Corps International.

From modest beginnings more than three decades ago, Drum Corps International (DCI) has developed into a powerful, nonprofit, global youth activity with far-reaching artistic, educational and organizational influence. Through the annual DCI Tour and more than 35 World Championships in 17 North American cities, Drum Corps International provides entertainment to millions through live performances and nationally-televised events. Drum Corps International is Marching Music’s Major League™.

Student’s ages 13-22 travel from all around the world to participate in DCI every summer. Each year more than 8,000 students audition for about 3,500 positions in the top-tier member corps and participate in about 100 events all across North America.

Fortunately for those of us living in Indiana, there are a couple of shows hosted here every year. Including the DCI World Championships hosted by Lucas Oil Stadium on August 6-8. If you get the chance, you should try and make it to one of these shows.

June 15 – DCI Dress Rehearsal – Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis

June 17 – DCI Tour Premiere – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

June 24 – Drums On The Ohio – Reitz Bowl, Evansville

June 26 – DCI Central Indiana – Ball State University, Muncie

June 27 – Pageant of Drums – Ames Field, Michigan City

July 8 – DCI Fort Wayne – Fort Wayne

August 3-4 – DCI Open Class World Championships, Ames Field, Michigan City

August 6-8 – DCI World Championships – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

View the complete schedule.

The 2014 World Champions were the Blue Devils from Concord, CA. You can view a short clip of their winning show below.

For more information about Drum Corps International, please visit their website.

Have a great summer!

 

Oiling Piston Valves

That your valves need oil is not in question. If it moves, it should be lubricated. Today we’re talking about piston valves (like on a trumpet) and the different types of valve oils. Let’s get started.

There are hundreds of brands of valve oil available. Some are synthetic others are petroleum based and each has its own advantages. For many years petroleum based oils were the standard. They smelled bad and stained your clothing, but worked fine. Some were more refined than others and some had added smells – everything from chocolate to cinnamon! Some even had additives to make them smoother and slicker. However, all petroleum based oils have a tendency to dry out and leave the additives behind to foul your valves.

For the majority of our school music instrument repairs we have chosen to use a synthetic oil. It does not smell, does not stain your clothing, is long lasting and works fine. Unlike petroleum products, it comes in thin (for new valves) regular (for student instruments) and heavy for instruments that have worn valves). We think for most players and students that synthetic oil is the best choice. We use Hetman and Accent oils in the shop for this reason and is what is provided in our starter packs.

You might be wondering if there is a right or wrong way to get the oil from the bottle onto the piston. There are many ways to do this: Some right; some not so right.

Generally, the best way to oil your valves without taking the undo risk of dropping them is just to lift them part way out of the casing and apply a liberal amount of oil to the part with the holes in it (called ports). Then you can turn the pistons around a few times and put them gently back into the casings. (See video below) If you are careful, the guide will “click” back into place and you are ready to go. If you were not careful and the valve stays misaligned, air will not go through the horn. If that happens, there is no need to panic. The valves are in the right casings, you just have to turn them half way around and again listen for the “click”. The secret is not to take the pistons out and lay them on a table or you lap. This is when pistons can get damaged or out of order and when re-installed, the instrument will not play.

Our advice is to stick with taking them half way out and applying the oil exactly where it is needed on the pistons and casings.

If you have any questions about caring for your instrument, please call 1-800-382-1099.  We’d be happy to help!

Quick Tips On Flute 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 flute.

Quick Tips on Saxophone 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 saxophone.

You can find more care and maintenance videos for saxophone by clicking here.

WGI Percussion World Championships – What Is It and Why You Should Go

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The WGI Percussion World Championships are this weekend and we have our top 5 reasons why you should go. But before we get to that, maybe you’ve never heard of WGI and are wondering what this is all about?

