Our annual Year-End Sale is going now though the end of the month. If your student is going to continue in band or orchestra next school year, then this is a great time to bring in your student-level instrument and exchange it for an advanced-level instrument.
We’re offering a FREE month on all “step-up” instruments as long as you make the exchange before May 30th. This means you’ll get to use the new instrument for an entire month for free and your first payment will be due at the end of that time.
How do I exchange my beginning instrument for a step-up instrument?
There are 2 Convenient Options:
1. Visit Our Store
By visiting our store in Indianapolis, you can complete the exchange in a single visit. This is certainly a very efficient method, allowing you to carefully audition the model your director recommends.
2. Call Our Store
If visiting the store is not convenient for you, please call the store at 1.800.382.1099. Our retail staff will do their best to provide other options.
As we near the end of the school year, one of the questions on a band parent’s mind is, “What do we do with my student’s instrument?” There are a couple of answers to this, but we can help you answer them.
First, you need to find out if your student plans to play again next year. If the answer to this is “yes” then you don’t need to do anything. Your student will bring the instrument home on the last day of school. This will give them the ability to play it all summer long. There are many online resources that they can utilize to make their playing even better while they are at home. The best part about it is that you student will be able to play whatever music they choose and they will go back in the fall an even better player than they were at the end of May.
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.
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.
From time to time we get string instruments in with a complaint about a buzzing sound or vibration. Sometimes a buzz is a simple matter to correct. Sometimes it can be a long process of elimination that proves very frustrating. There are some simple causes and corrections that need to be considered before anything is taken apart.
Some simple causes are loose fine tuners, fingerboard position tape, the chinrest vibrating against the tailpiece, unsecured chinrest tightening screws, unsecured string sleeves, low nut notches, objects inside the instrument, defective or fraying strings, open seams, and glue or varnish in f holes. With cellos and basses the endpin rod will cause a buzz when it is not secured or even when it is not pulled out.
It is often a combination of the above problems, which leads to a process of elimination that can take time. This can be quite frustrating when the answer is simple but elusive. Sometimes it is a judgment call if or when a string that looks fine is actually false or has loose winding. It is a bit of relaxed humor in our shop that the bass bar is sometimes considered first when it is almost never the bass bar causing the buzzing.
Stopping a buzz is almost always simple. Always check the simple things first. If it proves elusive, our shop is happy to help.
Reed players are always looking for the perfect sound. They have that sound in their head and they just need to go find it. There are many factors that are in play when the musician is searching for it. One of the most important pieces in that musical equation is the reed. One of the most popular brands, worldwide, that players from beginner to professional rely on is Vandoren.
Vandoren is known for making a very consistent reed, so, as a player, you know that you are going to get a good reed each time you open the box. They have quite a few different options and cuts, which makes it that much easier to find the “perfect fit.” This week we are going to focus on the different styles of saxophone reeds that we stock and the features of them.
Vandoren Traditional – This is the standard blue box. This reed has the thinnest tip and the thickest heart of the sax reeds. This provides the player with crisp articulation with a full, dark sound.
Vandoren V12 – This reed has a thicker heel and are cut on a longer palette than the traditional reeds. The longer palette means that more of the reed is vibrating which results in a deeper, richer sound. It also has a slightly thicker tip than the Traditional cut reeds giving more body to the attack of the notes being played.
Vandoren Java (Green) – The Java reed has a thicker tip and more flexible palette than the Traditional reed allowing for greater vibration. This added flexibility gives the reed a bright sound with immediate response.
Vandoren Java (Red) – The Java Red is very similar to the Green, but it is a filed reed. This makes the reed slightly more flexible for the player giving them a full, rich sound with an extremely precise attack.
Vandoren V16 – This reed was designed for players that wanted the Java reed with more “wood”. It has a thicker heart than the Java (thinner than Traditional) which provides the player with a strong attack with a deep, rich sound.
Vandoren ZZ – This reed was designed by taking the heart, spine and rounded tip of the V16 and putting it with the flexible palette of the Java. It gives the player a rich, colorful sound with quicker response. The ZZ provides an immediate response without sacrificing the brightness and tone quality that is needed for playing Jazz.
If you have any questions about clarinet reeds, please contact us via email or give us a call at 1-800-382-1099.