Midwest Musical Imports Blog

Spring Savings!

April 18th, 2014 by

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

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.

Over time, musicians realize that nerves are a part of any public performance. They learn to work with those nerves and make increasingly less mistakes. Often, performers find they make mistakes the average audience member never realizes and, even when they do make a noticeable mistake, audiences are surprisingly forgiving. By learning to make mistakes and keep moving forward anyway, musicians can strengthen their performing skills.

It’s All About the Music

One of the best ways to overcome performance anxiety is to focus on the music. When a performer centers all focus on the music, that passion shows through, pulling the audience in. Even the biggest mistakes are forgivable if a musician plays passionately. By closing his eyes and concentrating solely on the music, a musician can overcome a bad case of nerves.

The first step in playing passionately is choosing a piece that inspires passion in the musician. The long hours spent practicing will be much easier when a musician believes in the music he’s playing. It’s especially helpful to choose music that has special meaning. This meaning will be communicated to the audience as the musician plays.

Be a Standout

By now, most audiences have heard it all. But even a classic piece that’s been played a million or more times can be made unique. It’s all about the musician’s interpretation. Choose a piece that speaks to you and set out to find ways to make it your own.

Most importantly, have fun. Whether you’re practicing alone at home or playing in front of a packed concert hall, the real relationship is between the musician and the music. Once a musician can relax and enjoy the process of performing, the experience will be better for both the artist and the audience. But true confidence in performing comes from years of experience, which only comes from forcing through stage fright time and again until finally, performing on stage feels natural.

For more tips and resources from Midwest Musical Imports, visit the Tips and Resources category on our blog!

New Bassoon Reed Making Products from Solution

April 5th, 2014 by

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.

Buffet R13 Clarinets – try before you buy!

March 24th, 2014 by

Hand-Selected Buffet R13 Clarinets

We currently have a great stock of hand-selected Buffet R13 clarinets! And with our try before you buy program, you only pay shipping for up to 3 clarinets with no money down. NO RISK – even if you or your students do not buy an instrument from us, we’ll refund your shipping charges as a thank you for trying us out.

View our current inventory here.

Call us today! (800) 926-5587

Current Buffet-Crampon R13 Clarinet Inventory – 3/18/14

March 18th, 2014 by

Current R13 Bb clarinet stock includes:buffet-crampon-r13
S#634680 – Nickel Keys
S#636044 – Nickel Keys
S#634729 – Nickel Keys
S#650657 – Nickel Keys
S#650658 – Nickel Keys
S#650672 – Nickel Keys
S#650684 – Nickel Keys
S#650699 – Nickel Keys
S#650705 – Nickel Keys
S#651165 - Nickel Keys
S#651617 – Nickel Keys

S#635830 – Silver Keys
S#645878 – Silver Keys
S#649075 – Silver Keys
S#649077 – Silver Keys
S#650152 – Silver Keys
S#650161 – Silver Keys

Current R13 A Clarinet stock:
S#648431 – Nickel Keys
S#650787 – Nickel Keys

S#633998 – Silver Keys

Visit our store, contact Brandon(AT)mmimports.com or call us at (800) 926-5587 for more information.

A new selection of Lorees has arrived!

March 17th, 2014 by

loree-c3-akJust in time for the arrival of spring, we have a wide selection of brand new Loree Regular Royal and AK standard oboes in stock and ready for trials! These oboes are just in from Paris and have been set-up and play tested by our repair team and oboe specialists.  These are truly wonderful horns.

Now through the end of May 2014, if you purchase an instrument with us we’ll be happy to offer a shipping rebate on your purchase!

Loree has long been the industry standard for orchestral performance. In 1881, François Lorée, the ex-foreman of Triebert, founded his own oboe factory. His son, Lucien took over the firm at his death in 1902.

