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A Guide on Microphones

In this article I will give you enough information which I will call a guide on microphones, so you can choose the right microphone for your purposes. I will touch base on the different types of microphones and their special purposes.
If you plan on recording music, vocals, or just podcasting, you will want to choose a microphone that is not too cheap and can capture a microphone capable of good quality audio signal. Not all mics are created equal. A poor quality mic will lead to frustrating sessions, so you want to choose wisely. I will try to explain the key differences among the different microphones so you can pick the right microphone for your purposes. I highlighted words in blue which will take you to Amazon or zzounds if you are interested in purchasing a microphone.
                         Picking the Right Microphone
The first question you should ask yourself is how will I be using this microphone? each and every mic has different strengths and weaknesses. Some mics are great for recording, but not so good on a live stage. Recording microphones fall into one of a small number of categories, the most common being a dynamic, and condenser category.
1 – Dynamic Microphones – These type mics are great for using on live stages, you see this type in the hands of singers, drums, or near guitar amplifier cabinets. They will pick up a cardioid pickup pattern, which takes audio from a single axis meaning the front or side of the microphone. You can focus on the singers voice while also rejecting signals from other angles.
2 – Condenser Microphones – There are two distinct types, a large diaphragm mic, which brings a colour and flavor sound, and is used for vocals, speech, and acoustic instruments, which really picks up a great sound. The other type is a small diaphragm condenser, which is good for tonal accuracy, and produce a more steady result across the frequency spectrum, these are used as overhead mics or on cymbals, which gives it an overall mix and is more detailed in sound.
Three Types of Outputs and Different Considerations
1 Mini -( 3.5 mm) – This type output produces lower- quality audio and requires a power source. They are less popular than the other two below.
2 – XLR – This type output is the common professional choice, and can be purchased for a 3.5 mm or USB connection.
3 – USB – This type output is becoming much more popular because they are easier to use. There are no worries about a power source, and can be recorded straight to an audio program on the computer. If you plan on recording directly to the computer you should make sure the computer is compatible with the microphone and have the proper drivers.
Condenser microphones need a power source which causes an electrical current to run through the wires inside the microphone. This causes a small amount of noise that can be picked up by the mic. This is called self-noise which is weighed in A-weighted decibels (dB-A), and most microphones fall between 9 and 19dB-A. A lower noise figure is better, but is usually higher priced.
When choosing a microphone you should be aware of how “flat” a microphone’s frequency response curve is. A flat frequency response is equally sensitive to high- and low-frequency sounds. It is best to use this type on instruments to capture a natural sound. If you are going to record vocals, you should pick a microphone that’s more sensitive to different frequencies.
SPL is the highest decibel level that a microphone can record without lowering the sound quality. There are a lot of condenser mics that record up to 120dB or higher. If you plan on just using a microphone for speeches, max SPL shouldn’t be too much of a choice for you. You would need a mic that can handle high-decibel sounds if you are recording an instrument like percussion for example.
If you are using a microphone for vocals, you should have what they call a POP FILTER. Directional mics, usually the choice for vocals, are known for “pops”, a noise that results from sounds like “B” and “P”, which can hit the diaphragm with a lot of force. A pop filter is a ring with a thin layer of mesh, which would prevent this. Some microphones come with one of these, but if they don’t they are inexpensive and worth investing in one. You should keep a pop filter 3″ or 4″ from the mic for better effectiveness.
            Directional and Omnidirectional Microphones
Each one of these type mics serve its own purpose. A directional microphone or (cardioid), have sensitivity patterns that pick up sound from one or two directions. This microphone would be more suited for vocal recording because they block out sound from other directions. An omnidirectional microphone picks up sounds from all directions. You would be better with this type microphone if you plan on recording several instruments at once.
                                 Different Type of Stands
1 – Desktop – These are great for recording podcasts, you can adjust thiS STAND while sitting at a desk to the right height.
2 – Tripod Stand – If you plan on recording vocals while standing or even used in general settings.
3 – Tripod Boom – This is a standard for recording instruments, because you can adjust the height of the microphone to your liking.
4 – Shock Mount Stand – If you are recording vocals, this is a good choice because it reduces unwanted vibrations.
5 – Overhead Stand – This is most commonly used in recording studios because of the range of positions you can apply. It is the most expensive stand among all of them.
                                         Price Ranges
Prices on condenser microphones can range anywhere from $9 to $2,900 or more
– Inexpensive Microphones – This can go from $9 to $50 and it would be an easy condenser microphone to use. It can have a decent number of features like a pop filter or head jack for example.
– Mid-Range Microphones – This can range anywhere from $50 to $300 and will be a high quality microphone with probably a little more features.
– Professional Microphones – This can range from $250 to $3,000 or more. This microphone would be used for the professional and recording studio.
                            Storage of a Microphone
Keep the microphone away from young children and animals. If you leave it out, make sure you have a dust cover to prevent particles from collecting inside the microphone. If you plan on not using it for a long period, you should store it in a hard case if you have one.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, BESIDES AMAZON, WHICH I HILIGHTED IN BLUE THROUGHOUT THIS ARTICLE, ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED THE LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.

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                           Best Microphones out there today
1 – Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphones – Even though not perfect, it gets the job done. It is inexpensive and portable. It has cardioid and omni pick-up patterns. It does have occasional latency problems though. The onboard headphone amplifier allows you to listen to your recording directly from the microphone, plus you can use the output to connect powered speakers. The GO mic is perfect for recording voice or music, podcasting, streaming, or chatting and VoIP.
2 – Cad Audio U 37 Studio Condenser Recording Microphones – This is great for guitar and speaking voice. It has a large condenser microphone element for warm, rich recording. It has cardioid pick-up pattern which minimizes background noise and isolates the main source but background noise sometimes filters into recordings but still worth its money.
3 – 1K Multimedia 1 Rig Mic Studio Microphones – This offers 24-bit output, a hardware gain knob, headphone jack, USB output for android, and a lightning cable for iPhone/I pad. Its easy to set up, has a decent sound, great included software, but it is not geared towards pristine audio.
4 – Blue Yeti USB – This condenser mic is worth its money being so inexpensive for what features it has. It has four pick-up settings that enhances control and artistic freedom. It is a heavier microphone weighing 3.5lbs though. It has a headphone output and volume control, mic gain control, mute button, and a USB output. You would probably have to use several mics when recording, which you wouldn’t have to with the features of this model.
5 – Shure Beta 87A Supercardioid Condenser Microphones – This does a professional performance from a company with an exceptional reputation. It has an unbeatable sound quality rating. It doesn’t have any USB connectivity and its primarily for vocals but absolutely the best condenser mic for vocals and recordings for its money.
6 Aston Microphone origin – A high performance cardioid condenser microphone utilizing a one-inch gold evaporated capsule. It is versatile enough to use with most instruments and works great on acoustic guitars and vocals. Its hand-selected capsule is teamed with high-end transformer-less circuitry using only the best components. It is designed to deliver direct-smooth and intimate sound for a natural and transparent recording.
7 – Audio-Technica AT 2020 USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB – This is appropriate for vocals and instruments. It has high- quality A/D converter with 16 bits, 441/48 kilohertz sampling rate for great audio. A headphone jack with volume control which allows you to monitor the microphone signal with no delay. Mix control allows you to blend your microphone signal and prerecorded audio. It is extremely sensitive. Not good for Skype or intimate vocal recordings if that is what you plan on using it for.
8 – AKG c636 Handheld Vocal Microphone Black – This is the c535 updated version for live performance requirements. It offers pure studio sound, and is very durable. Its proprietary double shock suspension system provides unparalleled rejection of handling noise. The c636 helps keep your performance flawless by having a multi-layer pop noise rejection system that eliminates plosive, and a road-tested cardioid polar pattern that eliminates feedback. The c636 eliminates feedback by combining a uniform cardioid polar pattern throughout the entire frequency spectrum with a specially designed suspension and grille for the capsule. This unique approach to housing the capsule avoids unwanted sound reflections on the back of the capsule from stage sound sources, the most common cause of feedback in other microphones. Being that “pops” are the enemy for singers, the Triple Pop Noise Protection is incorporated with a multi-layer protection system to provide singers with clear, plosive-free vocal performance. The protection system spares no expense and consists of the grille, a foam layer behind the grille, and a magnetically attached computer-modeled mesh layer on top of the capsule. The triple-layer protection system is virtually unique to AKG and is not found in any microphone near this price range. The 24-karet gold-plated capsule protects the mic against moisture and corrosion.
9 – Rode NT1 microphone – This condenser microphone is redesigned from the original NT1 20 years ago. There’s the new HFG capsule designed to feature a sound signature similar to vintage favorites but having extremely low noise. The transducer is suspended inside the microphone using Rycote’s Lyre System, which reduces external vibrations. It claims that the NT1 is the quietest one-inch cardioid condenser due to the high-grade electronics keeping the self-noise level down to 4.5 dBA. It has great sound quality, integrated shock mount, and pop shield.
10 – Slate Digital VMS – This is a hybrid system that utilizes an extremely transparent condenser microphone, a sonically neutral preamp, and a plug-in module that works in concert with Slate hardware to replicate some of the worlds finest and most sought-after microphones and preamps. What you get with the VMS is a high-quality, large capsule condenser mic, a dedicated “ultra linear” mic pre and a plug-in which contains the modeled mics. You have to use your own A/D converter to get it into your digital audio workstation.
11 – Audio Technica AT 5040 – This mic offers great musical high-fidelity performance, with profound realism and depth, presence and purity of sound. They designed it for a 1st choice vocal microphone. The AT5040 cardioid condenser features extremely smooth top end with controlled sibilants, large-diaphragm characteristics and fast transient response also make it ideal for recording acoustic instruments such as piano, guitar, and saxophone. The noise figure is exceptional and the quick release cradle beautifully designed. It has an advanced internal capsule decoupling mechanism and the fact that its 100% hand built and inspected. The capsule is special, a four-part rectangular design delivering over ten-square CMS of surface area(roughly twice that of a one-inch capsule). Put into perspective, a circular design with approximately the same would have a diameter of 3.6 cm.
                                                  Conclusion
I have tried to give as much information in this article as possible so that you have a better understanding of what microphones are out on the market today. Hopefully you have a better understanding of the different choices you have and what microphone would be the best choice for whatever you are looking to do. If you have any questions or comments please type them below and I will do my best to answer them.

