Showing posts with label Woodwind Instruments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Woodwind Instruments. Show all posts

Saturday, February 24, 2018

How to Make a FLUTE - The All Important Mathematical Formula

Shot during first ancient music festival in megève
Shot during first ancient music festival in megève
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ever wondered how to make a flute? I'm not talking about something cut from a drinking straw with scissors, or put together using a cardboard paper towel tube... I mean make a flute that's a genuine quality, professionally tuned musical instrument. Whether you use wood, PVC (flutes made from this material sound like blowing through glass - an excellent sound), or copper pipe (also sounds just as excellent) in flute making, there are a few mathematical things to keep in mind, but they all pretty much revolve around, and stem from, the one all-important mathematical formula involved in how to make flute type woodwind instruments or even those of other types. Do you know what this mathematical formula is? Well, I'll tell you...

If you want to know how to make a flute, you first need to know two numbers. The first one is the measurement of the speed of sound in inches (or centimeters, etc.) per second. In inches, that would be 13526.5, and in centimeters, that would be 34357.31 - this is how far in linear distance sound travels per second, at sea level, at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or at about 21 degrees Celsius. The second number to know in flute making is how many Hertz (frequency of vibration) that a particular given note resonates at. For a brief and simple example, let's say we use the note "A". The frequency of "A", in Hertz, is 440. Now we take the speed of sound in inches (or centimeters) per second and divide that number by the note's frequency, in this case, 440, and we will then have the measured length of the wavelength of the note "A". This would end up to be 30.74 inches, or 70.08 centimeters long.

The next step in how to make a flute is simple. With an open-ended flute, the body of the flute would actually need to be one half-wavelength long to play the fundamental note (the lowest note possible to play, with all finger holes closed) properly, in this case, "A". Due to other variable factors in flute making such as bore diameter, wall thickness and etc., the flute will actually need to be a tiny bit shorter - depending upon the thickness of the flute wall factoring in as well, this is generally about 1/3 of the bore diameter. Shorten the length little by little until the correct note is achieved. How to make flute embouchures or the blowing edge hole, is to make it half of the flute's bore diameter wide, measuring the center point of the hole to be a bore diameter's distance from the inner face of the closed end.

A very convenient part about knowing how to make a flute is in the fact that the above mathematical formula is also how you would find the positions for the finger holes' center points, according to the notes they are to play. How to make flute finger holes is to start small, slowly making them bigger as you "creep" them up the length of the flute towards the closed end until the right note is achieved. Finding the correct hole placements along the length of the flute's body is important, but anywhere around the body at that point along the length is fine for hole placements... this allows for the reach of different sized fingers and hands.

    If you'd like to learn more about how to make a flute, flutes of many types, or any homemade instruments of types such as woodwinds, percussion instruments or strings with precision, feel free visit my website on how to make your own music with homemade musical instruments you make yourself, at - these aren't your kids' paper plate tambourines, plastic butter bowl drums or shoebox and rubber band guitars!

    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


High-A Flute
Photo  by wplynn 
Native Americans are eager to share their ancestry with their families and friends. One of the ways they do this is through their music, particularly through the music of the Native American flute They want to ensure that their children have a strong link with their ancient culture, and music is an excellent way to teach non-Native Americans about this culture as well.

Mothers of small children often find that Native American flute music is very soothing for their babies. It seems to have a tranquil and calming effect on children. Songs played on the Native American flute can be introduced during naptime and before bedtime to calm children down. The music often puts children to sleep within just a few minutes. Experts have also recommended Native American flute music to families with small babies that have a hard time getting to sleep.

This music also represents an excellent tool for calming down a baby in situations where there may be difficult transitions for such young children, such as when many visitors come to the home. It is often difficult for small babies to adjust to the confusion and noise created by a large number of people at special occasions, and playing Native American flute music can help to calm a baby down in these circumstances.

The music of the Native American flute is very soft, and it creates a wonderful, soothing background for many situations. It is just the sound of keeping babies calm when there are a lot of people in the environment. Babies seem to focus on the flute sounds instead of on the loud noises generated by crowds. Having flute music playing in a room makes it easier for them to adjust to visitors.

