Midwest Musical Imports Blog

Standing while playing the bassoon

April 24th, 2014 by

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.
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New Fox bassoon models in 2014

April 22nd, 2014 by

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

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.

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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.

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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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"I just want to thank you for the repair you made recently to a Fox oboe for my daughter at New England Music Camp. Everything went exactly as you said it would - the repair, the s... read more >