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Lexington April Calendar of Events

April is going to be a month full of GREAT DEALS at Willis Music Lexington! Click on the calendar below to see all the events this month. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Guitarists: All month long we celebrate International Guitar Month with special savings on all Fender Telecasters on Tuesdays, and Fender Stratocasters on Saturdays. Take home a Tele or Strat over $375 and save money this month!
  • Band and Orchestra Instrumentalists: Current rental customers will receive special savings on a new Step-Up instrument this month!  Also, thanks to Yamaha we have the perfect graduation gift opportunity for the favorite wind player in your life! Get a $100 mail-in rebate April 1-June 30 on a purchase of a several Yamaha instruments, including Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Euphonium, and Trombone.
  • All Musicians: You will want to come visit our store April 20-23 for our Indoor Yard Sale where tables of items that MUST GO will be on sale! This includes sheet music, accessories, and instruments! RAIN OR SHINE!!!!
  • Finally we are excited for our Spring Recital season to kick-off with several recitals during the month.

 

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!

New Teacher Alert!

Willis Music Lexington is happy to welcome Chase Clark to their team of qualified teachers. Chase has been working as the Willis Music Lexington Band Rep since the spring, and is happy to teach during the evenings! Read more about Chase below and click here to sign up for lessons today.

 

 

As an educator, Chase has taught at various schools and music camps throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Teaching with his first instrument, the trombone, Chase has appeared as a guest instructor at prestigious music programs such as Lafayette High School, Beaumont Middle School, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, and John Hardin High School. Chase also has taught at the Annie Moses Band’s Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, TN since 2010. This fine arts camp trains 200-250 students in which Chase is the primary trombone and low brass instructor, jazz big band section instructor, and a member of the faculty performing groups. As well as teaching across Kentucky and Tennessee, Chase maintains a successful trombone studio of emerging talent in the Lexington, Kentucky area. As a performer, Chase has appeared with an extensive variety of musical groups such as the University of Kentucky’s Opera Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, the Annie Moses Band, Wycliffe Gordon, and Grammy-award winning artist Bob Mintzer. Chase also recorded with Bob Mintzer on the album “Go” which released in 2011. Chase also joined with the Annie Moses Band to perform in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and the Grand Ole Opry House in 2013. He currently can be heard as lead trombone/soloist with local artists in the Lexington area such as the jazz big band the MetroGnomes, the oldies rock group Big City Groove, and the Lexington Community Orchestra.

 

 

It’s National Hairball Day

cat

Yes, that’s right…

April 25 is National Hairball Day in the United States of America. Makes you wonder why the rest of the world didn’t pick the same day, right?

As musicians, many of us might have been called (lovingly, we hope) hairballs. Some of us have more hair than others. Some of us have funny hair (I checked that box).  There’s a great musical tribute to 80′s rock called Hairballs. There’s even an action game called Hairballs.

But we’re not here to celebrate any of those, today. Today is all about our cats, and their eternal struggle to leave us that messy gift we all hate cleaning up. Below are some tips on keeping your critter hairball free. Hope Whiskers appreciates your efforts.

How to prevent hairballs in cats

1

Be diligent about grooming

Decrease the amount of hair the cat ingests by using a grooming tool like the FURminator deLuxe deShedding Tool, which can reduce shedding by 90 percent. Proactive grooming removes the excess hair that causes hairballs and is a more holistic preventive measure than giving your cat a laxative or allowing him to cough up the blockage.

2

Kitties need fiber, too

Add a little canned pumpkin to the cat’s meals once or twice a week. The fiber in the pumpkin can help move any hair clumps through the system, and your cat will love the tasty treat. Butter can have the same effect, but is high in calories, so pumpkin might be a better choice.

3

Keep your cat hydrated

Encourage the cat to drink plenty of water by placing bowls throughout the house, as the water will help flush out the hair before it has time to clump in the stomach. It is also a great general practice to keep water bowls separate from food bowls to encourage the cat to drink more water.

4

Make over the cat’s menu

Several specially-formulated cat foods aid in the fight against hairballs. Always consult with a vet before making any drastic changes to a cat’s diet. Sudden food changes can sometimes upset the stomach.

5

Know the warning signs

If a hairball problem persists, ask a veterinarian to recommend a supplement to help prevent ingested hairs from clumping. Here are a few signals a cat may have an excessive hairball problem:

  • Frequent dry hacking
  • An overly matted coat
  • Cylindrical (cigar-shaped) masses on the floor or furniture
  • Lethargy or lack of interest in playing or eating
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Constipation

 

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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.

Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Musicians work hard, but they enjoy a great laugh as much as anyone. Below are some player-friendy jokes sure to bring a smile or two.

A young child says to his mother, “Mom, when I grow up I’d like to be a musician.” She replies, “Well honey, you know you can’t do both.”

Q: How do you make musicians complain?
A: Pay them.
Q: What’s the difference between a banjo and an onion?
A: Nobody cries when you chop up a banjo.

Q: What did the drummer get on his I.Q. Test?
A: Saliva.

Q: What do call a guitar player without a girlfriend?
A: Homeless.

Q: What is another term for trombone?
A: A wind driven, manually operated, pitch approximator.

Q: What do you call a guitar player that only knows two chords?
A: A music critic

Q: How many guitar players does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: 13 – one to do it, and twelve to stand around and say, “Phhhwt! I can do that!”

Tuba Player: “Did you hear my last recital?”
Friend: “I hope so.”