Of course, adults will also enjoy the music of the Native American flute. It is easy to find interesting and unique Native American flute music on the Internet since many online stores offer selections of alternative music. It is also possible to purchase Native American flutes and sheet music. Several vendors offer musical compositions for the flute, and they sell Native American flutes as well.

Native American flute music is an excellent way to learn about and enjoy the special features of Native American culture. And since songs are often linked to memories, this music offers a good way to preserve the memory of special times.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Shakuhachi player (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These days Japanese bamboo flutes or Shakuhachi flutes are used by a lot of practitioners of Zen Buddhism and meditation as well as for playing Jazz, Classical, Japanese folk music and improvisation. The soothing sound of the Japanese bamboo flute or Shakuhachi helps guide us, breath by breath, into a more relaxed and peaceful state of being, while gifting ourselves and others with the beauty of the unique sound.

The Shakuhachi bamboo flute is made from the very bottom of a bamboo tree, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. The name shakuhachi is derived from the term "isshaku hassun" meaning one shaku and eight sun (1.8 Japanese feet). Generally, the term shakuhachi refers to the standard size instrument, which is 54.5 cm in length, but it can also refer to many different sizes ranging from 1.3 - 2.5 shaku (39.4 - 75.7 cm) and longer. The shakuhachi is frequently made from the root portion of a thick-walled bamboo (known as madake in Japanese).

If you see a Japanese bamboo flute you can see that it looks simple in appearance. But, did you know that it is very difficult to play? If played by a master this bamboo flute can create amazing, subtle, sensual music - prized as being perfect for meditation and relaxation. It's beautiful, soulful sound is wonderful to listen to when you are taking a good rest or are relaxing or getting ready for sleep. If you are into Zen then having a Japanese bamboo flute can help you with your focus. The soothing sounds that the bamboo flute make create a calm feeling. Did you know that The Zen flute came from China to Japan sometime in the 6th century? The instrument was then adopted by a sect of Zen Buddhist monks around the 15th century. This fact definitely explains the bamboo flutes long relationship with martial arts.

If you are looking for an instrument for your energetic child to learn, look no further. The Shakuhachi will help calm your child's soul and give them focus and concentration. Imagine if your child took up the bamboo flute as one of their hobbies. Not only it is safe but at the same time your children will be musically inclined and be calmer and more focused because of their daily practice.
Another good thing about bamboo flutes is that you can buy them cheaply or you can make them at home. If you are going to make a homemade bamboo flute just make sure to have the right guidelines and information. You need to know the proper measurements, the holes and the exact length and weight of a good bamboo flute which you can find online. Get yourself a bamboo flute and have soothing and relaxing sounds anytime you want in your own home!

Monday, November 13, 2017

RECORDER - Music-Instruments of the World

Recorder - Music-Instruments of the World

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Playing the BAGPIPES: What to Know and What It Takes?

Mr Bagpipes
Photo  by Silly Little Man 
BAGPIPES are ancient and enchantingly beautiful sounding instruments in the world. They arouse feelings of honour, loss and profound respect. Maybe you have wondered what it takes to play the bagpipes. With that bag and all those pipes, it may be a little daunting to know how to even begin. However, if you take the steps listed below, that big goal to play the bagpipes suddenly seems manageable.

Playing of the bagpipes is rapidly becoming something of a lost art, but those who choose to take up the instrument will find a world of pleasure. Learning to play the instrument itself is somewhat difficult, and hinges on a trio of important opening steps: the purchase and playing of a practice chanter, the use of an instruction book and lessons from a teacher.

A practice chanter looks something like a recorder that many of us played for a time in elementary school. The practice chanter should be used well in advance of picking up a full instrument in order for the student become acquainted with the method behind playing the bagpipes. Later the practice chanter will become a way to practice songs, learn highly complex fingering sequences and to take to places where pulling out the entire instrument is just not feasible. Look for a practice chanter of a good design, featuring a good reed. Quality is highly important at this stage because a student learning to play needs to learn on a reliable instrument.

