Save on Instrument and Bocal Trials!

March 29th, 2013 by Jeff

Save on instrument and bocal trials!  Now through the end of May, if you purchase an instrument or bocal through us, we will refund your instrument trial shipping charge.  Please call our instrument specialists to set up a trial and for further information.

We currently have a great selection of new and used instruments available with Special Spring Prices!

F.Loree oboes – Standards & Royals (regular and AKs) now on special

Fox 333 oboes – Fox’s Protege model, beginner plastic oboes

Fox 240 Bassoons – The Fox Renard (short Bore), one of the most popular selling bassoons on the market!

Wolf s2000 & Wolf 2000+ Bassoons – These hand-crafted, German made bassoons are gaining popularity.  In stock and on special!

Yamaha CSG Bb Clarinet

Bliss Bb Clarinets

Yamaha 221 and 321 Flutes

Yamaha 875 EXHG Soprano Saxophone

 

Other special instrument pricing available – contact our instrument specialists for further details

Whatever your instrument or bocal needs, we’re here to help.  We’re pleased to stock a wide selection of new and used oboes, bassoons, clarinets, and saxophones as well as a vast selection of new and used bocals for Bassoon and English horn!

Keilwerth Saxophones

March 22nd, 2013 by Brandon

Keilwerth Logo

MMI is proud to now be carrying Keilwerth saxophones.  These instruments are made in Germany using the highest quality materials insuring the most durable construction and consistent resonance and sound.  All key work and mechanics are created by hand to ensure the most precise fit and accurate performance.  This high level of workmanship is realized through every aspect of the build, from the key work to the hand soldered posts and tone hole rings.

The Julius Keilwerth SX90R Saxophone allows the player to shape their music.  With innovative bore and bow designs and signature “rolled tone holes” feature, this model is reminiscent of the “big tone” saxophones of the 1940’s but with modern precision and quality manufacturing. Read the rest of this entry »

Diagnosing Common Oboe Reed Problems

March 22nd, 2013 by Jeff

An oboe reed can make or break an oboe’s usability and sound. A good reed is responsive, balanced, and stable. But too often, reeds are too thick, too long, too open, too closed, too sharp — you name a problem, and it’s a possibility for an oboe reed. So how do you determine the right adjustments for your reed? First, you need to diagnose common oboe reed problems. Start with this guide, then check out our guide to oboe reed adjustments.

Common Flat Reed Issues:

Gouge – using cane that is gouged too thin can result in reeds being flat in pitch.  If you’re gouging your own cane, always keeping an eye on the measurements of your cane is crucial.  If you tend to favor cane that is gouged on the thinner side then adjusting your scrape will be necessary as to not take too much cane out at the beginning stages of reed making.

Tip opening – often times, no matter how well the reed is scraped, a tip opening that is too large can result in flat reeds.  Something to keep in mind, scraping on a reed that is too open to adjust pitch will likely not solve the problem.  If the pitch is already flat to begin with, then removing cane will only lower the pitch further.  In the early stages of the reed’s life you can always attempt to squeeze the tip closed with your thumb and forefinger or you can also squeeze at the bottom of the reed just above the string.  In both these cases you can risk cracking the reed.  Never use anything other than your fingers – avoid pliers or any thing else as you risk damaging the shape of the top of the staple effectively making it unusable again.  After a few days the piece of cane may settle down but if the opening is consistency too large you may need to start a new reed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oboe Reed Adjustment Basics

March 22nd, 2013 by Jeff

As oboists, reeds are either our best friends or our mortal (or not so mortal) enemies.  They can make or break our practice sessions, performances, and auditions.  They can be as fickle as the wind or the weather and can quickly become the bane of our existence.  All this being said, reeds are the equivalent to any good puzzle – it just takes time, understanding, and patience to find the solution.  Wherever you fall on the ‘reed-making spectrum’ (a beginner just learning the ropes or an advanced, self-sufficient reed-maker), our expert oboists, Steven and Jeff, would like to offer some basic adjustment ideas to help you along your way.  Remember – these are just suggestions and may or may not apply to your reed-making.  Consider this food for thought!

Before adjusting an oboe reed, determine what the reed needs. Check out our guidelines for diagnosing common oboe reed issues. Once you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to accomplish, you’re ready to get started.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Heckel Bocals

March 22nd, 2013 by Trent

With our newest shipment of the most popular CC and CD bocals, our Heckel bocal inventory reaches nearly 100 new bocals! This is in addition to our currently rather large selection of excellent and gently used Heckel bocals.

We also have a new type in stock, a C-XL type. Only currently available in #1 length and silver plated, these are a perfect match for a Fox Renard 240, with more focus to the sound than a CD-XL, but more vibrancy than the CC-XL. Any of the XL bocals are highly recommended with any Fox bassoon.

Contact Trent or Jessica at 1-800-926-5587 to set up a trial.

Shaping Bassoon Cane – Two Methods

March 20th, 2013 by Trent

Bassoon specialist Trent Jacobs demonstrates how to shape bassoon cane using either a Fox style straight shaper or a Rieger style folding shaper. Everything shown in the video is available for sale in our online store. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Midwest, I just received my oboe and English horn back from you all in the mail, and of course couldn’t wait to get some reeds out and play them. All I can say over and over... read more >