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Tubas Buying Guide

If you are interested in tubas, I created a guide on what to look for when purchasing tubas. Tubas buying guide can help you choose what tuba is best suited for you, especially if you are shopping for one for the first time. I will try to give you as much information on tubas as I can to make it easier for you.
The best tuba to choose for you is one that you can physically handle. Tubas can be very large and if you are a small person, you may purchase the wrong one making it hard to hold and play.
Size of the Tuba
tubas are available in fraction sizes or quarter system. The most common tuba is 3/4, but also available are 4/4, 5/4, and 6/4 tubas. There are no set dimensions, tuba sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The 3/4 tuba is a smaller tuba for some manufacturers which would mean a 4/4 tuba would be standard, a 5/4 would be large, and a 6/4 would be extra large.
Younger tuba players usually play the 3/4 tubas since the full size ones can be too large for them. These 3/4 tubas are tuned and keyed just like the full sized tubas, but usually has three valves and are less expensive compared to the 4, 5, or 6 valves used by professionals.
With this instrument the lead pipe plays an important factor in its location, the lead pipe is where the mouthpiece is inserted. The lead pipe can be either too high or too low, making the tuba more difficult than it has to be, even if the tuba is the right size and weight for you.
                        Construction and type of Tubas
The tuba is the lowest pitched and largest brass instrument. Its body is composed of the mouthpiece, main tube, valve tube, valves, water key, and the bell. They are generally made of brass, and can be unfinished or lacquered, electroplated with gold, silver, or nickel. The Latest technology has tubas also being made out of plastic, which would be less expensive.
There are basically two major types of tuba categories, one is the contrabass, the other is the bass, and any other tubas are categorized under either one of these types. The F and Eb tubas are considered a bass tuba, they have a brighter sound than your contrabass and play in a higher key. Bb and C tubas, which are also called CC and BBb tubas, are categorized as contrabass tubas. The BBb tuba has the lowest pitch compared to your standard tuba sizes.
                                Different Types of Tubas
1 – Marching Tubas – This type tuba has a lead pipe that is manually screwed on right next to the valves. The instrument can rest on the left shoulder, and some can rest on the right shoulder. The bell of this tuba faces directly in front of the player Marching tubas are only used for marching, they cannot be converted into a concert tuba.
2 – Sousaphone Tubas – Most of your marching bands use what they call the sousaphone because it is easily wrapped around the body of the player. The sousaphone is lighter and less expensive than the marching tuba. They are also a lot easier to carry and not as awkward and for this reason they are also used in concert.
Sousaphones are made either in brass or fiberglass, and they project their sound above and ahead of the player and out towards whatever is in front. It has a large bell and a very distinctive sound.
3 – Upright Tubas – A tuba can weigh as much as 25lbs and are referred to being upright tubas because the bell is facing out away from the player and placed on the lap of the musician. Their upright design makes them easier to carry even on the marching field.
The keys are in front facing outwards, making them easy to press while playing, this type tuba is easy to maneuver and carry around.
4 – Baritone Tubas – This type is low-pitched. It has pistons valves and a mostly conical bore. Its mouthpiece is shaped like a cup and is wide rimmed, similar to the trombone It also has just about the same length of tubing that the trombone has, the difference is the shape or design, which is the shape of a small tuba. It has a much mellower sound than the trombone. Instead of a hand slide, the baritone tuba has valves. It creates deep, dark, powerful tones that most people would recognize the sound as a tuba.
5 – Contrabass Bugle/Tubas – This type tuba is the lowest- pitched of all your tubas. It is pitched in either C or Bb, referred also as CC and BBb. The CC is tuba is most commonly used in orchestras. The BBb tuba is popular in Germany, Austria, and Russia. Also, the BBb tuba is used in schools and amateur musicians in the United States.
There are at least five different types of contrabass tubas, most of which are pitched in BBBb, and they sound a full octave lower than your basic BBb contrabass. The most common music written for this tuba is in bass clef.
6 – Bass tuba – This type is usually played an octave higher than the contrabass tuba when playing in a brass band. The bass tuba is usually in the key of Eb or F. The F tuba is more popular in Europe, and the Eb tuba is more popular in the United States, and both of these can be supplemented by the CC or BBb tubas when necessary. The F tuba is used a lot by professional musicians for solos, and assorted ensembles.
Most professional tuba players have both a bass tuba, and a contrabass tuba because most of the music have parts for one or both of these tubas. The bass tuba is becoming more rare in bands today, but you will still find them in many orchestras today.
7 – Euphonium – This type tubas name comes from the Greek word, meaning well- sounding or sweet-voiced. It is very large, and has conical-shaped bores. It is mostly found with pistons valves, but some do have rotary valves attached. It is usually played in bass cleff, but can be played in treble clef when used as a transposing instrument. It is also known as the tenor tuba, and it is pitched in Bb. When you hear it called the tenor tuba it normally refers to the Bb rotary-valve tubas pitched in the same octave as euphoniums. There is also a small Swiss tuba in C, which is a tenor tuba in C which has six valves to reach lower notes of a composition.

Four types of Euphoniums

1 – Compensating Euphonium – It has 3 upright valves and 1 side valve. It has extra tubing for its unique sound. Not all euphoniums with 4 valves are compensating, however, because only the ones that have the extra tubing in them will be considered in this category.
2 – Double-Bell Euphonium – besides having a main bell, this type has a 2nd smaller bell. It has a lever that allows the musician to switch back and forth between the bells. This type euphonium can be substituted for a trombone when there isn’t one since it sounds like a trombone. This is a very old type instrument invented in the late 1800s and are very hard to find today, they are rarely known by young players today.
3 – Five Valves Euphonium – This is the rarest and most valuable euphonium today. It has 3 main pistons valves with 2 extra piston valves on its side.
4 – Marching Euphonium – This type euphonium is made lighter and smaller to make them much easier to march with. There are 2 types of these, one of them being the convertible and is light enough to be used on the marching field. The 2 most common manufacturers of this are Yamaha or Jupiter.
8 – Helicon Tubas – This type tuba is usually in the key of Bb, but can also be in the key of E, B, F, and tenor sizes. This tuba when first made had an upright bell, which they named this tuba the rain catcher. The sousaphone is a specialized version of this type.
There were 2 main changes with the Helicon tuba, the first one was the bell faced forward with a larger flare and a diameter of up to 28″; They added a lead pipe that was shaped like a goose-neck which was the 2nd change. They added the lead pipe for better adjust ability of the position of the mouthpiece, and both the sousaphone and Helicon are worn on the shoulder and have circular shapes.
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9 – Saxhorn Tubas – This type sounds mellow and blends very well with your other brass instruments. It has bores which are conical shaped and a mouthpiece that is deep and shaped like a cup. It has valves like a lot of other brass instruments. They can range from soprano to contrabass. They were modified after the bugle for their final result. There are a variety of saxhorns such as, the Bb soprano saxhorn, Eb alto/tenor saxhorn, Bb baritone saxhorn, EB bass, and Bb contrabass saxhorns which are the same as the modern tuba, Eb bass tuba, and BBb contrabass tuba.
10 – Subcontrabass Tubas – This is an extremely rare tuba that is pitched in BBBb; You have 4 different types of this tuba, two of which are in BBBb, one octave below the BBb contrabass, a tuba pitched in FFF, and one pitched in EEEb. The FFF contrabass tuba needs 2 players, one plays the valves and one blows into the mouthpiece. You may sometimes see them in concerts but it is a very rare instrument.
11 – Wagner Tubas – This is another rare instrument used today. It has characteristics of the trombone and french horn. This tuba is also called Wagner horns, Bayreuth tubas, Bayreuth tuben, or just tuben. This tuba is usually pitched in F(bass), and Eb (tenor), and usually have rotary valves. Some are combined, and can be configured in either key. This tuba uses a mouthpiece just like a horns mouthpiece, and has the characteristics of both a horn and a tuba. It has a limited repertoire, which can have problems with intonations if the musician is using it for parts of the french horn for instance. Still, it does have a great sound when participating in any band or orchestra.
                             Two Types of Valves and Characteristics
1 – Rotary Valve – These type valves doesn’t need as much maintenance as a piston valve, because they don’t need to be oiled as often. This type valve is preferred by German musicians. Rotary valves are not easy to assemble and re-assemble because of their complexity, so you will need to take it to a professional.
2 – Piston Valves – These type valves are preferred by the American and British musicians. They are higher in maintaining these type valves compared to the rotary valves because you have to oil these valves regularly in order for them to work properly to their full potential.
They are easy to assemble and re-assemble compared to the rotary valves. They can point out the front of the instrument or point to the top.
                                 Valve Functions on a Tuba
Tubas can have anywhere from 3 to 6 valves, some may even have different amounts. The least expensive and beginner tubas usually have three. The 1st valve lowers the pitch by one step. The 2nd valve lowers the pitch by a half step. The 3rd valve lowers the pitch by one-and-a-half-step The 4th valve is used in place of the combination of the 1st and 3rd valves, it can be tuned to lower the pitch of the main tube by two-and-a-half-steps. The 5th and 6th valves provides alternate fingerings to reach lower levels and improve intonation.
A BBb tuba can actually switch to an Ab tuba when you press the 1st valve. The 3rd valve can lower the pitch of a BBb tuba by one-and-a-half-steps, but cannot accomplish this with an Ab tuba. You can use the 4th valve to lower the pitch of the main tube by four-and-a-half-steps, which allows you to correct the tone when its too sharp. If there is a 5th and 6th valve on the tuba, you can reach the lowest notes of the instrument more easily, as well as use alternate fingerings when it’s necessary, which also makes it easier to trill which means,( a rapid alternation between 2 adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart, which can be identified with the context of the trill),
                                            Maintenance
One a month you should flush out the interior with lukewarm water, never hot. Scrub the bore and tubing with a bore brush, rinse with cold water and drain the instrument thoroughly. Never use detergents on lacquered finishes. Dry valve casings with a cotton flannel cleaning cloth.
The mouthpiece should be brushed inside with a mouthpiece brush with warm, soapy water on a weekly basis because it is a breeding ground for bacteria if not kept clean.
When not using the tuba, keep it closed in its case to help protect it from damage and keep it away from extreme heat or from direct sunlight.
After playing, open any water keys and blow a steady stream of air through the tuba to eliminate any accumulation of water.
You should wipe the outside of the tuba with a polishing cloth to eliminate any fingerprints, which will stop your instrument from tarnishing.
On a weekly basis you should make sure all slides and valves move easily, oil valves once a week or more often if needed.
          Tuba Prices and Some Best Tubas to Buy on the                                                             Market
Tubas can range anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000. Do not base your choice on price alone because the fact remains that the tuba with the highest price is not always the best in quality. Get a feel on what some professionals are saying about the wide variety of tubas that you can choose from. Below I have listed some tubas that professionals think are good choices and worth their money.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, BESIDES AMAZON, WHICH I HILIGHTED IN BLUE THROUGHOUT THIS ARTICLE, ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED THE LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.

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1 – Cool Wind CTU-200 series 4-Valve BBb Tubas – This is one rare tuba that features different color designs, Cool Wind has created this model taking a step farther off the pack by releasing this unique design that features a plastic brass construction. It features a 21 mm and a 4-mouth action valve piece material to aid the overall play turnover. It has rotary valves, an ABS, metal valve material- all laid out in special colors that has never been seen before. Just be careful where you store it in the summer because of high temperatures.
2 Band Directors Choice 995 Student BBb Tubas – This model is the perfect choice for first time tuba players. It has a lacquer body with nickel trim. Pistons are hand tapped which gives them a perfect fit for noiseless, responsive action. Its 3/4 size bore is :0.67, upright bell is 14.88″, which makes it a great directors choice for the beginner. For its price it will deliver in terms of sound quality and overall performance.
3 – RS Berkelely Tuba 3/4 size – A lacquer finish, 656″ bore, 16″ bell, three nickel plated pistons, and unique mouthpiece. This model has great quality for its price. It is a BBb key tuba. It has three top-action monal valves and a hand lapped pistons which helps prevent any unnecessary noises. Hand-lapping pistons are designed to encourage great quality intonation and sound generation by the musician.
4 – Stagg WS-BT 235 Bb Tubas – This model is a great tuba designed majorly for student and beginners who are looking to upgrade their playing. It has a lacquer body finish and simple mechanism that makes it easy for beginners. It features a solid and intuitive three front-action nickel silver pistons, a bore measuring 15.0 diameter, a bell 147.64″, a height of 39-37″, which is great for players looking for a smaller tuba. It has a silver plated mouthpiece and the tuba only weighs 15.43 lbs. It has a deep rich sound and extreme comfort for players at all levels. This model is great for young and professional alike.
5 – Jupiter 378 series 3-Valve 3/4 BBb – The band directors dream, this is 3/4 tuba with detachable lead pipe, valve body, and bell for easy cleaning and repair, durable construction. The tighter wrap and compact size will help young players. It has an ample dynamic range and rich, sweet tone, It has nickel plated pistons valves for easy action, plus a size which makes the sound easy to control for beginners.
6 – Yamaha YBB-105 WC series 3-Valve 3/4 BBb Tubas – Another smaller tuba which is ideal for beginners and it doesn’t sacrifice on quality. Its comfortable to play and has great tone. In Bb key, which is the lowest tuba pitch, produces a warm, rich sound and you can stay with this model as you advance. It has hand-lapped pistons and slides, precision brace design and placement extended mouthpiece taper, and a specially designed 14.3/8″ upright yellow bell flare for enhanced projection, a .661″ bore, three top-action nickel plated alloy pistons, gold. The 3/4 bore size is not suitable for larger ensembles if that’s what you are going to play in.
7 – Jupiter JTU 1110 Concert Tuba Lacquered – This model has an innovative open wrap, a new feature in tubas, it eliminates sharp bends, allowing smoother air flow. Because of its size, its great for small hands and lighter than other models. It has an outstanding low registry. It is a Bb tuba, 732 bore, 17.4″ bell, four bottom sprung position valves front action.
                                                  Conclusion
Hopefully you have enough information in this article so you can choose a tuba that will be a right fit for you. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

 