At this point, the student needs to incorporate both a practice book published by a reputable source and, if at all possible, lessons with an instructor. This is important because the student needs to know fingerings of notes and technique well in advance of picking up an actual bagpipe. Search hard for a formal instructor, or even just an accomplished player, to help with hands-on, real-life experience.

After the practice chanter is mastered, the student can move on to the actual bagpipe. The first step in picking up the entire instrument is basically to pick it up in parts. At first, students need to use a "goose," which is a bagpipe without its three drones. The drones are simple tubes, each usually featuring a single reed, which lay over the shoulder or across the arm opposite the bag. Players change the pitch of the tune by manipulating the drones. Using the "goose" lets the student begin to play while concentrating on developing adequate breathing techniques and learning bag control.

The process of setting up a pipe, its reeds and the tuning process can be highly complicated and can take years for a beginning player to learn and fully master. This is yet another reason why some instruction from an experienced player or professional tutor is essential. Care of the instrument includes the ability to put it together and take it apart correctly from the beginning, and these are skills more easily learned from an experienced individual than from a book or a tutorial video.

With some work, a player wanting to learn to play the bagpipe can begin to master the craft. All it takes is the proper equipment and adequate instruction, and a would-be player can be belting out tunes in seemingly no time at all. Find a reputable provider of the necessary equipment, along with a teacher to help along the way, and the ability to play the bagpipes is well within grasp.

    Joshua Perry Joshua Perry - ArticleSource: GoArticles

Saturday, October 28, 2017

BAGPIPE - Music-Instruments of the World

Bagpipe - Music-Instruments of the World

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CELTIC MUSIC - The Tin Whistle

Photo  by chidorian 
The Tin Whistle (sometimes called a pennywhistle) is a simple and cheap instrument. It's simply a metal tube with six fingerholes and a mouthpiece (much like a recorder); it has a range of about two octaves. Costs range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars -- although some of the best players play only the cheaper brands.

The tin whistle is a simple instrument -- and it's simple to play, and simple to play easy tunes. But -- it's not simple to master! The instrument may be cheap, but you'll have to pay for mastery ... by practicing! The haunting whistle tunes from the movie "Titanic" illustrate the deep soul found in this instrument.

This instrument is commonly made from metal (usually brass) with a molded whistle mouthpiece. By playing it open (not covering any of the six fingerholes), then by covering each fingerhole in turn, you can play the 7 notes in a diatonic (a simple Do-Re-Mi scale -- essentially the white keys on a piano) scale. Blow a little bit harder and you'll play the same note, but an octave higher. While it is a diatonic instrument, you can achieve sharps and flats by half-covering fingerholes.

Since there are essentially only two open notes -- a note, then the note an octave higher when you blow harder -- each tin whistle is said to represent a certain Key signature. For instance, if the open note sounds a "D", then the whistle is considered to be in the key of D. Many players carry a small set of whistles in the most commonly used keys.

Some people don't realize you can actually tune a tin whistle! You do so by sliding the metal barrel of the whistle in and out of the mouthpiece head. Some whistles have the head glues securely to the barrel. You can usually loosen the glue by holding the joined portion under hot running water. Don't use boiling water -- this may melt the plastic whistle head!

Key signatures commonly found in Celtic Music are "D Major" and "G Major". By default, all tin whistles are in a Major key (since they play a diatonic scale). However, if you begin your scale with all the fingerholes covered (instead of all fingerholes open), then you're beginning one step higher than a diatonic scale -- which results in a minor key signature! For instance, a tin whistle in "D" can play in E Minor if you begin your scale by covering all the fingerholes. Interestingly enough, the chord sequence "E Minor" and "D Major" is commonly found in Celtic Music. (This is the same chord sequence used in "What Would You Do with A Drunken Sailor".) A whistle in "G Major" could easily play in A Minor (A Minor and G being another commonly found chord sequence).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How to Buy a FLUTE

So you've decided to play the flute.  Terrific decision!

