How to Buy a Used Oboe

April 30th, 2014 by Jeff


When it comes time to purchase an oboe, upgrade from your student model, or just find a back-up for your main instrument, buying a brand new oboe may not be financially feasible. We certainly understand the constraints attached to purchasing an instrument and we are proud to offer a wide selection of used oboes in all levels and price ranges to fit your needs. While similar to trying brand new instruments, the process of trying used oboes is going to be different and there are a few things to consider a long the way. Hopefully these pointers will help you as you start the venture of finding a used oboe!
Read the rest of this entry »

4 Audition Tips for Musicians – Dealing with Audition Nerves

April 28th, 2014 by Jessica


In the weeks leading up to a big audition, it isn’t uncommon for musicians to spend night after night tossing and turning. The only thing more nerve-wracking than the audition is the fact that you’re so nervous about it. What if you’re so nervous when you sit down to audition that you can’t play?

There are a few things you can do to help calm those nerves in the days leading up to an audition. By following these audition tips for musicians, you may not be able to completely eradicate your nervousness, but you’ll at least be able to settle your nerves enough to do a good job.
Read the rest of this entry »

Standing While Playing the Bassoon

April 24th, 2014 by Trent

If you’re an American trained bassoonist, chances are your first bassoon came with a seat strap, and you were taught to play sitting down with a seat strap. As far as I have observed, this is a purely American way of holding the bassoon while playing. It’s also clearly only something that bassoonists can do – no other instrument in the orchestra or band has a seat strap method of support. The seat strap is nice for sitting in long rehearsals; you get no stress on your neck or shoulders like the saxophonists suffer. Although the disadvantage is clear: there’s no way to stand and play with a seat strap. The positioning of the bassoon relative to your body is going to be different when standing, so making a transition to standing while playing can be difficult for many young (or older) players.

I first started my journey to stand while playing about 10 years ago, when I decided that I wanted to perform all of my future recitals standing. I was tired of seeing my friends on flute, clarinet, or violin able to be so much more physically involved, and have a stronger presence on stage while performing, while I felt stuck in a chair.
Read the rest of this entry »

New Fox Bassoon Models in 2014

April 22nd, 2014 by Trent

Fox Renard Model 260 Bassoon

We’re very excited to carry the latest bassoon offerings from Fox Products. With a new semi-professional Renard model and a new professional design, we’re sure that we can find just the right new Fox bassoon for you. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Ways Musicians Can Use Social Media

April 22nd, 2014 by Jessica

Social Media Tips for Musicians

As musicians are honing their musical talents in an effort to win audiences, social media is increasingly drawing attention away. Today’s tech-savvy consumers are growing accustomed to receiving entertainment in short, free bursts, rather than enjoying an hour or more of a performance at a concert hall or auditorium.

To reach today’s audiences, it’s important musicians at all levels learn to leverage the internet to spread information. Whether it’s sharing information about how your orchestra is progressing or getting the word out about an upcoming event, sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a great, free way to accomplish your goals. Here are a few ways musicians can harness the power of social media.

Sponsor a Contest

One way to get the word out about your music is to host a contest. Offer a reward in exchange for a like or share. This will help build your audience at the outset so that you’ll have readers whenever you post content or news.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Savings!

April 18th, 2014 by Jeff

Just in time for the arrival of Spring in Minnesota, we’re offering up savings on Instruments, Bocals, and Accessories!  Check out our sale sections for oboe, bassoon, and single reeds for all of sale items!

And don’t forget about our spring shipping rebate!  Now through May 31st, if you purchase an instrument from a trial we’ll be happy to refund or apply your shipping toward the purchase of the instrument!

Our instrument specialists are always in the shop if you need to reach us for any reason – 800.926.5587.

Happy Spring!

Your Midwest Musical Imports Instrumental & Repair Teams,

Jessica, Trent, Steven, Jeff, Brandon, Eric, & Matt

Expert Performance Tips for Amateur Musicians

April 16th, 2014 by Jessica

Performance Tips for Musicians

Many musicians begin playing because of a love for the art itself. When it’s just a musician and an instrument, performing can be a euphoric experience. But stepping on a stage with an audience of any size can alter the musician-instrument bond, leaving musicians terrified and unsure of themselves.

For a musician who is new to the experience of performing, there are a few expert tips that can help them learn to enjoy the experience. While these tips may not completely allay the stage fright that is natural for anyone, a musician can learn to perform despite any fears.

Everyone is Scared

While professional performers may make standing on a stage look like it’s second nature, the truth is that everyone gets stage fright. Even some of the most accomplished performers of our time have admitted to grappling with it, especially at first. Recognizing this is the first step to learning to overcome it.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Bassoon Reed Making Products from Solution

April 5th, 2014 by Trent

We’ve long been a big fan of the bassoon reed making tools by Italian manufacturer Solution. We just added a few new products from this manufacturer. Drying racks in two sizes (6 and 12 reed), both with a very attractive dark brown wood base, with pins positioned with an efficient use of space in mind and a no-slip rubber base. We also are selling the 12 pin sized rack without pins so you can use your own, or buy the pins separately.

We also have a new diamond reamer for final and precise reaming of the tube.

These and more products by Solution can be purchased online here.

I definitely plan to send my oboe to the repair techs at MMI in the future. I don't think my oboe has played this well since I've purchased it!