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Trombone Instrument Guide

This article is a trombone instrument guide where I will write about as many aspects of this instrument and if you are interested in buying one, you will have a better understanding on what to look for when purchasing one. At the end of this article I will give you some great buys that you can look at and some opinions about each model.
Shopping for a TROMBONE or any instrument is not an easy task, especially if your new at this. There are hundreds of trombones on the market to choose from. You will have to choose which trombone is best suited for you so you don’t end up wasting your money where you would have to upgrade your instrument in a couple of months as you progress on the instrument. You would also not choose a $5,000 trombone if you are just starting out, even though it looks very attractive. Also you will not want to pick a trombone that is too heavy if you are buying for a child or has limited arm strength.
If you are just starting out, you may want to choose a trombone that comes with a starter kit which includes items such as a cleaning cloth, tuners, and instructional books or DVD.
I will teach you terms like closed wrap, F-attachment, bore, etc. so you understand what you are looking at when shopping for one. This instrument is related to the brass family and is used widely in Jazz, Classical, Pop, and even in marching bands.
                   Material and Parts of the Trombone
– Material – Trombones today can be made with various materials. The most recent material they can make a trombone out of is plastic. With the help of 3-D printing they are more advanced in molding so they can craft detailed shapes of musical instruments. Plastic trombones are very strong and helps in preventing the instrument from being scratched or dented.
The original material of a trombone is various grades of brass. Some can be plated with nickel, while others can have a lacquer finish on it. You will never get the same sound with an instrument made out of plastic that you would get out of a quality brass trombone, but plastic trombones are a lot cheaper and the sound is surprisingly good.
– Bell – This part is what emits the sound. A smaller bell will give a more focused sound. A larger bell will give the sound a louder sounding note or dynamic sound.
-Bore – This part is the internal diameter of the tubing. This part ranges from 0.480″ for a smaller bore trombone to 0.562″ for bass trombones.
Trombones that have a narrow bore are better for beginners because the increased air resistance makes it easier to get a consistent sound. The narrow bore also gives the trombone a brighter tone which is popular for Jazz music. The larger bore gives you a larger warmer sound.
– Closed Wrap vs Open Wrap – With a closed wrap the extra tubing is traditionally wrapped within the body of the instrument and this type usually has an F attachment. The F attachment is engaged by using a trigger which operates a valve. ( This is different from the three valved valve trombone, which I will explain what a three valve trombone is later in the article).
Some trombones today with the F attachment are made wrapped outside the body of the trombone, called an open wrap. This gives it less slide resistance and a more free- blowing feel because they have fewer bends in the F section.
– taper – The way a bell flares on a TROMBONE makes a difference in the sound. Bells with a slow taper makes a brighter sound which is great for Jazz and Pop music. Bells with a fast taper gives the trombone a richer, warmer sound, which is more suitable for orchestras or symphonic music.
-Brace/Strut – This part runs horizontally between different sections of tubing that holds the instrument together. The trombone is made out of a tubing that doubles back on itself, so the struts help keep the whole trombone rigid to improve its sound. The braces on a slide trombone are on the slide portion of the tubing and are called slide braces.
– Bumper – This part is at the end of the trombone which is to protect the end of the instrument from hitting other things while playing. This is a very long instrument so you can easily hit other things while playing or carrying the instrument.
– Counterweight – This part keeps the trombone more easily balanced when playing. It looks like a small disc or hockey puck which is fastened onto the brace located furthest from the player. The reason it is placed there is because the trombones front end can get pretty heavy while holding it up to play because of the sizable length of the instrument.
Players have different opinions attaching this part to the instrument, some say it isn’t necessary while others say it makes the trombone easier to handle. It does tend to focus and darken the sound slightly as the instrument reacts to the additional mass the counterweight provides.
– Mouthpiece – This part on the trombone is removable and is large and deep, which a lot of players say the trombone is one of the easiest brass instruments to produce a tone even as a beginner. This part sends air and lip vibrations into the body of the trombone from the player.
– Mouthpiece Receiver – This part connects the mouthpiece to the trombone. It is a small metal cylinder fused to the end of the lead pipe that connects the mouthpiece to the instrument. The mouthpiece is gently pressed into this part and slightly twisted when placed into the receiver, but not too much.
– Tubing – This part is usually made out of brass and its length is usually 2 meters if laid out end to end. This is where the sound will come by starting at the mouthpiece, which is placed into the mouthpiece receiver. The vibration and air produced by the players lips goes through the receiver inside the tubing, to produce varying tones by depressing valve pistons with the fingers at the same time. The tubing ends with a flared bell.
– Tuning Slide – This part is for micro-tuning adjustments. It is located at the heel of the trombone and moves in and out with just a small amount of pressure, which allows the musician to be able to make micro-adjustments while playing instantly.
– Valve Casings – These parts are cylindrical metal tubes that encases the pistons when pressed up and down. As the musician presses a valve piston, it slides down in the casing to match up the holes in the casing that leads to different slides. The change to the total tubing length that the air and sound waves pass through from these holes creates the different notes of the chromatic scale.
– Valve Pistons – These move up and down in the valve casings, which changes the length of the tubing and the tone that is produced. This is what changes the air path inside the trombone to a different tone by pressing down on the pistons in various patterns. You can also press a valve piston halfway to create even different sound effects and notes.
These valve pistons perform the same task as other valve instruments as far as pitch change. The 1st valve lowers the tone one step, the 2nd valve lowers it one half step, and the 3rd valve lowers the pitch one and one half step.
– Valve Slide – This part changes the length of the tubing to produce different tones. You have three valve slides on the trombone, the 1st slide is closest to the player, each branches off of a valve casing, so when the musician presses down on a valve piston and opens an air channel to that slide, the trombone changes pitch. You can make micro-adjustments to the tuning of the trombone by moving the valve slide in and out.
– Water Key – This part allows the musician to remove moisture from the interior of the trombone. It is a small metal lever usually found on the trombones main slide that can be pressed to open a small hole in the slide and allow water to escape.
While playing the TROMBONE, a small amount of moisture builds up inside the instrument, by blowing sharply into the mouthpiece and depressing the water key will allow the water buildup to drain. This part has a small felt disc on the end to help seal the hole when the water key is closed.
                               Six Types of Trombones
– Straight Tenor Trombone – This type of trombone is what most people will begin with and a lot of professionals will keep playing throughout their career. It can be played in B-flat because it doesn’t have any tubing inside the main loop.
– Alto Trombone – This type is the only trombone that isn’t pitched to B-flat and is pitched to E-flat. You can play other music that other trombones can’t because of the higher pitch. This type is usually chosen when playing in orchestras.
– F-Rotor Trombone – This type of trombone is a variation of the straight tenor trombone. It can be played like a straight tenor trombone, but the difference is that it has a valve that involves the extra tubing inside the main loop, allowing the player to play in F. This will also open up the lower registers.
– Bass Trombone – This type trombone has a lower, deeper sound with its extra tubing, wide bore, and large bell. Although in the most part it is pitched to B-flat, this type trombone has one or two valves that lets you play in F and or G.
– Soprano Trombone – This type trombone is pitched an octave higher than the straight tenor trombone even though pitched to B-flat. This isn’t the most popular type but can be found being used mostly in Jazz and Orchestra music.
– Valve Trombone – This type trombone has keys similar to those on a trumpet rather than a slide. It has a less open sound than that of a standard slide trombone so is usually not found being used in an orchestra. It is usually good for playing fast passages, which is much harder to play with a slide.
                                           Maintenance
You should always polish gently with a soft lint free cloth to remove any dirt, grime, or fingerprints because this can degrade the finish of the instrument if left there.
You should always remove the mouthpiece when not in use and it should be cleaned, inspected for chips or flaws so you don’t end up cutting your lip and stored safely. If the mouthpiece ever gets stuck in the mouthpiece receiver, do not try to force it because you might cause further damage, bring it to a repair shop.
Never set your TROMBONE on the floor or to leave it balanced on the edge of a table on its horn. This can change the shape of the metal and can affect the sound, store the trombone safely in its case when it is not in use.
You should lubricate the tuning slide occasionally with a small amount of slide grease so it is easy to operate.
The valve casings can be lightly lubricated with a very thin coat of valve oil, do not over oil this because you will have a real mess on your hands as it drains out of the end of the casing.
The valve pistons can be cleaned with a soft lint free cloth and lightly treated with valve oil to keep them in top form. Always inspect them regularly to avoid having grit from scratching the pistons. If for any reason a valve piston gets stuck, take it to a professional technician to fix it, forcing it can result in bending or scratching it. If for any reason you remove the pistons, make sure they are put back in their assigned casings or the horn will not play properly.
The valve slides should be removed and cleaned periodically and lubricated. The grease used for slides should never be used with the valve pistons. If the valve slide becomes stuck, take it to a professional technician for service.
The water key felt disc should be examined occasionally making sure it is clean and no wear and tear and has a good seal. Take it to be serviced if you see anything wrong with the disc because you don’t want any dirt or grit to collect anywhere on the trombone and you will need the felt disc replaced.

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                                    Prices of Trombones
You can pay as little as $80 or $10,000 for a trombone, depending on your needs. Just keep in mind that if you only spend $80 on an instrument you will not get the same tones and sounds as you would a more expensive trombone and may need to upgrade rapidly as you progress.
– Beginner Trombone – These models can range from $80 to $500 for basic brass and plastic models
– Intermediate Trombone – These models can range anywhere from $500 to $900 and will have a better tone and sound and will consist of better made materials.
– Professional TROMBONE – These models can range from $1,000 to $2,000 for your basic professional trombone and up to $10,000 for the high-end trombones played by world-class musicians.
                             Best Trombones in 2020
MENDINI BY CECILIO BB TENOR SLIDE TROMBONE beginner Student – this model has a medium size bore and is very affordable, it has good welding construction, lightweight, but it doesn’t come with a cleaning snake.
PL INSTRUMENTS P BONE PLASTIC TROMBONE – A beginner trombone, especially for the young. It is lightweight, lest than 2lbs, interesting designs, very affordable, especially if your looking for a beginner trombone and don’t want to spend too much.
KAIZER TROMBONE B FLAT BB NICKEL SILVER TBNE-1000K – This model has great balance, compound coated to resist corrosion, and has easy slide action. It is priced right and is an ideal student model to practice with.
YSL 354 STUDENT MODEL FROM YAMAHA – This model is well-built and well priced. It’s one time drawn, laser welded, and unmatched mouthpiece precision.
MOZ BRAND NEW EB ALTO TROMBONE – This model is a high-quality brass body, very nice nickel finish, provides concert level sound. The case that comes with this model is a little too small.
MENDINI BY CECILIO BB TENOR SLIDE TROMBONE – This is an intermediate level trombone that comes with an F extension. It is a good step up from an introductory trombone, has a two-tone finish, it has good slide action, but you may need to use slide oil before playing to its full potential.
YSL-448G INTERMEDIATE TROMBONE – This model has a valve register that is extremely responsive, a signature mouthpiece, and 2 rotors
King legend 4 B series 2104 F lacquer with F attachment – A great premium model which is built to last. It has a large bore, F-rotor, and is well-made. It has a wide range full of dynamics. This model is made for the serious minded musicians.
YAMAHA YSL 8820 XENO SERIES F-ATTACHMENT – This model has an F-rotor attachment which is very well-made and switches flawlessly between keys. It is hand-hammered, and comes with a great mouthpiece. It is one time drawn so it has no seams.
BACH 42 BO STRADIVARIUS SERIES F-ATTACHMENT – This model is a professional symphonic trombone and comes with a great mouthpiece, a large bell, lightweight slide, it slides with next to no resistance, it has a beautiful warmth and richer harmonic depth, and the F attachment allows for interesting runs.
                                                Conclusion
I hope I gave you enough information on the trombone so you have enough knowledge to be able to choose what trombone will be right for you when shopping for one. If you have any questions or comment, please don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer them
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Trumpet Buying Guide