Now you need an instrument.  If you're completely new to the flute world, this may be a hard decision, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

First, develop a budget.  Just like any major purchase, your wallet should guide you.  The more money you have to spend, the higher quality instrument you can acquire.

romantic 14 keys flute
Romantic 14 keys flute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The biggest factor in determining the price is the metal your flute is made from.

Student flutes are made from plated silver, where higher end flutes are built out of solid silver.

It is also possible to "split the difference" and get a flute with a plated silver body and a solid silver head joint.  This is a good option for those on a limited budget because the head joint contributes more to the tone quality of the flute.

If money is no object, you can buy flutes made from gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and even platinum.

There are a number of features that can drive up the price of a flute.

The traditional flute extends down to a low C, or middle C.  With a B-foot joint, you can play the B below that C.

Is this a necessary option?

No, not at all.  It's kind of a status symbol among flutists and some argue that the increased length of tubing improves the tone.  This is highly subjective, however, and that low B is hardly ever played!  You can do just fine without the low B-foot joint.

Another popular flute upgrade is the "open hole" flute.  On this type of flute, the keys look like little donuts; that is, there are holes in the middle of the keys.

The benefit of this?  Proper finger placement is one.  The fingers must cover these holes in order for the notes to sound, so sloppy fingering can't be tolerated.

Improved tone quality is also a purported benefit.

For those flutists that are into "extended techniques," lots of cool effects can be obtained with open-hole keys, such as sliding the fingers off the keys for "smeary" sounds, playing half tones, or even playing Irish-style or penny-whistle style music.

Are open holes necessary?  Not at all.

The lip plate on head joints can be engraved with a floral or scroll pattern.  This not only makes the flute more beautiful but prevents slippage of the flute against the chin.  Necessary?  No.  Fun?  Of course!  I have this option on my flute and I really love it.

So where to buy your flute?

A music store is the obvious answer.  In addition to purchasing outright, stores usually have a very reasonable rental program available to students who aren't sure if they will stick with the band program.  Ask the store if this is available to adults as well.

Flutes that come back from the rental program can be a good deal for purchase.  The store's repairman will overhaul the flute and then it is offered at a reduced price from new.

You can also find a flute for sale in the classified ads in the newspaper or just by asking around.  Stop over at a local university and you will probably find notices of flutes for sale on bulletin boards in the music department.

In these instances, have a professional look at the flute first and give you an opinion.

You can find flutes for sale on eBay, too.  Be sure that you have the option of trying the flute out first and sending it back if you aren't happy with it.

There are many instrument sellers online, probably the largest is The Woodwind and Brasswind,  You can get a great deal from this company and they will send the instrument out to you to try first, even more than one at a time.

Take your time, decide carefully, and get lots of opinions.  Your flute will become a friend to you and if you buy it right the first time, it will last a lifetime.

    Kathy Ferneau has been a passionate flutist for 40 years! Her web site contains the most extensive collection of flute figurines on the Internet. Check them out!

    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Saturday, September 9, 2017

CLARINET MOUTHPIECE Basics - Choosing a CLARINET Mouthpiece

Your choice of clarinet mouthpiece will largely affect the quality and type of sound that you will produce. After all, the mouthpiece is where sound starts and clarinet players have to use the right mouthpiece according to their level of expertise. Choosing a clarinet mouthpiece according to your specific needs and expertise is important to avoid problems while playing.

The mouthpiece has several purposes. First of all, it allows the user to get air vibrating through the clarinet in order to produce sound. And second, the mouthpiece works to hold the reed in place. A lot of things go into the decision on the type of mouthpiece that you should use. These include the material, interior and exterior design and the mouthpiece facing.

In a clarinet, facing on a mouthpiece is also referred to as the lay. This is the part where the reed sits in the mouthpiece. The size and length of the facing can affect the timbre of sound that the clarinet produces but it's not a focus of concern when choosing a clarinet mouthpiece.