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Our Fantastic Teaching Staff

We tend to take them for granted and don’t talk about them enough so just wanted to take a second to introduce our fantastic teaching staff here at Moeller of Willis Music West Chester!

 

Check out their bios here! Or better yet,  just go ahead and sign up for lessons here!

 

We offer guitar, bass, drums, piano, keyboard, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, coronet,  bass clarinet, violin, viola, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and voice lessons and perhaps a few I forgot to mention.

Step Up to Yamaha – Triple Rebate Day

Thats right – Triple Rebates!!

On November 29, 2013, we will be offering triple rebates on Yamaha band instruments. This will be the best time to buy a step up or pro instrument!!  Turn your rebate into $150 or $300! This is a special event just for Willis Music. Call today to schedule your appointment to get the best selection. 859-525-6050

YAMAHA BAND TRIPLE REBATE DAY!!

In case you didn’t know it, Willis Music is now your Yamaha Band Headquarters!

That’s right, just in time for the best time of year… the Step Up to Yamaha event. From now until the end of the year, Yamaha has a mail in rebate for you, but for 1 special day we get to do DOUBLE rebates from Yamaha AND Willis wants to make it TRIPLE! Thats right, a TRIPLE REBATE!! November 29, 2013 is the BEST time to buy your Yamaha Band instrument. Stop in today and throw it in layaway, get it out that day and still receive the TRIPLE rebate!! This is the sale you have been waiting for!

USED GEAR MONTH AT WILLIS MUSIC TRI COUNTY!!

We will give you an extra 10% off your new instrument when you trade in your old unwanted gear!!

That’s right folks, you read it correctly!  Every Friday & Saturday through September, anytime you trade in your old gear, we will give you another 10% off the already Promised Lowest Price of your new instrument!  Please call Kevin the Manager to set up a time to bring in your gear, but ANY of our staff is happy to help you select your new instrument.  (Must be 18 or over to trade/sell gear to the store)

See you soon!!!

NEW! NEW! NEW! NEW STUFF!

NEW STUFF!

That’s right, we have gotten a shipment of a bunch of NEW stuff never seen before here at Willis Music! Something for everyone – our expanded band selection will help any bandy get back to school jammin, Chauvet lighting – it will light up your world, Red Witch pedals – the Seven Sisters pedals will rock for 300 hours after 1 charge!

There is so much more that we can’t even list it all, but stop by and you wont be disappointed!! See you soon, hurry, come on… you are still reading and  you should be in the car!

‘Back to Band’ Time Is Here!! And yes, we have what you need!

Willis Music Tri County prides itself in having all the necessary instruments for your student starting and continuing in school band!  Not only do we have the instruments, we also have all 7 possible learning books for the area schools, cleaning kits, reeds, mouthpieces, music stands and SO MUCH MORE!

We are keeping a file the required supplies for each school in the area.  If you have lost your print out from the school or director DON’T WORRY- we can still help you!

Don’t forget!  We have private lessons available for all your favorite instruments.  Want to really have some fun with that new saxophone or clarinet?  Come find out why our teachers are 2nd to no-one!

If you are an area band director, and you want to double check our records for what your students are required to have- please call Kevin Schwallie: 513.671.3288

Back 2 Band is Easy at Willis Music!

back 2 band ad

Students rarely rave about lots of homework, walking to the bus stop in the rain or the math test they have on Friday. What they do rave about is their band and orchestra classes! Music’s benefits to students of every age are not just nationally recognized; they’re seen every day by the families and friends of that musician.

As Band and orchestra classes begin for this year, Willis Music has once again ramped up our selection of band instruments, accessories, books, cleaning and care products and stands. Great efforts are made my these musicians to succeed, and we’re committed to helping them in every way possible. We’ve even brought in 4 new band instrument teachers for those wanting private lessons!

Everything they need under one roof.

Expert help with no hassles.

Back 2 Band Season has never been easier!

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SALE! BIG SALE! HUGE SALE!

Thats right – EVERYTHING is on sale!!!!

We just realized that we have special sales all the time for individual departments, like the Band sale going on right now, but you may not play a band instrument. SO, for you, whatever you play, whatever you want to start playing, or if you are looking for the perfect gift, its on SALE!!! Hurry because we can only do this until July 31st, so stop in today and talk to Denise, Jim, Joe, or John!!

BIG BAND BONANZA IS TOMORROW! (click for pic)

That’s right friends!  12 brands, TONS of instruments, and the BEST industry reps on site to help you select the proper instrument for your continued playing!

Still playing on an entry level instrument?  Discouraged that you aren’t playing as loudly or as clearly as you would like?  Come hear what the real difference is in instruments!  Grab your favorite mouthpiece and come play!

Trade-ins welcomed!  12 Month Financing Available!  Expert opinions from brand reps and your FAVORITE Willis Music Team!

BIG BAND BONANZA! It’s time to Step Up!

July 18th- Join us at Willis Music Tri County Mall for the absolute BEST time to select your intermediate, advanced, or pro grade instrument!

We will have specialists ON SITE from: Jupiter, Bach, LeBlanc, Selmer, Conn, Buffet Crampon, Keilwerth, King, Gemeinhardt, Besson, B&S, and Courtois.  Yes!  That’s correct, 12 brands on site to choose from!!!

Have an instrument you want to upgrade? TRADE IT IN!  Need time to pay it off?  Financing will be available!  Excited?  Let us know you coming!!

Questions & Interest?  Email: tricounty@willis-music.com or call Stephanie or Kevin: 513.671.3288!