Musical Instrument Mondays!-An Organ Speaker

For today’s installment of my Musical Instrument Mondays series, I don’t have an instrument, rather it is a piece of equipment to be used with an organ. That is called the Leslie speaker. I not only saw one on my visit to the musical instrument museum, but I have also had the pleasure of playing through one using an organ. Here is a picture of the one at the museum:

I’m not exactly the best at taking photos, but this is what the outside looks like. The speaker is usually closed, but it can be open. It’s really cool to see an open one being played through because you get to see two rotating speakers inside that make for a good, rich sound.
So that’s it for part three. I will have one more next Monday as I am only doing this in April.
If you have any ideas for posts or short series like this one, comment below because I would love some inspiration!
Thanks for reading!

My Favorite Gear

Every musician has a list of gear that they love more than anything. Today, I will be sharing with you my personal favorites when it comes to instruments and accessories. I do want to first make a disclaimer that I am not pressuring you to go buy any of these products. I am not in any way being paid to write about these products. This is just what I love to use for my playing.you are more than welcome to try these products, but there is no need if you choose not to.
I decided to structure this post by gear for specific instruments and general gear.
GENERAL
Music Stand. I have the cheapest music stand out there from Guitar Center. I do not need anything more than that. It works fine and I use the better stands when I am playing at school.
Tuner, Metronome, & Audio Recorder. I grouped these into one group because I have them all on one app on my iPhone. The app is called Musicians Kit. It is a free app and I really like it. If you do not have a smartphone, or if you don’t want to download an app, there are physical tuners, metronomes, and recorders that you can buy.
Crochet Hook. I got this idea from Bret Pimentel’s blog (www.bretpimentel.com). He said he uses a small crochet hook for when a spring on one of his woodwinds gets out of alignment.
FLUTE
Case Cover. I have a case cover by Protec that I love. I really like the fact that it has one big pocket for your flute and a small pocket for your accessories and/or piccolo.
Flute Stand. I recently purchased a flute stand by Hercules called the Travlite Flute Stand. If you can’t tell by the name, it is good for travel since it folds up and fits in the foot joint (even C-foots).
CLARINET
Reeds. I use Vandoren strength 3 reeds for clarinet. Reeds are definitely a necessity, but not all reeds work for all players, so it is worth it to try out a few different reeds.
Cork Grease. This is self-explanatory. You need cork grease to keep the corks on the clarinet from drying out.
SAXOPHONE
Neck Strap. I have two by Rico, one padded, one not. I like the one without the padding better because it doesn’t grab at my neck as bad. It is worth looking for a better neck strap than the one that comes with the saxophone because they are not the best quality.
Dollar Bill. I like to keep a dollar bill in my saxophone case because it is good for cleaning sticky pads. I only use it for saxophone, because flute and clarinet pads are too sensitive.
I hope you liked reading about my favorite gear! I hope you found it helpful and maybe got some ideas about what gear to purchase for yourself.
Thanks for reading!

Musical Instrument Mondays!-A Plastic Saxophone?

For the second installment in my Musical Instrument Mondays, as you can guess by the title, I am featuring a plastic saxophone that was made by the company Grafton. Here is a picture of the beautiful instrument:

Here is a link to where you can read about the famous plastic sax:

http://www.saxgourmet.com/grafton.htm
Thanks for reading, I hope you are enjoying finding out about a few odd ball instruments. I will be writing two more posts about cute and interesting instruments, specifically those that I saw at the Musical Instrument Museum on a recent trip to Arizona.
It’s always fun in the practice rooms!