Mouthpieces can be made of various materials. Most are made of plastic. Pieces made of wood or glass are rare. Even the material can affect the quality of the tone produced although many beginners cannot even tell the difference. As such, it's better to base your decision on your budget. You want to assess the practicality of purchasing a mouthpiece that is made from a specialty material in relation to the sound that it produces at your particular stage of expertise.

When choosing a clarinet mouthpiece it's also a good idea to look at the mouthpiece bore. If you want to produce a focused and compact tone, opt for a clarinet mouthpiece that has a small bore. A larger one is required if you want to create a dark and mellow tone.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE - Music-Instruments of the World

Native American Flute

Friday, August 11, 2017


Are you collecting musical instruments since you have this dream to learn to play as many instruments as you can? Well, you have an extremely unique goal in your life and if you are really determined to do it; you'll definitely reach it the end. All you need to do is to apply your patience and do it with proper timing. Each step must be taken one at a time. Do you already have a bassoon? Is it still functioning well or can you sense some problem for it can't achieve or hit perfect notes? The pitch is wobbling, isn't it? Your bassoon reed is probably a problem now. But, what really are bassoon reeds and how can you adjust them?
Bassoon Reed - Photo by sigurdga 

Bassoon reeds are important parts that make up your instrument and they are frequently made out of two pieces of thin wood and they must be made for good and satisfying performance. However, the natural variations of the materials and your personal technique in playing the instrument can greatly affect the overall sound produced by the reed. Sounds very right? Thus, a player's style of playing the bassoon and the reeds are among the two main reasons for these differences.

Proper adjustments of the bassoon reeds are really necessary because it will affect the way you play the instrument and if you don't know how, this article will reveal to you some important considerations in doing the adjustments. You need tools and a bit of trial and error in the process so you can determine the defect. Gather the tools first, such as plaque, knife, needle nose pliers, small flat file, mandrel, electronic tuner, and lastly the 35-400 grit sandpaper.

After you've completed those materials you need, moisten the reed and test by playing different notes. Be attentive in hearing the notes and note any problem. Then, adjust two wires with the use of pliers and clip the end of the reed to maintain it and so to increase the pitch if it is flat. Clipping of the reed will enhance the ability of playing high notes.

After which, put the plaque in between two halves of the reed and file down the back area of the reed for you to lessen the buzzing and shard effect of notes when played. End the process by doing again the testing. If you need more adjustments, consider an expert or search for more information online.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Medieval Sounds of the RECORDER

Soprano Recorder
Soprano Recorder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The recorder is a type of flute that belongs to the woodwind musical instrument family, and is more specifically a fipple flute. The recorder is a long tube with a wide mouth piece that the musician blows directly into. It has seven holes for fingers, one hole on the back of the instrument for a thumb and the tube tapers a little near the end of the recorder. This particular instrument has not changed much since it was popular in medieval times, which is when it was fairly popular until people appeared to lose interest in it during the 1700s.

During the 1700s, when interest in the recorder started to decline, people were beginning to favor other woodwind instruments like the flute, clarinet and the oboe. The reason for this change of interest could be that the recorder was a fairly simple instrument that was not overly complex and did not have a wide range of sounds. The other instruments offered a wider range of sounds that were quite possibly more appealing to people at the time. It could also be that people did not have much use for recorders anymore. The sound of the recorder was often associated with the sounds of birds, funerals, marriages and even shepherds when played. In fact, Vivaldi and Bach, too noted musicians, often used the recorder in their music. 

Even though the recorder may have lost popularity at one time, it was still being used. The use of the recorder would also become a little more popular during the 1900s. The biggest reason for this could be that this woodwind instrument is fairly easy to learn how to play. It is also inexpensive and easy to supply to students in schools. For this reason, many elementary schools will introduce the children in a certain grade to the recorder. For most, this will be the first instrument they will have learned how to play. It will also be the first time that many of them will see and learn how to read simple sheet music.

The instrument may not have a large range or variety of different sounds, but it is simple to play and its sound can be fairly calming and soothing. Some people don't like the sound of it, but when played right the sound can actually be quite nice. Many will not choose to play the recorder for the rest of their lives. Many would prefer to choose more complicated instruments that offer more variety in the different sounds they can make.

