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The Yamaha Experience comes to Willis Music

We are excited for our biggest one-day event of the year!! It’s a great day for Music Educators and Music Enthusiasts alike! Come to Willis Music in Lexington, KY on July 15 for a day of musical fireworks!
A team of experts from the Yamaha Corporation will join our knowledgeable Willis Music sales team and school service representatives to share with you a variety of Yamaha musical instruments made to enrich your lives!
 There will also be door prizes from Yamaha & Willis Music given out during the event, in addition to catered food and beverages to keep you energized on this fantastic day!


Visit our Lexington location at 130 West Tiverton Way from Noon-5pm on Friday, July 15 to experience demonstrations on the following Yamaha instruments which are also available for purchase at a special one day discount:
– Brass, Woodwind, & Orchestra instruments
– Marching Percussion  (Snares, Tenors, and Basses are in-store that day! Come try them out!)
– Concert Percussion   (Snares, Keyboard instruments, and more will be on hand!)clav2
– Disklavier & Silent Pianos
– Clavinovas
– Acoustic & Hybrid Pianos
– Montage Synthesizer (new!) and other workstations
– Portable Keyboards and Digital Pianos
– Acoustic Guitars
– DTX and Acoustic Drumsets
– Pro Audio Speakers & Mixing Consoles

 

Some of the Yamaha Corporation team present will be:

– Michael Brumit: Keyboard Division
– Phil Clendeninn: Senior Product Specialist
– Steve Hauer: Pro Music Division
– Scott Slocum: Band & Orchestra Division
– Troy Wallwage: Percussion Marketing Manager
Yamaha Music Experience Flyer

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Trombone

This post is the final installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the trombone.

 

The most important element to trombone maintenance is the slide. There are several slide lubricant options, but the important thing to remember is to keep it moving freely. Whenever you are playing, be aware of your surroundings so you don’t accidentally hit your slide on your chair or stand. The smallest dent or bend in the slide can make it not function properly, and this is an issue that needs to be taken to a professional repair person.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Slide lubricant (your teacher may recommend one of the following):
Slide oil
Slide cream and water spray
Formulated product (like Slide-O-Mix)
Slide grease (for tuning slide only)
Bore snake
Mouthpiece brush

Optional Care Supplies:
Polishing cloth

Water Key:
You should CONSTANTLY empty your water key (spit valve). This means every several minutes while you are playing, and especially before you return the trombone to its case. Simply press the water key to hold it open, and blow air through the instrument so moisture will leave through the valve (it might be handy to keep a paper towel to empty your valve onto so you don’t leave a puddle).

Main Slide:
It is extremely important to keep your main slide well lubricated – both for the condition of the instrument, and for ease of playing. Your slide will need to be lubricated FREQUENTLY, probably each time that you play. There are several different options:

  • Slide oil: the most straightforward option, and may be best for beginners. Simply extend your slide, apply slide oil to the inner slide, and move the slide in and out to distribute the oil.
  • Slide cream: slide cream requires water to work properly. Apply slide cream to the inner slide, and spray some clean water (from a spray bottle) to the slide before moving it to distribute. Some musicians like this method as it allows the slide to move very fast, and the cream does not need to be applied as often – only the water spray. The downside to the slide cream is that residue tends to build up on the slide faster than with oil, so you may need to clean your instrument more frequently.
  • Formulated products: there are many other products out there (one of the most popular is called Slide-O-Mix). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on any type of product.

Tuning Slide:
REGULARLY, move the tuning slide on the instrument. This will prevent it from “freezing” (getting stuck). OCCASIONALLY, you should grease your slide to clean it and keep it moving freely. Simply remove the slide (pay attention to which direction it faces so you can put it back correctly), apply a small amount of slide grease to the inner slide, and replace it. Wipe off any excess grease. (Note that this is a different type of grease than the one you use for your main slide)

Cleaning:
OCCASIONALLY (every 6-8 weeks or so), you should clean the inside of your trombone. Mark Flegg has a great article on thoroughly cleaning your trumpet (http://markflegg.com/instruction/how-to-clean-your-trumpet/) that can apply to the trombone as well. The good news is that your entire trombone can be submerged in water! Fill a bathtub with warm (not hot) water (you can also add a small amount of dish soap). Remove the main slide and tuning slide from the trombone and place them in the water. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use your bore snake to clean the insides (insert in one end and push through until you can pull the whole apparatus through the other end). Next submerge the body of the trombone in the water and do the same. Use whatever combination of snake and brushes you need to in order to clean the inside of all of the tubing. Rinse each part of the instrument with clean running water, and allow to air dry. Grease your slides with the appropriate materials, and reassemble.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your trombone. The oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young trombone players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Good luck!