This article will be a trumpet buying guide for people interested in buying a trumpet, especially for the first time, so you will know a little bit more about the trumpet when purchasing one.
This trumpet buying guide will also help you in choosing what trumpet is best suited for you. There is a difference in trumpets’s on what to choose from with your skill level. A beginner trumpet would not suffice for a seasoned player. You wouldn’t want to pick a trumpet that is best suited for a seasoned player if you are a beginner because of the price alone, especially if you are uncertain of your level commitment. You would want to choose a trumpet for a beginner that doesn’t have as many complicated features as a professional trumpet because it would make learning the instrument much harder to master.
The trumpet is a very versatile instrument that can fit into many different types of music, anything from Jazz, Orchestra, Rock, etc. with a great wide tonal range.
A good trumpet should be bright and clear without sounding shrill. What makes up the sound of a trumpets’s tone is the size of the bore, lead pipe, and bell size, also the material they use on different parts. But the ultimate choice should be your ears, or a professional or teachers opinion before purchasing a trumpet.
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                          Different Types of Trumpets
– Bb plastic trumpet – This would be one of your cheapest instruments that you can probably pick up for around $100.00 They are a perfect choice for a beginner because you don’t have to worry about dents. The drawback is this instrument choice will not progress with the student. You will have to definitely upgrade as you grow more into the trumpet. They are also limited on what they can do and they have flaws.
– Bb trumpet – This is usually the instrument you would pick if you are a beginner. They have a good tone which would fit in with any type music you are playing. There is a wide variety to choose from and if you are playing in a school band for instance this is the one to choose.
– C trumpet – A lot of musicians choose this type, especially if you are playing in an orchestra because the C trumpet seems to have a brighter tone than the Bb trumpet. Another reason to choose this type trumpet is the music sounds as written: when you play a C note it sounds like a C note.
– Pocket trumpet – This type trumpet is very portable and usually a good choice for a practice instrument. It looks like a full size trumpet that has been folded down to a compact size.
– Bb piccolo trumpet – This type of trumpet plays an octave higher than the Bb trumpet. If you usually play a higher register this may be a good choice. It is harder to find pieces written for this type of trumpet though.
– Herald trumpet – This trumpet is designed for such events as parades, which it has a dynamic design. There are other specialty trumpets’s not mentioned in this article, but the ones mentioned are the most popular choices.
                       Three Ability Level Type Trumpets
1 – Student trumpet – This would be the most affordable trumpet. They are designed for the beginner. They are more durable and have features that can get the beginner student learning easier. The tone will not be as good which you will need as you progress into higher levels of play. You will probably be able to find this level trumpet under $150.00.
2 – Intermediate trumpet – This level trumpet would be for the player who learned the fundamentals and are ready for something more versatile that the student trumpet can’t give. It will have a nice richer tone and features and adjustable slide stops. This level trumpet will range from $200.00 to $1,000.00.
3 – Professional trumpet – This level trumpet will have exceptional tone and a greater response to what the musician will want the instrument to do. It will be made out of the best materials. This level is for the most serious and dedicated musician. This level can range anywhere from $1500.00 to $3,200.00.
                                     Parts of the Trumpet
Bell – This part is usually the first thing you would notice on the trumpet. The function of the bell is part of the process used to produce its tone. The reason it is so noticeable is because of its brilliant metal inside and out that reflects all light around it. This amplifies the sound of the trumpet. The bell comes in different sizes and shapes, as they get larger you get a less sharp sound.
The material plays an important factor with its tone. Brass trumpets’s plated with gold produces a more rounded tone, brass trumpets’s plated with silver produces a brassier sound.
Leadpipe – This part on the trumpet is a metal tube that extends from the mouthpiece to the main tuning slide. This part should never be dented by accidental bumps because it can change the whole tone of the instrument because of the airflow being changed by the dent.
– Bore – This is the inside of the main tubing. They range from .450 to .472 inches. Wide bore instruments need more effort to play but can produce a louder sound. The student trumpet usually is smaller, approx. 460 inches.
Finger Hook – This part is a sturdy metal hook on the top of the trumpet that helps the player to be able to hold the instrument in one hand while still allowing fingering to occur. You can actually play the trumpet with one hand while using the other hand to turn pages or even play another instrument or signal to another musician.
Mouthpiece – This part is a small metal device which is circular opening that leads via a semi-spherical which opens into a small tube, similar to a funnel. They are usually made of brass and you can choose from a variety of mouthpiece sizes and materials to fit your style of playing.
This is where a precise flow of air goes from the players mouth into the trumpet. To get the sound a player creates a buzzing effect with the lips. This part is removable from the instrument.
Mouthpiece receiver – This part is fused to the end of the lead pipe that is the connection of the mouthpiece to the trumpet. You have to be careful not to push the mouthpiece too hard into the receiver because you can damage this part and the mouthpiece can get stuck. Do not try to remove it yourself, if this happens bring it to a repair shop.
Tuning Slide – This part is a C-shaped metal tube that can slide in and out to adjust the tuning of the trumpet. It is the largest slide on the trumpet. As you slide the part out the lower the trumpet will produce. There is usually a small water key on the end of the part for the player to be able to blow out excess moisture.
Water Key – This part is a small metal lever found on the trumpets’s main tuning slide that you can open to release excess moisture by pressing it creating a small hole and blowing sharply into the mouthpiece. It is closed by having a small felt disc on the end that seals the hole.
Bracing – Most trumpets’s have a vertical brace to reinforce the tuning slide. Some have double braces and some have none. Professional players have debates on the effect of tones that braces have often claiming that bracing improves slotting or changes the trumpets’s timbre in subtle ways. It doesn’t mean that more bracing is not necessarily better.
Valve Casings – This part is located at the center of the trumpet and are three cylindrical valve casings. The 1st valve casing is nearest the player when held for playing, the 2nd valve casing is in the center, and the 3rd valve casing is the furthest away from the player. This is what holds the valve pistons, which moves up and down when pressing and releasing them which produces a full range of tones using different combinations of fingering ad varying amounts of air pressure from the player blowing into the mouthpiece.
Each piston has its own unique position in its casing so if you need to repair or replace them you have to make sure they are put back in their proper casings.
Valve Pistons – This part is thin metal cylinders with holes both large and small bored through and small finger pieces on the end. These pistons are mounted into the valve casings located at the top center of the trumpet You have a 1st valve piston which is located closest to the player when in playing position, a 2nd valve piston which is located in the center, and a 3rd valve piston which is located the furthest away from the player.
The valve pistons move up and down in the valve casings to produce the different tones on the trumpet using different combinations of fingering and different amounts of air pressure created by the musician through the mouthpiece. When a player presses down on a piston the holes move and reroute the flow of air in circuits that are larger or smaller depending on the fingering. The longer the route of air, the lower the tone.
The 1st piston lowers the tone by a half-step, the 2nd piston lowers the tone by a full step, and the 3rd piston valve lowers the tone by a minor third. If for any reason you have to remove these pistons from their casings, make sure you put them back in their proper casings.
Valve Slides – You have three slides on a trumpet, each is placed at a precise point in the flow of air inside the trumpet to allow the player to change pitch by depressing pistons while playing or make adjustments to the tuning by moving the slides in and out.
Water Key – This part is a small metal lever found on the trumpets main tuning slide that you can open to release moisture by pressing it creating a small hole and blowing sharply into the mouthpiece. It is closed by having a small felt disc on the end that seals the hole.
                                             Maintenance
Bell – This can be lightly polished with a soft cloth to remove any fingerprints. Never put the trumpet down on the ground balanced on the end of the bell which can cause scratches. You should avoid touching the bell with bare hands and if you do you should clean it immediately if you notice any dirt or fingerprints because oil and moisture from your hands can break down the finish over time.
Mouthpiece – You should always inspect your mouthpiece to make sure there are no nicks or marks on it so you don’t end up hurting your lips when playing. when done playing, always take the mouthpiece off the trumpet and store it in a safe place in your case.
Valve Casings and Pistons – You should always lubricate each casing lightly with a few drops of good valve piston oil, without the oil, the pistons can scratch the inside of the casings and damage the playing of the trumpet.
Valve Slides – These should be removed and cleaned periodically and put new lubricant on. This will stop the valves from getting stuck, do not attempt to force them loose if they do become stuck, take the trumpet to a technician
Water Key – Inspect the felt disc on occasion to make sure it is clean and providing a good seal. You want to avoid getting dirt or mold from collecting anywhere on your trumpet. take it to be serviced if it needs to be replaced.
                                           Accessories
Case – Anyone who owns a trumpet should have a case, I would prefer a hard shell case for better protection which also provides more space for accessories and music sheets even though they are heavier than your soft case. The soft cases are made of a tough nylon outer layer, thick padding, and backpack straps to make it easier for carrying.
Trumpets usually always include a minimum set of standard accessories. They would include a polishing cloth, white gloves to wear when polishing, and valve oil. I would buy a high quality oil and disgard the valve oil they give you with the package. Some other accessories that may come with the trumpet are a stand, pocket tuner, notebook, and probably other accessories.
                                                  Warranty
A student trumpet will most likely come with a 1 year or sometimes a 2 year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. A better model can offer a warranty up to 10 years and some may even come with a lifetime warranty.
               A Few Trumpets to Consider When Shopping
1 – Mendini by cecilio Gold Brass Student Bb Trumpet (MTTL) – A good choice for beginner students, a great price for what you are getting. You might have a problem with the valves sticking if you don’t maintain them carefully. this comes with a case and has a red brass leadpipe.
2 – Glory Brass Bb trumpet – A good choice for someone if you don’t want to spend too much for a beginner player who may or may not continue playing for more than a year. This trumpet is quite playable and does have a good value and it looks nice. The drawback on this model would be that the valves can be misaligned or sticky and the intonation can go sharp in the high register.
3 – Yamaha YTR-2230 Standard Bb trumpet – A good model for beginners and intermediate players, high quality construction, Monal Valves. The drawback is that it is a little expensive if you are a beginner.
4 – Le Var BTRLV100 Student Trumpet – A high quality trumpet with a low price. It may be hard to find replacement parts though.
5 – Jean Paul USA Trumpet TR-430 – Good choice for an intermediate player who is looking to upgrade to a better trumpet. It has a rose brass leadpipe and durable stainless steel valves. This model may be harder to play high notes and it comes with a soft case rather than a hard case.
6 – Jupiter JTR 700 Trumpet – A good choice for a beginner or intermediate player looking for a higher-quality student trumpet. It has reliable stainless steel valves and comes with a 10 year warranty. The drawback is possibly constricted high- register performance.
7 – Getzen 590S-S trumpet – this is the companies premium capri line. They are dependable and reasonably priced. It has a beautiful nichel silver finish with custom etching available as an option. It comes with a lifetime warranty. The drawback is it has a two piece bell.
8 – Bach LR180S37 trumpet – this model has an incredible sound, solid construction all around, fantastic looking and it holds its value. This is only for truly serious musicians and is expensive.
                                                 Conclusion
Hopefully I gave you enough information so you know a little bit more about the trumpet and when shopping you have a better education on what to look for. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer them.

 

 

 

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French Horn Information For Beginners