The recorder, however, can be the perfect first instrument for anyone who has never played an instrument before or ever seen sheet music; it is a great instrument to play when trying to learn simple sheet music. When people get comfortable with the basics, changing to a more complex instrument will be a lot easier. In the end, it may not be the instrument to choose when looking for something to play throughout your musical career, but it could be a good backup instrument that could add to the song. It may be simple, and it might not be very dynamic, but it does have a sound that is unique to its own.

    By Victor Epand
    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Do You Want to Learn the BASSOON?

The bassoon and contrabassoon are the lowest or bass members of the oboe family and hence the woodwind family which consists of flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon. Bassoons developed from the Curtal which was an earlier instrument in England and they came into use in the 17th century.

The bassoon is generally made of maple eg sycamore maple and sugar maple,although polypropylene and ebonite are used to create a cheaper instrument which is great for students and outdoor use. It consists of tubing nearly 2.5m or 7-8 feet long which is bent double to allow the bassoonist to play it. A small piece of bent metal shaped like a crook is fitted to one end and to this crook is set a double reed.

The Bassoon - Photo  by     stephanie.lafayette

The bassoon has a distinctive sound and listeners often compare its warm, dark reedy sound to that of a male baritone voice. The sound is produced by blowing through the double reed which is made from two pieces of cane.The air vibrates through the reed and down the tubing. The various sounds are created when the player presses down the keys or covers holes in different configurations or finger patterns. The bassoon can play a large range of notes. The contrabassoon is bigger than the bassoon and sounds one octave lower.

A bassoon is a large wind instrument and can not be held on its own like the flute, clarinet or oboe. Bassoon players can use a neck strap or seat strap for extra support. The bassoon is held diagonally in front of the player whilst being played.

Bassoons are used in orchestras and chamber groups. There are usually two bassoonists in an orchestra with a possible third player playing the contrabassoon. The first bassoon player often has solos. A popular chamber group which the bassoon takes part in is the wind quartet which consists of 1 flute, 1 clarinet, 1 oboe, 1 bassoon, 1 french horn. And it is combined with other instruments in various groupings. The bassoon is rarely used in jazz or popular music.

A couple of well known bassoon players are Bernard Garfield (born 1924) and Archie Camden (1888-1979) who was a soloist of international acclaim.

Now that you know a little about the bassoons with its shape, sound production and types of music it plays, do you want to learn the bassoon? If you like the thought of playing low notes in a group or even by yourself, and blowing air through a double reed and tube to produce the sound then the bassoon could be just what you need.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Mythical Sounds of the PAN FLUTE

The pan flute is an instrument that consists of ten or more pipes, which differ in length, that are closed tube. The tubes are placed in a row, from the longest tube to the shortest. Each length will then produce a different note, depending on its length. It is most often viewed as an old folk instrument and it is what preceded the harmonica and the pipe organ. It is believed that the different lengths of the tubes in the pan flute were the inspiration for the pipe organ. While original pan flutes were generally made from reed or bamboo, most pan flutes today are made out of metal, plastic and wood.

Brown pan flute standing upright
Pan Flute - Photo  by      Horia Varlan 

As the ends of the pan flute are stopped, the flute is not played by the musician blowing air directly into the tubes. Instead, the pan flute is played by the musician blowing air across the opening, much the same way as other flutes are played. While the instrument appears fairly simple in its design and limited in the sounds it can play, the musician playing the pan flute can actually play a wide range of musical notes that can make some pleasant music.

In fact, an experienced player can play both sharp and flat notes by tilting the flute a certain way and by how they blow the air across the mouth of each tube. Even more experienced musicians can have such a good handle on the pan flute that they can play a scale in any key and creating vibratos is little trouble for them as well.

While the pan flute has been around for a very long time, and it didn't appear to be overly popular in modern times, the pan flute really began to come back in the late 1900s, especially after a Gheorghe Zamfir, a Romanian musician, recorded many albums, toured and became well-known for his pan flute music.