Yamaha’s SILENT Brass Delivers Pure Sound

silent

It’s pretty much impossible to play a brass instrument through headphones. That’s a big deal, and until now there hasn’t been a good way to do it without bothering other people.

Until now!

Yamaha’s SILENT Brass system isn’t new, but the latest evolution opens it up to a wider audience. The idea is this: stick a mute in the instrument so it can be barely heard, then replace the sound with synthesis so the player can still hear through headphones. Traditionally, there are two variables where this goes wrong. The first is the compactness of the physical apparatus. Make it too big, and the system is inconvenient (or can even throw the horn off-balance). The second issue is sound.

Yamaha has been a pioneer in the synthesis field. They were the first to bring physical modeling to market in a real product. Ironically, the breadth of products the company offers has sometimes distracted from some of their best research, but when it comes to replicating brass sound, they stand alone.

Get the two ingredients right – make the physical bit unnoticeable and the sound seem like the real thing – and you can have a headphone experience that approaches playing the instrument all-out. The sound is amazing.

Here’s how the SILENT Brass system works:

  • A mute with a built-in pickup both keeps the instrument quiet and registers your playing as accurately as possible – this component has been made both smaller and more lightweight
  • “Brass Resonance Modeling” simulates the sound of the instrument, here greatly improved in quality
  • A compact “Personal Studio” unit has a headphone jack, plus an input in case you want to play along with a recording.

Getting excited? Click the pic above for a demo, or better yet come by give a SILENT Brass a run for yourself. You’ll be knocked out!

The post Yamaha’s SILENT Brass Delivers Pure Sound appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Tired of the Cold Weather Making Playing Music No Fun? Click Here for Great Tips From Willis Music!

ice cold

The weather around here has been kinda cold, snowy & icy lately, and that can make playing your horn a lot less fun. Here are some tips to help you tackle frozen facial muscles when you arrive at rehearsals and concerts:

Tip #1: Wait

Once you come in from the cold at your rehearsal or concert venue, wait. Open your case, but don’t get your instrument out to start warming up straight away. Instead, allow for your body to re-adjust to the warmth, and for the blood to start pumping again to your extremeties, and facial muscles.

Tip #2: Keep your mouthpiece warm

Instead of allowing your mouthpiece to freeze in your instrument case, try keeping your mouthpiece in a pocket close to your body.

Tip #3: A face warmer?

When you arrive at your rehearsal or concert venue, remove your mouthpiece from your pocket or instrument case, and run it under hot water. Once it is hot, press your mouthpiece gently against your cheeks. The warmth from the hot mouthpiece will help thaw frozen facial muscles more quickly.

Tip #4: Cloth and plastic

If you are to be performing outside don’t forget a thin pair of gloves! Some pros invest in a plastic mouthpiece, so that may be of interest as well.

Tip #5: Lip balm

Use a lip balm before you go out in the cold, and after playing. This will help you to prevent sore, dry, and cracked lips. Avoid medicated balms made for cold sores since these can actually dry your lips out.

Written by “Mohawk” Mike, Louisville Store Manager/Arctic Studies Hobbyist

The post Tired of the Cold Weather Making Playing Music No Fun? Click Here for Great Tips From Willis Music! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Print Music Special Offer!!! Buy 2 Get 1 FREE!!!

That’s right, friends!  Buy any 2 books of your favorite music in the store, for ANY instrument, and the 3rd one you want is FREE!

There is no limit on how many books you may get with this offer!  This offer does expire December 24th!!!

**Offer isn’t valid on piano & guitar method books.

We Make Learning Music Fun & Easy!

The love of music has no age & neither does the desire to learn to play it! We’ve assembled a staff of teachers that create individual lesson programs for each student to make sure they receive exactly what they want to learn. Flexible schedules & great studios mean we work around your needs while providing a comfortable atmosphere to help you make your musical dreams come true. Stop waiting & start playing… whether you want one-on-one private lessons or the experience of a group class we’re ready to get you making the music you’ve dreamed of today!

The post We Make Learning Music Fun & Easy! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.