In this article I will try to give you the most French horn information for beginners so you can make a right choice when purchasing one. I will give you some technical variations of this instrument so when you do purchase one you will choose one to suit your needs, because there are so many options and variations to choose from.
What is the main job of a French Horn
The FRENCH HORN is an orchestral.instrument, although its mellow tone quality often lends the French Horn to be paired with woodwind instruments, it is a brass instrument.
There is a main tubing which could stretch to over 4 yards and an extra 2 or 3 yards with additional tubing which usually is made out of brass.
The length of the tubing is what gives you your pitch. The tubing space is much thinner on this instrument and has more tubing than a trombone. You have to blow further with the French Horn to make the sound but this will give you a higher pitched note than most of your other brass instruments.
You can hear the French Horn in an orchestra because of its distinctive sound. There are two types of sounds a French Horn can make. A softer timbre to blend with the other instruments, and a clearer distinctive timbre that sounds out over the orchestra.
How difficult is a French Horn to play
Because of the way the tubing on this instrument is French Horns have a reputation for being a hard instrument to play. The bell on the French Horn is pointed backwards because this instrument was used for hunters warnings which makes it more difficult in orchestras for the players.
What makes the French Horn more difficult to play is not only are you just pressing fingers on buttons and blowing but you have to adjust different pressures of your lips, for example: In the lower section of the French Horn harmonics (notes that can be played just by squeezing and relaxing of the lips,) the notes play softly without much projection. To play the French Horn in the higher range, from G upwards, the notes used much more often in an orchestra. The problem is what makes it more difficult is the harmonics are very close together which makes the notes much harder to hit perfectly and the musician accountable for the perfect amount of lip squeezing to hit the exact note.
With practice a musician can train his or herself to accomplish this but it is a lot harder than lets say playing a Flute. Here is an u-tube video on how to play a French Horn.
How to choose a French Horn
There are several types of FRENCH HORNS, and different types of valves. These choices can affect the cost of the instrument and repairs. The best French Horn to choose for a beginner is a single horn in F. This type of horn is the easiest to learn on, lightweight, and lower cost,
1 Single horn – this is the most basic and is the least expensive. It is operated by using three rotors and comes in two keys: F and Bb. The F horn is the older horn with its lower tuning and its natural horn sound that is strong in its low and mid-ranges They are limited in accurately in the higher-ranges.
The Bb horn was created because of the limitations of the F horn in the higher-ranges, this horn does have limitations also, it has a less desirable tone in the low and mid-ranges and the inability to be able to play all the low register notes. Because it is light weighted and accurate in its high-ranges, professionals will use this horn for certain compositions.
2 Double horn – This horn was created to solve the problems that the single horn’s have by improving the responsiveness across the French Horns range. Because of the tubular engineering of this instrument, it is capable of shifting between the F key and Bb key through the use of having a fourth rotor. Operated by the left thumb this rotor cuts out about four feet of tubing from the vibrating air column within the horn.
Some horn’s also can be changed so that the lever works the other way around, turning the horn into an F instrument when engaged.
Double horn’s can be very versatile and therefore very popular and a primary choice for intermediate and professional players. They are more costly and they do have an added weight compared to the single French Horn so that’s why the single horn is best suited for the beginner, unless the student is really committed to the instrument. The double french horn allows the player to play at a better level switching between two keys Bb and F, each one will give you better quality to different ranges of notes, this allows the musician to be able to play low notes with deep tone projection as well as high notes with a great sound quality.
There are two types of wrap, meaning this is the way the tubing is coiled. There is the Kruspe wrap and the geyer wrap. The Kruspe wrap locates the fourth rotor above the other three when you have the horn in the playing position. This wrap gives it a shorter linkage between the rotor lever that controls the fourth rotor and the actual rotor. The Geyer wrap locates the fourth rotor behind the third. This linkage reaches past the other three rotors which makes it much longer.
3 Triple horn – This is starting to become a popular horn, especially with professionals. It provides better response in the high registers. While the double horn combines the F and Bb into one horn, the triple horn adds yet another, the alto F horn. It can handle any range with ease.
This horn is more expensive and is heavier than your single and double horn so this would be one of the drawbacks when you are trying to choose which horn you would want if you are on a budget.
4 Descant horn’s – This horn has greater stability in the upper registers and if you don’t have much concern for the lower and middle ranges this would be a good choice for you. It is a double horn combining the Bb and alto F horn’s. It is less expensive and weighs less than your triple horn especially if you are going to focus on the horn’s higher range.
5 Marching horn – This french horn is modified using a specialized body style using a different wrap that can be held straight forward, like a trumpet.
6 Mellophone – This is a more popular choice for marching bands today in the key of F as an alternative for the FRENCH HORN in the key of Bb because it has more of a higher or alto sound compared to the darker sound of a french horn.
Different types and number of valves
A french horn can come without valves which would be a natural horn, this type has only harmonics available to play. French horn’s with valves are played with the left hand which is different from your other brass instruments.
Most of the french horn’s comes with lever operated rotary valves, which makes it easier for the musician. Some comes with piston valves, which does make it harder to move through quickly.
You can also choose if you want three valves or four valves on your horn. Single horn’s mostly have three valves and sometimes a fourth valve utilized for tuning purposes. Double french horn’s usually have four valves, these amount of valves usually determines if it a single or double french horn.
Nickle Silver or brass option materials
The metal options on a french horn adds to the play ability of the instrument. Each one is coupled with weight and thickness which adds to the unique tone, sound, and projection of the instrument. It depends on your needs which metal you should choose. The best way to determine this would be to visit a music store so you can sample the different types and once you determine which one best suits your needs then you can start doing your shopping whether it is a music store which might be more expensive or online.
Some Good Popular Brands
The manufactures I mention below comes out with instruments that always have good quality, a great reputation in the industry, and are very considerate in keeping the musician in mind when creating the instrument. Buying one of these brands allows you to feel that you are getting what you pay for.
1 – Mendini – This is a Chinese brand which they produce a wide range of french horn’s. This brand is not as well-known as the other manufactures that I will mention but they are well-made horn’s and customer’s are well satisfied with their purchase.
2 – Schiller – This is a German company who has been well-established since the late 1800s and gives you a good quality instrument. This company always works hard to meet the customer’s satisfaction.
3 – Yamaha – This company is well known for its expertise in creating instruments for the customer. Everyone recognizes Yamaha as a good reliable quality brand. They are always getting and researching opinions from teachers, students, and professionals when they are developing their instruments.
4 – Conn-Selmer Company – This company is Americas leading manufacturer who is located in Elkhart Indiana, East lake Ohio, and Monroe North Carolina.
5 – Holton Manufacturer – This company started out in Elkhorn Wisconsin right up until 2008 and was transferred to East lake Ohio. Their French horn’s and mouthpieces are created through the joint venture manufacturers Frank Holton and company and the support of legendary horn Virtuoso Philip Farkas and Merker.
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Best French Horns Reviewed by Professionals
1 Mendini MFH-20 – This is a single horn with three valves and has all the features a beginner student will need. It is very affordable and has good projection. You will need to upgrade though as you progress in your studies. U-tube demo
2 mendini MFH 30 – This model is good for intermediate players. This model allows you to project over the orchestra with the intonations that lacks with the single horn. It has great intonation, it is a double horn allowing for movement towards professional playing and is very affordable. You will have to upgrade for professional playing though and is more expensive than the MFH 20.
3 Schiller Elite V Double French Horn – This model is an affordable option and is ideal for quartet or concert bands. This brand produces some finest valves that makes effort playing a reality. Schiller brands are ideal for beginners as well as advanced players. This is a versatile, elegant, and durable horn.
4 Yamaha YHR-31411 – This model has great intonation and projection and the comfort of the design is well-thought-out by the manufacturer. It has a tapered mouthpiece, wrap for holding, and smooth airflow which is why it is a comfortable handling instrument. The only problem I see with this model is its expensive. U-TUBE DEMO
5 Yamaha YHR 567 – This model has a bright sound and good projection. It has a fourth valve for comfort and has a great higher register intonation and is resistant to wear and corrosion. This is an intermediate instrument which is a little pricier than your other intermediate models but worth it. U-TUBE DEMO
6 Yamaha YHR-668N11 – This model is for the professional player. It is very accurate when it comes to pitch and is a very comfortable instrument to play. You can customize this model because it has a detachable bell and choice of metal and offers separate Bb tuning. It is very expensive though.
7 Holton H179 Fardas Series – This model is best suited for a player that has graduated from being a hobbyist. It is known for its deep and rich sounding notes, It is made from a hard silver nickel that delivers brighter punchier tones and has a larger bell. A professional will definitely appreciate the sound of this model with its rich tones. U-TUBE DEMO
8 Conn8D – This model has a nickel-silver finish that makes it look unique and is popular among st professional players. It has dark, rich notes that cannot be missed whether playing solo or in a group. U-TUBE DEMO
9 Conn11DS – This model offers the player a brighter sounding instrument that works well with section players or soloist. This model will never go unnoticed whether in a group of players or a solo. You will be in safe hands with this model whether you are a beginner or advanced player
Conclusion
Hopefully I gave you enough information in this article so you can make a wise and easier decision on purchasing a french horn to your liking when you are shopping for one. If you have any questions or comments on this article please don’t hesitate to ask or comment and I will do my best to answer them

 

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Buying Guide on a Keyboard Instrument

In this article I will try to distinguish between keyboard pianos and digital pianos and the different features offered on a keyboard instrument so you can choose what keyboard instrument will best suit your needs when looking to purchase a keyboard.
Digital Piano
This type of keyboard is designed to replicate the sound and feel of an acoustic piano. The reason this was created is that an acoustic piano is very bulky, heavy, and expensive. It’s really not practical to buy an acoustic piano if you plan on playing in a band and traveling to different gigs.
A digital piano has the same number of keys as an acoustic piano, that being 88 keys, and they are made to spring back when pressed down on them just like an acoustic piano.
Piano Keyboard
This type of keyboard is cheaper than your digital piano, more portable, and lighter to carry. They usually aren’t designed to sound and feel like an acoustic piano, although you can find some higher-end keyboards’ that can replicate the acoustic piano.
You can learn to play the piano on a piano keyboard but if you want to eventually play on an acoustic piano or any full 88 key keyboards, you should keep in mind some differences that you should know and look for.
Beginner keyboards’ are a lot cheaper than your digital keyboard because the number of keys it has. Many beginner keyboards’ have 41 to 61 keys. If you are being taught by a teacher, they would want you to choose one that has a minimum of 61 keys because 46 keys would not be enough to learn on.
If you want a beginner to get the feel of a piano and you are not yet willing to spend a lot of money before the beginning student decides if he or she likes the keyboard instrument, it would be fine to buy a 46 key piano just to see if it holds their interest.
If you are serious in wanting to learn the piano, then I would suggest investing on an 88 key keyboards, even though the majority of musical pieces are played on the middle keys eventually you will need all 88 keys as you progress in your studies.
                       Weighted and Touch Sensitivity
You would be able to know the difference between a cheap keyboard versus a more expensive keyboard or acoustic piano by the way the keys respond when playing. When you press down on a key on the piano, a mechanism moves a small hammer, which strikes a string which gives you your note. If you strike the key lightly, you will get a softer or lighter sound, if you strike the key harder, you will get a heavier and louder sound because of the speed of the hammer striking the string.
For keyboards’, trying to duplicate this sound is not easy. The cheaper models don’t do it and just play the recording of a sound which is programmed into the instrument.
Other keyboards’ are touch sensitive, which means you can control if you want the note to be soft or loud, depending on how hard you press the key, which is a lot more useful when learning the instrument. So you definitely would want your keyboard to be touch sensitive if you are serious about learning the keyboard. Most decent keyboards’ will be touch sensitive.
                            Price Range of Keyboards
$50 to $250 – If you spend only $50 on a keyboard you are buying a cheap keyboard which probably won’t have a lot of keys. I would say $120 and above you would probably get a keyboard with at least 61 keys, which is a good amount of keys for a beginner which would like to move on to playing the piano.
$251 to $500 – This price range will get you a keyboard with 76 or a full 88 keys and a variety of useful features. This keyboard can last you years and at this price range you can find an excellent keyboard that you can grow into.
$501 to $999 – This range will get you an intermediate to advanced keyboard with a full 88 keys, an excellent sound and speakers, and a lot of advanced features. This will probably come with a stand to put the keyboard on.
$1000 and above – This price range will get you a professional piano which would have a beautiful looking console digital piano that will sound just like a traditional acoustic piano with all the extra features to go with it.
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                 What makes up the cost of a keyboard
-Features – You can have a lot of different features on a keyboards, the most important features would be the number of sounds or voices, and the number of styles. Here is an example video of Bert Smorenburg doing styles on a keyboard. The more styles and voices the more expensive the keyboard.
– Number of keys – Your basic keyboard has 44 keys which would be a beginner keyboards, an acoustic piano has 88 keys. You should really start out with a minimum of 61 keys. The more amount of keys the more expensive the keyboard.
– Weight of keys – you will get a weighted key on your higher quality keyboard models which would duplicate the feel of an acoustic piano.
– Sound quality – The sound each note makes on a keyboard is recorded as its played on an acoustic piano. These notes are then loaded into a keyboard as sound files. Better quality sound files are larger and will take up more memory storage which intern will increase the price.
– – Compatibility – Some keyboards’ have a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, which allows them to communicate with other devices. You can actually add a song app on your computer that you can fuse into the music you are playing on the keyboard.
– Accessories – The more accessories that comes with your keyboard the more expensive the instrument. One way you can save on this is to buy what they call a “bundle package”. These bundles usually include a bench, stand, and power supply. Some bundles may even include a microphone, headphones, music stand and more.
         What to look for when shopping for keyboards’
When you are shopping for a keyboards, one of the worst things you can do is buy the wrong keyboard that is best suited for you because this mistake can discourage the beginner player by lowering their motivation to practice. What you should consider when shopping I feel you should look for the following which I will mention below.
What will you be using the keyboard for. If you have a young child you are purchasing for you might want to just buy them an inexpensive kids keyboard to have fun with, like having one that the keys light up when playing or some background noises and maybe this might lead them to get more serious in wanting to learn the keyboard.
If you are shopping for an older child or adult you may want to invest in something they can grow into like an intermediate – level keyboard that would also be good for a beginner player to also learn on so as they progress, they won’t have to go out and buy another keyboard right away.
If you are already playing at gigs you would probably want to look at investing in a keyboard that is more on the professional-level with all the bells and whistles.
You also want a keyboard that is easy to use or the beginner player might get frustrated and want to quit. If the keyboard is easy to control he or she might be more motivated to want to play.
You want to find a keyboard that allows the player to feel they are making progress. Some keyboards’ have different features, for example; a feature called “styles”, as illustrated in this u-tube video that makes it sound like the player has a backup band. This will motivate the player in wanting to play more because it can make him or her feel that they are a professional pianist.
Another thing to consider is your budget. If you are only willing to want to spend $100.00, you will be very limited on your choices like having fewer keys and features than your more expensive models.
Another thing to consider is the size of the keyboard. If you don’t have enough space in your residence this can create a problem.
You also may want to consider the portability of the keyboard if you plan on transporting it for piano lessons or future gigs or just transporting it anywhere. You will want it to be light and portable.
If you are a beginner player you might want to look for a model that comes with built in instruction systems like lighted keys, which would show you what keys to press or prerecorded songs
Another aspect to consider is the number of keys on the keyboard. If you are an intermediate player you would want at least 72 to 76 keys minimum. But if you are a beginner player you might want to consider buying a keyboard with fewer keys only because it can be easier and less confusing to learn on.
If you are serious about playing the keyboard then you should definitely choose one that has weighted keys. This is what an acoustic piano has and if you plan on wanting to eventually play the traditional acoustic piano, you’ll need to learn on a keyboard that is similar to the real thing. A weighted key is also easier on the fingers but it does make the keyboard heavier.
Another nice feature to look for is touch-sensitive-keys, which means they respond in volume according to how hard or soft you play them.
                                     Sound Quality
There are two types of sounds you should consider when shopping for a keyboard
1- Voices – This means any kind of sound, for example: a trumpet, saxophone, guitar or any other instrument sounds here is an u-tube video.
2 – Style – This means a type of back-up like Rock band sound, Jazz, Orchestra etc. U-Tube video
The more expensive a keyboard is the better the voices and styles will be. These two features can be very motivating for a new player because you can actually use a style for example: a rock band in the background while playing which would make the instrument much more fun to play.
The word polyphony is a word used to describe the tonal range of a keyboard. This means the number of tones a keyboard can play at the same time. You can watch an u-tube video demonstrating polyphony on a keyboard if you like. The cheaper models can only play 16 tones at once, while the more expensive models can play as many as 128 tones at once which would give you richer sounds as you play.
                                              Accessories
Some keyboards’ comes with what they call bundles, which may include a microphone, stand, headphones, etc. You should look for a keyboard that comes with a stand so you get used to proper posture when playing because this becomes important in learning to play the piano correctly.
Lowest to the Highest Prices Best Keyboards Reviewed by Professionals
Yamaha DGX 660B – This model has a six track sequencer which means you can do music production and arrangements rather than just playing. It has a pure cf sound engine, iconic sounds, realistic hammer action keys. It can become portable if required and comes with a stand. If you just want to compose or arrange music and also perform and practice, this is the model for you.Demo u-tube video
Casio privia px-3000 – This is the worlds slimmest keyboard piano, which gives this model a great look. It is extremely portable and has fantastic keyboard action for such a slim instrument. It also comes with an USB band Bluetooth connectivity and has a large amount of voices which is 700 in total. Demo u-tube video
It doesn’t’t have as great a sound as some other models I am mentioning but not too drastic of a difference and this model is well worth its price.
Casio CGP 700 bk – This model offers great value for its money. It has 550 different voices and 200 rhythms. It has a large color touch panel, 17 track sequencers, USB recording, and adjustable speaker system. The only negativity about this model is the voices offer more versatility than quality. Demo u-tube video
Roland rp-501r-cr – This model features 300 voices as well as the acoustic piano tones, which makes it a very versatile keyboard. It has realistic hammer action keys, an USB record function, and some nice tutor features like dual split and some good learning material through the Roland app. Demo U-TUBE VIDEO
This model is better used for classical music and other voices not as high quality as the piano tones.
Yamaha YDP 184 – This piano comes a very close 2nd to the Roland rd 2000 which will be mentioned later with its expressiveness of the weighted keys. The graded hammer action keys are the best example of progression from low-end to high-end. It has 24 voices and 256-note max polyphony. It is noted for its CFX sound engine, its authentic piano experience and smart Pianist app. It does lack in versatility compared to the Roland 2000 but is a great piano. Demo u-tube video
Yamaha CP 88 – This is a very easy piano to use on how they designed this model. It’s great for performers, producers, and songwriters. It has three amazing grand piano recordings, a choice of high quality voices, simple user interface, and a realistic feel. This is a lot lighter than a lot of other keyboards’ which is great for carrying around and it is built sturdy so it can handle some bumps and bruises. Demo u-tube video
Roland RD 2000 – This model is ideal for professionals and has been chosen as one of the number 1 models to purchase. It sounds incredible with its two onboard sound engines-Super Natural and V-piano. The piano and electric sound are great and the weighted keys are one of the best that Roland has put out there. It has a lot of sounds from synthesis to string ensembles with fantastic voices. It is very versatile in live use. Zero latency processor and has a very original feel. This model wouldn’t be recommended for beginner or intermediate players. Demo u-tube video
                                          Conclusion
Hopefully I gave you enough information in this article so you can make an educated choice if you are looking to purchase a keyboard piano, especially for the first time. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer them