Comparing Different Flutes for Beginners

For today’s blog, I wanted to do something a little different than my previous posts. It is a product review, but also a product comparison, and I will be comparing a few different flute models for beginners. I have a low-end off brand flute, a middle of the road flute, and an intermediate quality beginner’s flute.
LOW END
If you are not sure if flute is for you, but you would like to give it a try without breaking the bank, a cheap model from a site like Amazon could be worth looking into. I own a cheap off brand flute called a conductor flute. That particular model costs around $100. It works nicely and is definitely a good option for anyone who is fairly new to the flute. I did enjoy playing it for awhile, and it got me through about nine months of playing. It is not the best quality, but it is one of those things where you get what you pay for. There are other cheap brands besides conductor and they all should play fine. Make sure to read reviews before buying online.
My Rating: 3/5
MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
I do not own a middle of the road beginner flute. These flutes cost around $400-600. The one I played was an old Bundy by Selmer which I borrowed from my high school music teacher. It was the first flute I ever played, and it got me through three months of playing. I do think that Bundy is a good brand. The clarinet I play was made by Bundy. I can write a post about clarinet if you are interested, comment below. Other reliable brands of this quality include Yamaha, Jupiter, Gemeinhardt, and others.
My Rating: 3.5/5
INTERMEDIATE QUALITY
Before I go into this section, I want to get one thing straight. The flute I am reviewing is a beginner flute, but it plays and sounds like an intermediate model for the beginner level price. It is a little more expensive than a beginner flute it is listed at around $900. That is a little more than a beginner, but certainly less than an intermediate model. What flute is it? I currently play a Trevor James 10x. It is the company’s beginning model flute and it is very good quality. I say it is intermediate quality because that is the opinion of a woman I know who has a doctorate degree in flute. I would only recommend this flute to someone who has been playing flute for a while, but is looking for a nice step-up model for a lower price.
My Rating: 4.5/5
I didn’t give any of the flutes mentioned here a perfect score of 5/5 because they are beginner instruments and while they are good for beginners, they are designed for beginner playing and not for advanced or professional playing.
So that is my post on the various options available to beginning flutists. I hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe found it helpful if you or someone you know will be starting to learn the flute soon.
Thanks for reading!

What’s on my iPad: in my Music Folder

So for this blog post, I wanted to show you guys the apps that I have in my music folder on my iPad. My music folder looks different from what some people would have because I have more music creation apps whereas other people might have more music listening apps. Be fore getting into the post. So here are some apps that you will find in the music folder of my iPad.
GARAGE BAND ($4.99-free on devices purchased after 10/01/13) I don’t really use this app that much. I mostly just mess around with it. You can create and record music on piano, guitar, bass, and drums as well as record audio.

EAR TRAINER LITE (Free) I use this app whenever I want to sharpen my ear at hearing intervals. Since I am a music major, I have to take aural skills so this app can be a great practice tool for outside class time.

FINALE SONGBOOK (Free) I love this app for storing digital copies of all of my sheet music. It was made to store files from Finale music, but I also will open PDF files of sheet music in there. This app is just for viewing-not creating or editing sheet music.

50-in-1 PIANO HD (Free) This is an electronic keyboard app where you can select different sounds from vibes to strings to synths, it is a fun app. I don’t use it all that much but it is nice to have.

iGRAND PIANO ($?-free with purchase of iRig Keys ($99.99)) this is a simple electronic piano app that I use with an external midi keyboard.


SAMPLETANK ($?-free with iRig Keys) this is like the iGrand Piano app, but you can also use other sounds besides piano. This app is also meant to be used with an external midi keyboard.

NOTE* The two apps I just talked about came with the iRig Keys (made specifically for use with iOS) which I bought at Guitar Center. I can do a review of the keyboard in another blog if you would like-comment below.
MAGIC PIANO (Free) This is a cute little app that is kind of like guitar hero, but you use your fingers on the screen to play the notes in all sorts of songs. I believe it costs money if you want to play pop songs (they are an in-app purchase).

SYMPHONY PRO ($9.99) I have been loving this app so much! It is a music composition app that functions just like Finale or Sibelius, but way cheaper. I just recently downloaded it, so I am still getting used to the program, but so far I really like it. I was able to do a project for my composition class on it. I really love the option to use an on-screen keyboard for note-entry.

So, those are my top music creation apps for iPad. I hope this gave you an idea of what is out there. I believe they are also available for iPhone/iPod Touch except for maybe Finale SongBook. I would like to know about other fun apps like these that are free/cheap, because I do use my iPad as my main computer. If you would like to know how I do that, let me know, and I can show you! Anyway, thanks for reading!