The first thing you’ll need to do is familiarize yourself with brands and models. There are many different brands and models of saxophones and it can be a daunting task to wade through the sea of instruments available to the prospective buyer. There’s endless amounts of information online but for many this can add to the confusion. Enlisting the help of school teachers/private lesson teachers, local professionals and music store employees will help narrow down the search. Once you’ve decided on a specific make/model or two you can then use the internet more effectively by reading reviews and gathering what you can from the manufacturer’s website to act as your own saxophone buyer’s guide.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive instrument but you should always try to get the best instrument you can afford. Nicer instruments with a reputable brand name tend to hold their value much better than the smaller off-brand variety. Another factor may be the type of playing one chooses to do, you wouldn’t want to bring your expensive professional model saxophone to marching band practice where it could be easily damaged. If you’re just beginning your musical journey it’s best to go with a good student model horn for this very reason.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky’s monumental and groundbreaking ballet The Rite of Spring.
Much lore surrounds the premiere, about the supposed riot sparked by the performance, and the opening solo in the high register of the bassoon. A lot of that lore is quite apocryphal. The riot was allegedly staged, and was more in relation to Najinsky’s choreography than the music, interestingly to note that none of the reviews of the premiere even mentioned the bassoon solo. The “riot” term also sparks connotations in our mind that indicate that it was a bigger deal than it likely was.
At the heart of any successful lesson, rehearsal, or concert is a good oboe reed, and no one understands this better than our oboe department. Jeff and Steven are always on the look out for high quality, consistent reed-makers to supply a diverse selection of professional quality reeds. We certainly understand the frustrations of searching for a great reed and we make it our mission to have a reliable source of oboe reeds for our customers. So whether you’re a student new to the oboe, an aspiring reed maker still learning the ropes, a teacher who doesn’t have the time to make reeds for their students, or a seasoned veteran who just needs that one back-up “just -in-case,” we hope this guide will serve you well on your quest to find that ‘perfect’ reed for your next performance!
A Few Thoughts on ‘Reed Strengths’
One of the most common questions we get in the oboe department is “what strength reed would you recommend?” or “we’re looking for a _____ (fill-in-the-blank with anywhere from soft to hard) strength reed, which would you recommend?” We don’t like to qualify our reed selection with strengths simply because we find it to be very subjective. That is to say, what is ‘soft’ to one player could very easily be ‘hard’ to another or vice versa. Since every oboist plays the oboe differently (how we use air, how we use our embouchure etc) we instead like to qualify our reeds by tip-opening and level of resistance. For example, the smaller the tip opening, the less air required to get the tip to vibrate and less embouchure manipulation of the reed. This type of reed would therefore be more conducive for a beginner or less-advanced level player.
That being said, let’s talk about our reeds! Read the rest of this entry »
There are many ways to make and adjust a bassoon reed. The proper method of adjustment can vary depending on your shape, profile, forming method, cane density, wire measurements, and even which tools you use. Explore many different reed making styles and adjustment techniques and you’ll continually develop your own personal style. In an attempt to make an ongoing series on bassoon reed adjustments, here are some simple pointers to try on your own reeds. Read the rest of this entry »
New Marigaux 901 oboes will be arriving to our shop in June just in time for the 2013 International Double Reed Society Convention! We are excited to welcome these wonderful instruments to MMI!
The 901 is a semi-automatic, grenadilla wood, silverplated keys.
The very heart and essence of Marigaux manufacture, the original sound according to Mr. Jules Marigaux’s standard.
- Wood rigorously selected, dried during at least four years.
- A traditional manufacture, true to the excellent reputation of French craftsmanship.
- A much easier and sharper low register(double correspondence on the bell).
- A high register which is even and direct.
- An excellent orchestral oboe played by the greatest ensembles worldwide.
- 3rd octave key, double F key
For more information, call MMI’s oboe specialists Jeff or Steven at 612-331-4717. And be sure to check out our online inventory of new and used oboes for inspiration until the Marigaux arrives!
When it’s time to replace a musical instrument, sometimes purchasing a brand new instrument may not be an option. Midwest Musical Imports is pleased to offer a wide selection of high quality used instruments that will fit your needs. We also offer a 1-year maintenance and crack warranty included with the purchase of select used oboes, bassoons, clarinets, and saxophones!
Call our instrument specialists at 612-331-4717 for further information and trial availability!