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Purchasing a Flute Guide

In this article I will try to help you learn more about the flute and what to look for when purchasing a flute. Usually woodwind instruments have a lot of keys, which can make choosing an instrument that’s right for you much more confusing.IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, besides Amazon, which I hilighted in blue throughout this article,   ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.
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Most often a parent or a beginner wants to purchase the cheapest flute out there worrying they won’t like playing the flute which isn’t always a good idea. This can discourage the beginning player because playing a cheap flute can be much more difficult which can discourage him or her from continuing to learn this instrument before they even get started.
There are a lot of great beginner flutes on the market to choose from with some reasonable prices for your beginning student that would be right for them. In this article I will give you some aspects of the flute so you have a better idea on what to look for when shopping for one.
                    Consider Some Features When Buying
There are some features on a flute that you should know and look for on this instrument when you are shopping for a flute which I will list below.<A HREF=”HTTPS://WWW.ZZOUNDS.COM/A–3968605
1 – Head joint – This is the mouthpiece of the flute which consists of the riser and lip plate. On professional models you will have a solid mouthpiece, made with solid silver or granadella wood which gives the instrument a unique sound. The beginner or student head joint is most likely silver plated.
If you are just starting out playing a flute you should start out with a curved head joint since a head joint can be either straight or curved. You can always switch to a straight head joint as you progress on the instrument. The curved head joint helps to start at a slightly younger age, probably at the age of 7, whereby that age you would be able to hold the flute more comfortably.
On a flute a straight head joint is usually considered the norm. The creation of the curved head joint was made so people with little hands can handle the flute a lot easier and more comfortably reaching the different notes. Even though the size of the flute doesn’t change, our arms no longer have to stretch as far with a curved head joint.
The curved head joint does cost more but it is well worth it health wise. It gives less stress on the neck and back, helps give you better posture when playing which is important for the beginning student.
2 – Keywork – You can have either open hole or closed hole. If a flute come with a gap in the middle of its keywork, then obviously this is considered an open hole. The open hole on a flute is tougher to play because you have to be more accurate when placing your finger. You have to fully cover the key.
Beginning students may be better off starting out with a closed hole model first. You can purchase what they call keywork plugs to block the gap and convert the open hole to a closed hole until you are more experienced playing the flute.
3 – Offset G, Inline G, and Split Mechanism – This refers to whether or not the G key is offset against other keys or inline with them.
A beginner flute usually came with an offset G while a professional flute come with an inline G. Right now the offset G mechanism has a reputation of natural hand positioning, which makes it more relaxing and comfortable, and also reduces the chance of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. For this reason, inline G models are getting harder to find as offset G models are becoming much more popular.
The split E mechanism you will find on most modern flutes. It divides the action of the lower and upper G keys which makes the lower G close up when playing the high E. This improved the response when playing a high E.
4 – Foot joint – There are two types of foot joints – the C foot joint and the B foot joint. The B foot joint is less common even though it gives you an increase in bottom range so your able to hit a low B instead of a low C.
Most of the student flutes come with a C foot joint. The way you can tell which is by the number of keys the foot joint has. Two keys are for C foot and three keys are for B foot joint.
5 – Material – What an instrument is made of has a big impact on the sound quality. The beginner flute is usually made out of silver plated nickel silver alloy. This type of material keeps the flute more affordable and at the same time gives it a nice acoustic sound.
Some flutes are made out of solid silver which you will get a sharper or brighter tone from it.
Then you have some flutes, usually for the professional models, made out of gold, platinum, and granadella wood which increases the cost of the flute..IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, besides Amazon, which I hilighted in blue throughout this article,   ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.
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                                               Accessories
You should have a silver polishing cloth, flute cleaning rod, flute stand, and of course a flute case for protection when not playing the instrument or traveling. When you decide what flute you want to purchase, ask what accessories come with the flute These items may be included in the price.
                             Some Flutes to Consider Buying
I picked out a few flute models that were examined by some professionals that you can consider checking out when you are shopping.
1 – Mendini Closed Hole C Flute – Approx. $90.00 – Mendini flutes are the most affordable instruments out there so are great for beginner students.
If you or a child are just starting out on the instrument and you still aren’t sure if you will want to continue pursuing this instrument, this would be a nice model to choose.
This also come with an abundance of accessories, making this well worth its price. You would lack nothing with starting to learn this instrument. It come with a fold able flute stand, cleaning accessories, and a flute pocketbook. It has a hard shell case which is very impressive.
Sound wise this model has a really nice vibrant sound which makes it very popular for students and teachers. Keep in mind this is a cheap priced instrument and the quality isn’t the best but still worth its price.
2 – Jean Paul USA FL – 220 Student Flute – Approx. $190.00 – This model is great for beginner students and even some intermediate players. The quality of materials it is made of and construction is fantastic and produces a really nice sound.
It has a very nice finish on it and the keys are sculptured French – style in the closed hole style. With an offset G, the closed key design makes this model easy to use for young players.
It come with a few accessories. You get a sturdy case, but it is not a hard shelled case, a convenient shoulder strap, it keeps your flute safe while moving around, a cleaning cloth, gloves, and a cleaning rod to help maintain your flute.
This model is shiny and beautiful and has a great sound and intonation. Even though it looks fragile, this model will last a long time until you are ready to upgrade.
3 – Yamaha YFL 222 Intermediate Flute – Approx. $467.00 – This model is great for the serious minded beginner students and intermediate players because it is a little pricey for the average beginner flute.
This has the Yamaha name which gives this model the confidence you would expect. You won’t be disappointed with this flute even though it is a little bit pricier than the rest of the beginner flutes.
The construction is great, from the foot joint to the head joint. The manufacturer designed it to give this model a sensitive response, beautiful intonation, and a clean attack.
Yamaha chose Nickel Silver for its material which is really good material which will last you years of use. This model come with a C foot joint, an offset G, a closed hole, and a split E mechanism which all works together to make playing this flute easier for the beginner as well as the intermediate player.
This model has a nice professional look to it with its shiny finish. It also nice vibrant tone and response which is hard to find.
This flute come with a protective case for storage and protection, and accessories for cleaning. It also come with a manual to help you understand the functions of this model.
4 – Gemeinhardt Model 30 B Flute – Approx $700.00 – This is a nice price for a professional level instrument and a great price for an intermediate level instrument.
This model is longer from your beginner instrument with a B foot joint but then it helps you hit a lower register with the B register notes. It has a high quality construction which gives this model its nice sound. This model has the offset G, open hole design, and embouchure, which means,”in French for mouth and refers to the shape of the facial muscles, tongue, and teeth when you blow into a wind instrument. The opening in our lips is called the aperture. Its shape and size helps to channel our breath and regulate its speed and direction into and across the flute”, which gives this flute its professional appeal, sound, and quality.
Hitting the flutes higher notes on this model is a little harder because of a Gizmo feature that the manufacturer included hoping to make the longer flute a bit more playable.
This model doesn’t come with a lot of accessories, but they did give you a nice hard shell case for protection.
5 – Pearl 525 RBE 1 R B Quantz series professional flute – approx. $959.00 This is a fairly high priced model and you can tell by the looks of it. It comes in silver. The choice of materials used is excellent, which gives this model a great sound quality and the way it is constructed will last you a very long time.
This is a lot different from your beginner models. It come with a B foot joint, which makes it easier to hit lower registers down to the key of B which you will not find on the beginner models.
This is also an open hole design. The inline G and split E mechanism gives this flute a great tone.
                                                    Conclusion
Hopefully you have enough information in this article to be able to choose what flute is best for you when shopping for this instrument. I tried to give you some features a flute come with and what to look for when comparing different models of this instrument. If you have any questions or comments about this instrument please don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to try to answer them.