Today, many people have chosen to play the pan flute and have continued to play for their love and enjoyment of the music and the instrument. In fact, there are other very well-known musicians who have used the pan flute in some of their music, including Aerosmith and The Beatles. It has also become quite popular in New Age music, perhaps for its light and soothing tone.

It might not be the first instrument that many will immediately choose when deciding on an instrument to play, though many who have heard the pan flute, and enjoy the genre it is typically played in, will choose the instrument. It can be a rewarding instrument to play and one that does not create a lot of noise when trying to practice at home. It is a quieter instrument, though its sound can attract attention because of its clear and soothing tone. It is a pleasant instrument to play, even if not for a career in music. There are many people out there who have chosen to learn the pan flute as a hobby because they enjoy the sound and they like to play on their free time for fun.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.
    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Your Search for the Perfect OBOE REED

This might sound crazy coming from someone that owns a reed making business, but the best reeds for you are the ones you'll make yourself. At MKL Reeds and Oboe:Space, we get many questions about finding the ideal reed and what we think the "best" scrape is.

As an oboist, you'll always be striving to make better reeds. But without sounding too zen... the answer is already in you. What you need in a reed is unique and depends upon you, your personality and the way you play. There is no "best" or "right" reed for everyone, no matter who you are.
Even when you make your own reeds, your own definition of the ideal reed should change and evolve with the musical situation you are in.There are a few qualities that MUST be present in a reed, no matter whose it is or where you get it, or even what "kind" of scrape it is.

A good, functioning reed of any kind RESPONDS and is STABLE.
When those 2 core qualities are present, the other benefits that come along for the ride are plentiful. In my opinion, having response and stability (most often) takes care of pitch and even results in helping produce a respectable tone because the reed is both easy to play and is holding together properly.

Oboe Reeds

Before I think or do any kind of detailed scraping, however, my reeds must have these core qualities. It must respond when I want it to and it must hold together no matter where in my mouth I put it or how I choose to blow. Getting to this stage of the game in reedmaking takes skill and practice, but is pretty much the same from reed to reed (assuming I continue to use consistent materials, like shape and gouge, and also that your gouge is good and centered).

I don't know if other reedmakers actually think of reedmaking this way, but I would venture to guess that even without thinking about it, these are the core qualities "everyone" goes for initially. Thinking about RESPONSE and STABILITY first keeps me focused. I strongle recommend not going for any more "detail" until you have these 2 qualities in your reed. This will make sure that you have a strong foundation for a good, consistent, dependable reed. These are the reeds that we strive to sell to our customers at MKL
Now that we've covered the basics, things can get more personal...

The "best" reed for you enters next, when you start applying your own personal tastes, preferences and habits. Unless you find someone who plays JUST like you do and has exactly the same oral physiology and uses their air the exact same way you do (you will never find that person), then the "best" reed for you is the one that you make for yourself.
It's that simple.
Commercial reeds satisfy the basic needs of oboe players, but in most cases can't don't and shouldn't go beyond that. I won't argue that you may find some really great reeds for yourself out there, but I'd still say that even the great reeds you find could be surpassed with your own reedmaking efforts.
So beyond response and stability, what goes into making not just a good, but a really great reed? We'll save the importance of a good gouge for another time, because that is a big topic. But besides having a great gouge, (which in itself is a quest and an art) you need the shape that works for you.

There are tons of things to consider when choosing a shape, and you'll only find what's right for you through experimentation. The right shape for you will "fit" with your gouge and offer you things in a reed that you might never have thought about. You might discover that what feels really good to YOU is to have a reed that is slightly wider, allowing you to feel slightly "under" at first. Then you find either you like that feeling because your air gets you up to pitch perfectly, or you might make a note of this and use this shape for making the "best" reed for playing with that church organ pitched at 438.

You might find a gouge/shape combo that makes amazingly focused, smallish reeds that are "best" for chamber music. There might be yet another combo that makes the most perfect low-register reeds for that second-oboe audition.The possibilities are endless, and this is only one aspect of the freedom you have when making the best reed for you. Finding a gouge/shape combo is very individual and specific to you and your tastes.