Supported by Georges Gillet, teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, Lucien Lorée modernized the oboe and realized several inventions. The famous “Conservatory Plateau System” was one of these, and in 1906 it was quickly adopted by soloists around the world. Instrument manufacturer Raymond Dubois acquired the firm in 1925 but Lucien Loree still took an active part in production. Robert de Gourdon, Mr. Dubois’ son-in-law, joined the firm in 1935, and had the opportunity to work in close cooperation with Lucien Lorée. In 1967, Robert de Gourdon began to share his knowledge and expertise with his son, Alain, now chairman of the firm.

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Minnesota Orchestra Sibelius Giveaway!

March 6th, 2014 by

Minnesota Orchestra SibeliusExperience a night with the Grammy Award winning Minnesota Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä at helm conducting Sibelius Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4. We are giving away 2 tickets to the concert on Saturday March 29th, 2014  at 8pm at Orchestra Hall. These are floor seats and are extremely hard to get at this point in time.  These concerts will surely be an unforgettable evening of amazing music!

Entry is simple! Here are the rules – (click to read the rest of this entry for official rules)

  • 1 entry per person/family
  • No purchase necessary at the time of entry

The drawing will be held on Monday March 24th, 2014 – we will select a winner and runner-up.  Make sure you’re in Minnesota or planning to be in Minnesota for the concert on the 29th.

To enter:

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Instrument Trial Shipping Rebate

March 5th, 2014 by

Now through May 31st, 2014 we’re pleased to offer an instrument trial shipping rebate! We have a large selection of new and used oboes, bassoons, and clarinets in stock and if you purchase an instrument now through the end of May we’re please to refund your trial shipping costs on all standard ground shipping!

Right now we have a vast selection of new and used oboes with a new batch of Loree oboes arriving from Paris. We also have brand new Howarth, Marigaux, Fox, and Buffet oboes in stock and ready to ship for trials.

fox240In the bassoon department we have new Puchner pro bassoons, Takeda, Wolf, and Fox pro and Renard bassoons. We have quite the selection of Fox 240 bassoons here and available!

We are also stocking a large selection of Buffet R13 Clarinets in both nickel & silver plating. These instruments just arrived to us from Buffet and are ready for trials!

Here at Midwest Musical Imports we are musicians serving musicians. All of our instruments are under the care of experienced musicians specializing in their respective instruments. We work hard to get the highest quality instruments for all of your performance needs. Contact our instrumental specialists in the shop at 800.926.5587, or visit our Instrument Trials page for more information.

Fox Bocal Information

March 5th, 2014 by

In 2010, Fox introduced a new line of their already very popular double star bocals, the R2. These bocals are even in tone color and responsive across the range. There are some variables to look at when considering a Fox bocal.

All of the Fox double-star R2 bocals start with the letter C, followed by two letters that indicate first the thickness, then the bore type.

T – “Thin-wall” These are similar to the Heckel CD bocal line, roughly .5mm thick throughout the wall of the bocal. The thinner wall means greater flexibility of tone character and typically an easier responding lower register.
V – Standard thickness. Similar to the Heckel CC thickness, with an average of .6mm through the wall of the bocal. Best for stability and more projection.
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Puchner Bocal Information

March 5th, 2014 by

Puchner is historically one of the most well-respected bassoon manufacturing firms in the world, with a history dating back to the early 19th century. Puchner bocals have undergone many revisions through the years, with modern bocals finding their way to many major symphony and concert halls across the country. While other manufacturers have dozens of variables, Puchner stays with only some options that suit the needs of most players.

Puchner-bassoon-bocalThe first letter will indicate the bore, which will be followed by a letter indicating the metal and thickness. All bocals are silver plated. Available in standard lengths 0-3 (equal to Heckel lengths)

There are three bores available:
C - the C bore is the standard bore that offers excellent response in all registers and makes for a good orchestral or chamber music bocal.
B – the B bore has a more focused sound with more “core”, suitable for solo playing.
A – the A bore is specifically designed for high note response, with some sacrifice for the lowest register.
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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!