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Saxophone Buying Guide

The saxophone has a unique sound that you cannot compare to any other instrument. It is a very versatile instrument when it comes to playing different types of music. The saxophone fits in with any type of music like Jazz, Rock, Orchestra, and any other type of music you can imagine.
But a saxophone player can only be as good as his or her instrument. How do you know which saxophone to purchase that would be the right fit for you?.IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, besides Amazon, which I hilighted in blue throughout this article,   ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.
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In this article I hope to make that question a little bit easier for you to be able to choose which saxophone is best suited for you by educating you on this instrument so you can find the right saxophone to your liking.
                           What To Know About Saxophone
The saxophone was invented in the mid 1800s by Adolphe Sax, Adolphe studied the clarinet and the flute but was looking to create a different instrument. One that could still be played with the agility of a woodwind but had the power of the brass family. He ended up creating the saxophone.
With this instrument you can usually be able to produce a satisfying tone with proper instruction in just a matter of a few attempts, so it is an encouraging instrument to learn.
Although a saxophone is made of brass, it’s considered part of the woodwind family because the sound is produced by blowing into the instrument to vibrate a reed. Brass instruments produce sound by vibrating lips.<A HREF=”HTTPS://WWW.ZZOUNDS.COM/A–3968605
                               Operating The Saxophone
The saxophone has a shape like a megaphone. Attached to the smaller end of the cone you have the mouthpiece encircled by the ligature that holds the reed in place. When you blow into the mouthpiece, the reed vibrates, making the air inside the saxophone vibrate. To make lower or higher pitches keys are depressed in specific configuration that either shortens or lengthens the cone. Most of the sound disperses into the air through the larger end of the cone.
                               The Parts Of The Saxophone
You have three components that produces a vibrating column of air to create notes on the saxophone.
1 – Mouthpiece – This is where you would blow into the saxophone. You have a flat part on the mouthpiece where you would place the reed which is located on the bottom of the mouthpiece.
The mouthpiece can be made by a various amount of materials, (plastic, wood, metal, crystal ). The type material doesn’t affect the tone.
It is the size of the mouthpiece that affects the tone. A larger mouthpiece made of rubber for example, forces the musician to open his mouth more around the mouthpiece which opens his or hers oral cavity, this creates a less bright tone. If, the mouthpiece is smaller you get a sharper tone.
2 – Reed – This are what produces the sound through vibration. It is a thin, fragile strip of material which rests on the mouthpiece and is held in place by the ligature. Most woodwind instrument reeds are made from Arundo Donax (giant Cane) or synthetic material. The cane has a hollow stem and grows to full height in one year. To make a reed, cane is cut to the proper length, cut along the length into four parts, and then shaved. Because reeds are made from a natural material, no reeds are the same.
reeds have different textures. The softer the reed, the easier it is for the beginner to produce a note. Even though it is easier to play a note it is harder to play in tune.
A hard reed facilitates playing in the altissimo range which means it covers two and a half octaves, which is pretty unimpressive when compared to clarinets four and half octaves, flutes four octaves, or violins five octaves. Altissimo extends that range up to another octave higher for the saxophone.
A hard reed makes it easier to play in tune but, it does require more effort and skill to play with a hard reed.
3 – Ligature – The purpose of this part is to hold the reed in place around the mouthpiece.
                                     Other Parts Of The Saxophone
– Neck and neck receiver – The neck is the shorter adjustable section that connects the mouthpiece to the body of the saxophone. The neck receiver is the ring that holds the neck in place. The player can make adjustments for easier playing.
– Body – This is where the music is made. This is where all the moving parts are. The body is where the air column resonates and is adjusted to create the different notes.
– Bell – This is where the sound comes out into the air which is at the opposite end of the saxophone from the mouthpiece. The larger the bell the lower the tone. A smaller bell gives the instrument a duller sound.
– Keys and Pads – The keys are what the player presses to create different notes but, it is the pads that makes sure those notes can be produced. The pads are what covers the different holes to create specific notes. If, the pads are damaged, or some part of the saxophone’s complex mechanism is bent or improperly aligned, air will leak out from around the pads and you will not be able to get a good tone.
– Rods – These are long shafts and very important for top performance of the instrument. If a rod is bent it can be just as detrimental as a damaged pad.
Neck Strap – The saxophonist wears this around their neck and connects to the strap ring of the saxophone to support the instrument while playing. You can adjust this strap to your liking                                                                                                                                                                     Special Keys
There are two sets of stack keys that every saxophone has. (The home keys of the instrument ). The right-hand plays the lower stack while the left-hand plays the upper stack. Different models may contain additional keys and features as follows’
1 – Front F – located just above the first finger key ( B ) in the upper stack keys, the player uses his or hers left index finger to depress this key. This allows the player to play the E and F in the altissimo range without overtones.
2 – High F – Sharp and High C – These two keys are located next to each other and is played with the palm of the right-hand, just below the wedge between the thumb and forefinger. This makes it easier to play the F-sharp and G above high C ( in the altissimo or upmost range ) without depending on overtones.
3 – Low A – This allows the player to go below the normal range of the saxophone to play a low A. This is a rare key and is played with the left hands little finger.
4 – – Tilted Spatula Keys – These are four flat keys that are played by the left hands little finger. These can be tilted on some of your models to allow for quicker, more fluid changes between the lowest notes on the instrument.
                                                   Prices
A saxophone can range anywhere from $185.00 to $4,000. There are some price overlap with higher-end beginner models and more affordable professional models..IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT,besides Amazon, which I highlighted in blue throughout this article,   ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.
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1 – Beginner or Student models – $185.00 to $900.00. Expect the beginner models body material to be thinner and therefore lighter and easier for the beginner to play. They usually design the student saxophone for smaller hands, so the key placement might not produce the optimum intonation, so it may not be completely in tune with itself.
2 – Intermediate models – $900.00 to $1,400.00 – This saxophone can have a mixture of features found in both student and professional models and are a step up from the student models.
3 – Professional models – $1,400.00 to $4,000.00 – Intonation discrepancies doesn’t exist when you get into this price range. It is thicker and heavier, and will have a larger choice of finishes to choose from. The better the instrument the better case will be supplied to protect your investment on your chosen saxophone.
                                               maintenance
You should always clean out the neck and mouthpiece with a swab made for this purpose because your breath contains moisture that is filled with particles that can damage your saxophone. You should also use a body swab to clean out the body of the instrument for the same reason.
After playing the instrument and ready to put it away, you should always remove the reed and place it in the reed guard so it doesn’t get damaged or chipped. Finally, before putting your saxophone away you should wipe the outside of the instrument with a soft micro filter cloth. Do not wipe the side or the bottom of your keys because that could cause damage to it.
                                   A list of Some Models to Consider
1 – Mendini By Cecilio Mas – L+92D + PBE Flat Alto Saxophone with Tuner, case, Mouthpiece, 10 Reeds – You can purchase this model for $259.99. This is also another model for beginners yet also suited for accomplished players. It is pitched at E Flat with a high F sharp and has a great construction. It has a ribbed build and high quality stainless steel tone boosters. The low B flat spatula keys have been designed in a tilted style making it easy to play which is great for beginner students and it has a great sound.
This model also comes with a lot of accessories which is great for beginners. It weighs around 12lbs which shouldn’t be too heavy for young players. It is also a durable model.
2 – Merano GWD 510 BL E flat Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $269.99. This company was established in the year 2,000 and is a wonderful company. Price wise they are extremely competitive within the marketplace. Many of their products go for below wholesale price and they pride themselves on customer service.
This model is outstanding. It is really a professional looking model with a blue lacquered finish which is unique and beautiful. It stands at 29″ tall yet only weighs 9.6lbs.
It comes with nice accessories, a nice professional velvet lined hard zippered case which will keep the instrument well protected, a pair of gloves, screwdriver, nipper, cleaning cloth, and ten reeds.
This is a very reasonably priced saxophone with an elegant design and great for a beginner saxophone.
3 – Eastar AS11 Student Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $299.99 – This model has a fantastic tone. When purchased it is already adjusted and ready to play. It is constructed from top – quality materials,.with brass connecting rods and blue copper needle spring.
The appearance of this model is beautiful with its mother-of-pearl inlay which gives it a classic look. Well worth its price.
4 – Ammoon Professional Bend EBE – flat Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $289.99. This is one of the most elegant looking saxophones on the market. It is made of a fantastic looking red bronze with an antique finish and a carved pattern surface.
It is designed for novice and professional players and can be used for Solo, Jazz, and Classical music. It has water resistant pads and a bluing steel needle for maximum durability. The alto saxophone range is E flat to F sharp and it hits the full compliment without a problem.
This model comes with an abundance of accessories, a professional carrying case measuring “24 x 6 x 11” which has a lot of padding for protection, a high quality mouthpiece, strap, gloves, cleaning cloth, cork grease, and much more. This model has an excellent value for its money.
5 – Kaizer Student Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $399.00 – This company specializes in the student instrument market. Reliability is without a doubt their strong point and they produce highly durable saxophones for young beginners.
This model has been designed with the beginner in mind with its ease of playing and increased response and intonation. It has high-quality steel springs for quick action, a sensitive response, and top-notch leatherette pads. It has a solid brass body and durable construction, available in either gold or silver lacquer finish.
This has an amazing list of accessories, including a special offer of a 1080p hd high action camera complete with waterproof casing so you can record your playing and seeing your progress and maybe sharing it with family and friends on u tube. This is a great choice for young beginners and anyone of age looking to learn the horn.
6 – Jean Paul USA AS-400 Student Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $479.95. This company has been building a very good reputation in recent years. They mix affordability with reliability.
This model is an ideal instrument for those of you who are looking for great value for their money and also still students of the saxophone. This comes in gold lacquer finish or in silver for an increase of price. It has mother-of-pearl keys, nice body etchings, and a carefully constructed neck. It has highly durable power-forged keys which shows the company’s reliability and quality. The bell brace is solid and the pivot keys tapered to make playing this instrument simple and fun. This model is one of the most popular out there for beginners.
The range and intonation is excellent for its price. It is capable of warmer, more subtle tones, which makes it great for use within bands. You can also get that raw, gritty alto sax sound that is used by a solo player. This is well worth its money and can also be suitable for alto saxophone veterans due to its high-quality build, range, and power.
7 – Yamaha YAS-280 – You can purchase this model for $1,134.00. Yamaha is a very popular name in the music industry and easily one of the biggest company’s in the world and a household name.
This model is a student instrument. It has fantastic intonation and is lightweight and simple to play making it perfect for a beginner player. This saxophone is one of the top-entry level models that money can buy. It has free flowing keys and a great sound and is easy to play. Its Yamaha 4c mouthpiece is a high quality kit.
8 – SELMER SAS280 LA VOX11 ALTO SAXOPHONE – You can purchase this for $1,880.00. This mid to upper-range model offers the tone and action comparable to higher-end saxophones. This model has a warm sound and nice key styling with superb mechanical action. You can choose a variety of finishes and it has great intonation. You may want to change the mouthpiece and strap to your liking.
9 – Yamaha YAS-82z11 Custom Z saxophone – you can purchase this top of the line for $3,999.00 – The custom z series have recently hit their 10th anniversary and as a result, they have been re-visited with some new features added while the classic features professionals know and love have remained or improved upon.
These z series have always been known for their easy, expressive playing, flow, and great intonation. This is the series a working musician went to for years thanks to their professional build, design, sound, and the durable construction.
Some new features added to the z series is the improvement of the piece bell design. This increases the warmth of tone and the resonating ability of the instrument, especially on the low-end. Yamaha also added a beautiful classical engraving around the bell adding to its already everlasting design. The mouthpiece is a great solid rubber mouthpiece which adds to its easy playing feel and big sound. It also has the v1 wide bore neck for that free blowing feel that all saxophonist love. This model has very responsive keys.
This has a 5-year warranty which is Yamaha’s main stay which shows how they really back their products.
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                                           Conclusion
I know it is a very difficult chore to pick the right instrument for you when there are so many choices to choose from, especially when it comes to the saxophone. This can be a mind boggling experience. Hopefully this article made it a little less difficult by knowing a little bit more on what makes up the different aspects of the saxophone. If you have any questions or comments feel free to list them below and I will try my best to answer them.
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Purchasing a Clarinet