Other qualities that change from person to person are how large the opening of the reed is and how much is scraped out of different areas of the reed. Of course, this all comes back to the different physical attributes of each person. Think of all the obvious differences you see from one oboist to another, like height, stature, age, etc.

These differences are important when choosing the best reed for you. Not to mention the many difference you can't see, like the palate, tongue or position of teeth. These are differences that make every oboist sound and play differently.Another important thing that determines the "best" oboe reeds for you is your instrument. You might think, "an oboe is an oboe," but it is really a bit more
complicated than that.When people ask what the best reed is for them, you can't possibly know the age/ quality/type of instrument they are playing on.

I do pretty much stand by my belief that "a good reed is always a good reed," but there are certain qualities of an oboe that necessitate certain qualities in a reed. You'll find it rather hard to find any reed that "responds" on an oboe that is really out of adjustment. Again, who better to make a reed for your oboe than YOU? No one else deals with the trials and tribulations of your oboe everyday, so how could anyone else make the best reeds for it?

Although it is hopefully pretty easy to find and/or make yourself a decent reed, there is so much more opportunity available to you when you start to make your own reeds and experiment with what you need, and what your instrument may require as well. Reedmaking is truly an art, and like any art, it is up to the artist to mold and shape it.

    By Maryn Leister
    Oboist and entrepreneur Maryn Leister helps beginner, intermediate and professional oboists become happier oboe players.
    She is owner of the oboe learning company MKL Reeds and publisher of the Reed Report and Oboe Success Tips Newsletters. Each newsletter is full of straightforward tips on becoming a better oboe player and on taking control of your oboe reeds.
    Get your free subscription to the Reed Report newsletter and start your own journey towards a more rewarding oboe future right away. Sign-Up now and get your FREE Oboe Reed Tips!

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Monday, June 5, 2017

ENGLISH HORN - Cor Anglais - Music-Instruments of the World

English Horn - Cor Anglais - Music-Instruments of the World

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Is the Clarinet a Good Instrument for You?

The clarinet is a popular woodwind instrument. Many people play this instrument in bands, orchestras, solo, and in small groups. If you’re trying to choose an instrument, you might wonder whether the clarinet is for you. There are pros and cons to choosing to play the clarinet. Before you buy your first clarinet, it’s a good idea to figure out whether this is the instrument you want to invest your time and money in.

What Kind of Instrument Do You Want to Play?

There are several different kinds of instruments, and different reasons why you might want to pick the clarinet or make a different choice. Are you going to play in the school band or in an orchestra? A clarinet is a good choice. Do you want to play in a rock band? While there are popular clarinet players, you’re probably going to want to go with something like the keyboard, drums, or electric guitar, at least as a primary instrument. If you want to sing while you play an instrument, you’re going to have to pick a different instrument. The piano is a popular instrument if you’re playing in church, but I do play my clarinet in church, alongside the piano and the organ.


Clarinet - Photo by alyak

Do You Like the Clarinet?

If you decide that the clarinet is the right type of instrument for you, you’ll probably want to test it out first. Most people are able to play the clarinet with enough practice, but it’s still a good idea to try it. Many students like to rent instruments, but I don’t recommend renting to own one: it’s a much more expensive way to acquire an instrument than buying one outright. If you don’t know anybody that has a clarinet that you can try out, feel free to rent a clarinet for a month so you can check it out before you buy one.

You can find inexpensive instruments online, but keep in mind that the cheapest instruments don’t always have the best sound quality, and you may want to replace them with better instruments later on if you start off with one.

Reasons to Play the Clarinet

There are many good reasons to learn to play the clarinet. It’s a fairly easy instrument to learn to play; you don’t need extensive music lessons to be able to play this instrument. You can probably even teach yourself how to play this popular woodwind. If you want to play in the school band, orchestra, or at home for fun, this is a popular choice for many people, and may be right for you as well.

By Brooke Lorren

Brooke Lorren has written about finding an inexpensive student clarinet and finding easy clarinet sheet music.
Article Source: EzineArticles