From their website: “WGI Sport of the Arts is the world’s premier organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and wind ensemble competitions. As a non-profit youth organization, WGI serves as the leading governing body of the winter guard and indoor percussion activities. It is called the Sport of the Arts because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Now entering its 38th year in 2015, the sport continues to evolve and grow. There were more than 36,000 participants at the regional level, and more than 12,000 participants at the Sport of the Arts World Championships this past April.”

If you would attend this weekend, you would see the percussion section or “drumlines” of a marching band performing indoors. These show aren’t just thrown together. Hundreds, if not thousands of hours are spent designing, building, rehearsing and competing over several months.

Indiana is one of the premier states when it comes to competitive percussion ensembles. The Indiana Percussion Association just recently held their State Prelims and State Finals competitions where over 100 groups competed in both the concert and movement categories! You can view those results on the IPA website.

As you might have guessed, Indiana will be well represented this weekend in Dayton, Ohio at the WGI Percussion World Championships with several groups competing in various classes.

With that said, here are our top 5 reasons on why you should attend.

1. The Performances Are Incredible

The massive amounts of time, care, preparation, rehearsals and talent all lead to performances that will simply blow you away. Even if you don’t know a lot about the activity, the entertainment value alone is well worth the ticket price. I remember saying out loud the first time I attended IPA or WGI – “These are high school kids?!”



Avon High School Indoor Percussion at the 2014 WGI World Championships.

 

2. It’s Not Far

WGI Percussion World Championships are held in Dayton, Ohio. Which is only a couple of hours from Indianapolis. You could head over, watch performances and drive back all in one day. We feel the best day to go to get the most bang for your time is Friday.

3. Don’t Miss The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps Percussion Section

The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps have partnered with WGI for the 2015 season.“The Commandant’s Own” percussion section will appear in exhibition during the Saturday night World Cass Finals event on April 11th.

4. The Expo

The WGI Expo will have vendors of all kinds showcasing the latest in percussion trends. You’ll be able to see up close some of the equipment and gear that the ensembles use during their performances. There are also t-shirts, DVDs, sticks, mallets and more available for purchase.

5. You’ll Be Supporting The Arts

WGI is known as the Sport of the Arts. Their high-energy events use competition as a means to encourage the highest standard of excellence. Participants learn the process of working at something for an extended period of time and see their efforts pay off on a national stage. And since they’re a non-profit youth organization, the money you spend with WGI gets put back in the student community. Over the years WGI has awarded over $500,000 in academic scholarships to students from competing units.

To learn more about schedules, venues, ticket sales and more, visit the WGI Percussion page on their website.

If you go, let us know what you think on our Facebook page! Enjoy!

Meet The New Yamaha Silent Brass

One of the most important things we can do as musicians is practice.  The more time we spend playing our instrument on our own, the better we will become.  The problem is that instruments, especially brass instruments, are hard to play quietly so it makes it even more difficult to find that winning formula of time, place, and the ability to practice. 
Yamaha is always developing ways to make playing easier from the advancements they make with their instruments to a full line of accessories to keep those instruments playing well, so it should come as no surprise that they have upgraded their Silent Brass offerings to make practicing that much easier.

First off, the Silent Brass System is a practice tool that incorporates a mute, headphones and a control unit.  When the player puts the mute into the bell of the horn, they can play unnoticed by most people as loud as they want.  They have control of the volume and all of the sound goes into the headphones, so they can literally practice anywhere.

The updated Silent Brass System, takes what was a good practice tool and made it even better.  The mute is smaller, so in most cases, it can be stored in the bell when the instrument is put away, so there is no need for a larger case with more storage, this also makes it more convenient to take it with you.  It is also vented so that it is more ‘free blowing” so there is not as much resistance.

The control module utilizes “Brass Resonance Modeling” This is unique to Yamaha.  It helps to reproduce the clear sound of playing without the sound of a mute.   In the player’s ears, it sounds like their instrument; it does not have the “muted” sound that most practice mutes have.  And the beauty is that you do not have to worry about how loud it is, as one you can hear it.

Come in today and try one out, you will be amazed at how good they sound.