Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Working on Tone Quality

It's all about the Air
There is one aspect of performing on a woodwind or brass instrument that never changes and is frequently the root cause of players not being able to perform to their best abilities.  From beginning band students to the very advanced, musicians can be so distracted by the mechanical & technical aspects of playing and performing that they forget to use enough air.   At the least, lacking air support creates tone quality, response and intonation difficulties.  All wind instruments need the proper “fuel” to operate correctly and improvements are noticeable immediately when the aspect of air support is recognized and properly implemented.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Can you Rent-To-Own a Bass Clarinet?

OK, so can you REALLY rent-to-own a Bass Clarinet?

The bass clarinet is usually a school owned, school provided instrument.  At RentMYInstrument you can rent to own a Bass Clarinet.  If you already play or own the traditional Bb clairnet and would like to add a new "Voice" and sound to your collection consider a bass clarinet. Or, if you don't want to lug home that old instrument from school check out offers the Jupiter model 675N-C at a very affordable rate.  Features include: ABS Resin body with adjustable Floor Peg, inline trill keys, adjustable thumb rest, undercut tone holes, forged nickel silver keys, low Eb on body, leather pads, in a one section wood frame case.  Free UPS shipping directly to your front door.

The bass clarinet is not just for concert band use but is a great solo instrument and can be featured  in a number of Jazz Music Ensemble  arrangements.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Which Saxophone mouthpiece should I get?

Selecting your Saxophone Mouthpiece

Choosing a saxophone mouthpiece can be a bit overwhelming due to the large number of configurations and choices available created by the desire for players to craft diverse tonal qualities.   For a school band rental and beginning band student many fine teachers recommend a Yamaha or Hite Premier mouthpiece.   Both are affordable and the configurations and material produce a pleasant tone and ease of playability.   After players mature they can then pursue trying out a large variety of sax mouthpieces and select those that help them produce the sound and flexibilities they prefer.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Should I buy a music stand or not?

I have RentMYInstrument parents always ask what extra things do I really need to purchase for my beginning band student.  The most obvious item is the recommended book by the band director.  But one other item that really must be considered is a folding music stand.  Now, if you have a traditional piano, the flute or clarinet student could possibly  sit on the piano bench and practice their instrument, but the trumpet and trombone really need a music stand. Music stands promote good posture and playing position.  Also, after you get the  music stand leave it  set up to help remind the student to practice which leads to further success.  I did have a student who tried to "prop" up his music book on his bed pillows and ended up playing his trumpet out the side of his mouth.  BUY A STAND!!!

Music stands are always available at

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drums: Why do I need all that stuff?


When there’s a child in the home who wants to play drums parents often ask band directors why they need a beginner drum kit that has so much stuff in it.  It’s because the student is going to be taught to be a percussionist, not just play on a drum.   Most beginning band programs teach keyboard percussion (xylophone or marimba) in conjunction with rudimentary drumming techniques.  These percussion mallet (as opposed to drum sticks) techniques are also utilized on other percussion instruments, i.e., timpani, vibes, chimes, and other tonal percussion instruments.   Depending on how your school teaches percussion dictates what equipment you will need.   Typical beginner drum kits include a snare drum, snare drum stand, drum sticks, xylophone, xylophone stand, xylophone mallets, a tunable practice pad (much quieter than the snare drum), and a storage/travel bag on rollers. These kits are manufactured with all or just some of these components and are offered thru instrument rental program. to see 3 great brands, Mapex, Ludwig, & Pearl with their drum kit roller bag combos. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tone Deaf? Need to make your instrument sound better? Try This!


A large poster with this message was always present in my band room…..and many other band directors as well.   But how do you teach good tone to very young students?   Call me crazy, but one method that always worked for me and which young students loved was “how many ways can you make a bad sound” or “what is it that makes bad sounds?”   We discovered and analyzed those and then took great care to avoid them.  It made it a lot of fun to then shift focus and be “serious” and find out what makes good sounds.   And it let me teach beginner band students important lessons in trial and error, listening, cooperation and team work.   In the beginning was tone,  and so much more.
- Brad Bone, 30+ year band director and music educator