Whatever reason you are choosing to purchase a clarinet, whether its for practicing at home or upgrading to a professional clarinet, it can be a very overwhelming decision. There are so many clarinet models to choose from that it can be mind boggling..IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, besides Amazon, which I hilighted ib blue throughout this article,   ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.
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In this article I will try to make it a little easier to choose what clarinet you end up purchasing by giving you some information on what to look for when choosing and hopefully educating you about the different aspects of the clarinet.
There are three types of clarinets, the Soprano clarinet, the Bass clarinet, and the Harmony clarinet.
Soprano Clarinet
This model has a variety within its model. The Bb clarinet, the A clarinet, and the EB clarinet. Soprano clarinets creates music in a high register. The most popular of this clarinet model is the Bb clarinet because it is the most versatile and can be used for all types of music styles.
The A clarinet is a little bit longer and has a deeper sound than the Bb clarinet. They are tuned to an A rather than a Bb. This model is usually chosen to play classical music because it is hard to transpose a piece written in A if you have a Bb clarinet.
The EB clarinet, also called the Sopranino clarinet has a higher register which can be used for higher pitched songs.
Bass Clarinet
This clarinet has a much larger hallowed out body than your other clarinets. It has a low bassy sound and is tuned to the Bb one octave below the soprano Bb models. You can hear this type clarinet in a wide variety of musical pieces, from jazz, pop, and orchestra pieces.
Harmony Clarinet
This instrument is called Harmony because it is basically made to play harmonies rather than melodies. A harmony clarinet is not as versatile as your other clarinets and therefore would not be your main clarinet to own. You can find harmony clarinets in plenty of musical pieces and would be nice to own as a second instrument.
What to Consider When Buying
1- Mouthpiece- A good quality mouthpiece makes a big difference in its sound. The standard mouthpiece is a standard molded plastic mouthpiece which usually comes with a student’s clarinet. High end clarinets comes with a hard type of rubber called ebonite. Clarinets are very easy to switch the mouthpiece so you can buy a mouthpiece that feels comfortable for you if you want to upgrade.
2- Bore- This word refers to the internal dimensions of the clarinet. The larger the bore of a clarinet the better the projection and fuller sound but makes it harder to play in tune. A beginning student is better with a smaller bore because of this problem.
3- Material- There are two types of materials that a clarinet can be made out of. One is the plastic one made for beginning student’s, and the other is wood which is usually chosen for the more professional musician. Plastic clarinets are rugged and easier to care for. They are also less expensive but you will never get the same tonal qualities as the wooden clarinet.
Wooden clarinets are crafted from grenadilla wood and is usually the chosen instrument for advanced musicians because of their excellent tone qualities and resonance. You do have to take much more care with a wooden clarinet if you want them to last.
4- Ligature- This is a very small size part on the clarinet but holds a very important role to the clarinet. This little piece holds the reed against the mouthpiece and makes a great difference in sound. A beginner’s clarinet usually comes with a simple metal ligature, but professional clarinets have a more sophisticated ligature to enhance the tone of their clarinet.
5- Keywork- This is the clarinets keys which are made from nickel or brass and plated with nickel, silver, or gold. Your cheapest clarinet usually comes with nickel plated keys and your pricier clarinets are usually plated in gold. The problem you can have with silver plated keys is they can tarnish which you would have to do much more maintenance even though it looks great on the instrument.
Clarinet prices
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<A HREF="HTTPS://WWW.ZZOUNDS.COM/A--3968605"$50-$400 – You can find some reasonably priced models if your not looking to play at a professional level for as little as $50 to $100. If you spend less than $100 for this instrument you will probably end up wasting your money because in a couple of months you will probably want to upgrade.
$400-$700 – This would be an intermediate grade clarinet. You would choose this price range clarinet if you see your child or student is serious about furthering their musical talents.
$1,000-$8,000 – This price range is for the professional clarinet player. This clarinet would have the best qualities the instrument could have
A List of Some Models and Approximate Price
1- Mendini by CECILIO B flat- $!00.00 This is an inexpensive entry level clarinet that comes with a lot of needed starter accessories. The only problem with this model is you will need to use a lot of cork grease if you have trouble assembling it initially.
2-Nuvo n100 cl bk$130.00. A nice little clarinet for kids to enjoy because it is made from abs plastic so no matter how rough you handle it this model will be able to handle the abuse and will last a pretty long time. It is also lightweight because it is made out of plastic weighing 2.5 lbs. Because it is made out of plastic this model will not have the greatest sound but it is satisfactory for its purpose. This comes in the key of c which is normal for kid clarinets.
3- JEAN PAUL USA CL-300 student clarinet- $200.00. This would be a good choice for its value for beginning student’s. It has a good tone and is good for marching bands because it is not real expensive to have outside. It has a thinner vamp design for easy play.
The Vamp is the inclined “peeled” part of the reed leading to the tip. A long Vamp makes the reed flexible and responsive, ideal for Jazz musicians. A concert clarinetist,on the other hand, may prefer a shorter Vamp for its improved focus.
You might want to replace the mouthpiece with a better one or to your liking.
4- Buffet Crampon E11 Bb. $1,200.00. This is not a beginner’s clarinet. It is targeted for intermediate and professional players. It is more expensive than your typical intermediate clarinets but, you’ll find its well worth its price. This is the most popular of all the intermediate clarinets which makes it easier to get replacement parts. It has a deep and rich sound quality. This model does require harder reeds for the same sound quality and is high maintanence
5- Yamaha ycl-255 standard Bb $612.00. This is an entry-level instrument, although it is quite pricey. It’s plastic instead of wood and lacks a bit on what a professional clarinet should be, but it doesn’t claim to be one. If your looking to upgrade from a budget instrument, then you might want to consider this one. Because of it being made of plastic construction, this clarinet is good for student’s and younger players as it will be able to take abuse better. Even though it is made of plastic this model still produces a beautiful sound and does resemble the sound of your wooden clarinet. It has a matte finish which makes it very attractive to the eye and you can also order for a finish or color that better suites your tastes. This comes with an adjustable thumb-rest and a belt ring which helps the beginner on how to learn proper playing techniques. This comes with a lighter Bell than your ycl 650 model, which I will go into detail on this model below, which enhances and improves the tone.
5- Yamaha ycl 450 with Nickel Keys. $1,420.00 This is also an intermediate clarinet. It is made of wood and is well constructed. It is made of granadella wood which gives it a beautiful appearance and sound. You have to treat this model with a little tender loving care but, it is still a durable instrument. It has a new bell shape design which affects the sound. You’ll find that it projects really loudly, especially the lower register. It has nickel plating keys, so if you are allergic to silver plating, this is the instrument for you. It has an adjustable thumb rest and strap ring which makes it easier for people with smaller hands. It is a little bit more expensive than your average intermediate level clarinet
6- Yamaha ycl 650 with nickel keys. $1,980.00 This is a professional level instrument. It is a wood bodied clarinet with a great tone and great sound. The cylindrical bore allows ease of blowing. It has an adjustable thumb rest and a natural looking finish to it. This comes with four mouthpieces, case, which you might want to invest in a better case to protect your investment, and care accessories.
7- R13 Professional Bb clarinet with nickel keys. $3,200.00 This is the top of the line and is suitable for symphony, chamber music, soloist, and teachers. This is made of premium grenadelle wood, which gives it an evenness of tone. It has french made hb silver plated ligature which provides a round centered sound. 17- key- 6 nickel- plated keys. Features 577- inch polycylindrical bore, 66- millimeter barrel, and undercut tone holes. There is no mouthpiece that comes with this model, but at this level you would probably want to choose your own style
Conclusion
Hopefully you have learned a little bit more about the clarinet from this article and can make a better decision when you are ready to purchase this instrument.whether you are a beginner or professional.Just remember when looking you don’t want to spend $1,000 and up if your not sure you like to play the clarinet and you would not want to spend $50 if you are a professional. You also will want to think about what type of music you would want to play. If most of your pieces are written for an A clarinet you wouldn’t want to invest in a Bb clarinet for example. Make sure the clarinet you choose isn’t too heavy where you would be struggling with the weight of the clarinet. You might have to use a strap to help with the weight distribution. Hopefully there is enough information to choose wisely by my giving you the different types of clarinets and more detailed information on some of the characteristics of this instrument. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them below and I will try my best to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

 

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How to Choose an Accordian

People will choose an accordion for all types of music, from Jazz, Folk, and even Rock. Playing an accordion is usually not your typical instrument to choose from when picking an instrument to learn. They are a very interesting instrument with its own unique sound..IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, besides Amazon, which I highlighted in blue throughout this article,   ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.
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The most common types of accordions are Piano, Chromatic, Diatonic, and Concertina. I will explain briefly what the different characteristics of each are.
1- PIANO ACCORDIONS – This type accordion is a newer invention than the button accordions, instead of having buttons, they have piano style keyboards. If you have experience playing a piano or keyboard instrument they are much easier to learn and are more affordable than your button accordions. You also have a wider selection to choose from because of their popularity.
This type of accordion is more bulky and has fewer treble notes than the button accordions. You can find one of these type accordions for as little as $50.00 for a smaller scale kids model to $1,000.00 for the more professional instrument.
2 CHROMATIC ACCORDION – This accordion is a button accordion and uses a chromatic scale. All the keys are whole steps and half steps so all the notes are covered including flats and sharps. This is known as semitone in the music industry.
This type accordion has a wider range of notes compared to the other types of accordions but has managed to still stay compact depending on the number of buttons. The buttons are close together which makes it easier to play more intricate or harder pieces. This type model may take you longer to learn than a piano model because of unfamiliar keyboard.
A chromatic accordion can be fairly expensive ranging from $500.00 for your basic model up to an extremely high end instrument costing $10,000.00
You can play the same note whether you’re pushing the bellows in or pulling them out.
3- Diatonic Accordion – This type accordion uses a diatonic scale having a variety of buttons. This means for example: if you are playing in the key of c major and you’re using c major scale notes, then you would say the notes you are using are diatonic. The buttons on this type accordion has a different pitch to it, depending on whether the bellows are being pushed in or pulled out.
There are fewer notes compared to a chromatic model making this type accordion easier to learn. They are more compact than most of your other accordions.
This type model leaves out sharps and flats which makes it less versatile than the chromatic model. You can pick one of these up ranging from $300.00 to $3000.00.
4- CONCERTINA ACCORDION – This model is smaller and has a hexagon shape, meaning six side angles. The Anglo concertinas are diatonic and the English concertinas are chromatic. The advantage of this type model is that it is small and lightweight and you have a choice between diatonic or chromatic. The disadvantage of this model is it has fewer notes than the other models and you cannot play chords with a single button. This model ranges from $150.00 to $500.00
Different Number of keys
An accordion can have anywhere from 22 to 45 treble keys and 8 to 185 bass keys. The common full accordion has 41 treble keys and 120 bass keys, but you can do fine with fewer keys. When you are looking for an accordion you may come across something that looks like 22/45, which means the accordion has 22 treble keys and 45 bass keys. For the beginner musician 26/48 would be fine.
Chords or Bass
your right hand generally plays your treble notes while your left-hand plays your bass notes. Many accordions allows you to play full chords on the bass side by pushing one button. This is called the stradella system. Free bass accordions have single bass notes. The advantage of this is you can create your own type chords by pushing different buttons at the same time so you can play more than standard chords. This makes the model harder to play.
Different Designs
You can find a range of different colors even though the basic accordion isn’t heavily adorned, they may have some metal detailing design on the bellows. Some people find the color and design and look of the accordion important while others do not. A more expensive accordion might be handcrafted and have detailed inlays and metalwork.
Some things to Consider When Buying
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Some accordions have what they call a tone chamber, which mellows the sound of the reeds giving a smoother richer tone. These tend to cost more than those without this feature, so if you are a beginner I would suggest a standard accordion.
You should also consider the size and weight of the accordion. If you choose a model with the full 120 bass notes it may be too awkward and heavy for you to handle comfortably so I would choose a smaller model.
There are also different number of sets of reeds in an accordion which they call voices. Most have at least two sets but you can have up to five sets.
If you plan on playing out or entertaining, some models can come with built in microphones. This isn’t a necessary feature since you can mic or amplify the accordion.
You can play an accordion either standing or sitting, if you plan on standing while playing make sure you invest in a sturdy strap.
You can find numerous accordions today with keeping children in mind making these accordions easier to handle. If you are a beginner or on a tight budget, you might want to consider buying a childs model even if you are an adult to experience the feel for the instrument before buying a better one.
Once you buy your ACCORDION you should store it upright on the bass side to avoid warping of the reeds. Store it in a medium temperature and dry place.
Best Accordions to Buy
Below is a list of some accordions that were reviewed by several musicians that they feel is a good choice when purchasing .
1- HOHNER 3100FB-PANTHER– 3 row fbe diatonic accordion, one of the lightest and smallest accordion on the market and has a rich sound when played in a group or playing solo.
2- HOHNER PANTHER G/C/F– 3 row diatonic accordion-black, weighs 9 lbs. This model allows you to play without any serious complications or demands.
3- BEGINNER ACCORDION – 22 KEY 8 BASS PIANO accordion. This accordion has some great features. It has a maple wood design which is durable and resistant to corrosion and has a nice elegant appearance and excellent workmanship.
4- RIZATTI BRONCO RB31GM– This is a diatonic accordion Mexican Flag design key G/C/F. This accordion can be good for a beginner or advanced players.
5- D LUCA TORO BUTTON ACCORDION – This model has a 31 treble button which produces a high quality sound.
6- HOHNER COMPADRE GCF ACCORDION RED– Great for a beginner and experienced player. It has an open grille design that allows you to create louder fuller music.
Conclusion
I only named a few that were reviewed and you can get great prices on Amazon. Hopefully I gave you enough information that you can make an educated decision when buying an accordion. If you have any questions or thoughts on this subject please feel free to comment and I will do my best to try to answer them for you.