Music Equipment Needs, All Bands

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussion | Required Materials | Method Book

 

Woodwinds

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussion | Required Materials | Method Book

Back to top

WOODWIND EQUIPMENT

Learning to play a woodwind instrument can be a challenge for a junior high school student. However, with determined effort and an enthusiastic attitude, these challenges can be conquered with surprisingly professional sounding results. However, poor equipment often prevents a student from reaching his/her musical potential.  Equipment refers to four things: reeds, ligature, mouthpiece and instrument. 

Fortunately, the most expensive of these, the instrument, is the least likely to be causing problems for a player. Most modern instruments are well designed and properly manufactured. There are only a few brands that have not proven themselves to be both excellent and reliable. Older instruments, such as those that have been handed down through a family, can range from fair to very fine, depending on the care they have received over the years. However, no matter how fine an instrument is, it can become the source of extreme frustration for a student if it is not in good repair. It is very important that an instrument be properly regulated and that all the pads be in good condition. 

MAINTENANCE

I strongly recommend that each student take his/her instrument to a competent repair shop at least once every two years in order to have a technician inspect it. They will inform you of any repairs that need to be done and the cost of the service. It is then your choice to have all, some, or none of the work performed, depending upon your own financial situation. Problems with an instrument may not be apparent to a player because they have become accustomed to compensating for its shortcomings. Most students are amazed when they find out how much easier it is to play on a well maintained instrument. 

REEDS

Reeds are both the least expensive and most important part of the woodwind players equipment. A poor reed can cause intonation problems, frequent squeaking, poor tone and difficulty in air management. Using a top quality reed is a major step toward improving all of these areas.  When purchased by the box, quality reeds often cost less than the economy variety purchased individually.  There are two characteristics of various brand reeds with which a student should be concerned: quality and consistency. Quality is the ability of a reed to produce a fine tone and consistency is the ability of a manufacturer to produce every reed at the same level of quality. The following brands have the best combination of these two characteristics. 

INSTRUMENT REED

Clarinet .......................................Mitchell Lurie

Bass Clarinet ........................................La Voz

Saxophone ...........................................Hemke

The strength of reed that a student plays should be decided by either the band director or a private teacher. Generally, a student should move to a stronger reed when the reed strength being used starts failing to respond in the high register and/or the general pitch level is consistently flat. Beginning students normally use a 2 1⁄2 strength for a month or two. A more experienced 7-8 student should be playing on at least a 31⁄2.

LIGATURE

A ligature will only cause a problem if it is bent or broken. If this is the case, it should be replaced immediately. Always make certain that a new ligature holds the reed firmly against your mouthpiece (bring your mouthpiece with you to the store), but is not so tight that it prevents the reed from vibrating freely. One good brand of ligature is Bonade, Vandoran and Luyben.

 MOUTHPIECE

The mouthpiece, being the point at which the tone is actually produced, is critical to both achieving a good tone and making an instrument easier to play. Most of the mouthpieces supplied with student clarinets and saxophones are very poor. If a student is serious about becoming a good player, it is important to invest in a good, professional quality mouthpiece. Below I have listed the makes and models suggested for each instrument.

INSTRUMENT MOUTHPIECE

Clarinet ...........Vandoren M13/Pyne Pollycrystal/Vandoren B45

Bass Clarinet ............................................................Vandoren B44

Alto Saxophone ...............................................................Selmer C*

Tenor Saxophone ............................................................Selmer C*

Baritone Saxophone ....................................................Yamaha 5C

If the purchase of a new instrument is being considered, you should let Mr. Wilson know. He can recommend makes and models that will fit your needs and can help you to find a good value.

Back to top

 

Brass

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussion | Required Materials | Method Book

Back to top

BRASS EQUIPMENT

Learning to play a brass instrument can be challenging for a junior high school student. However, poor equipment often prevents a student from reaching his/her musical potential. Equipment refers to both the instrument and the mouthpiece.

Student level instruments (except for horns) are generally designed with a small bore. “Bore” refers to the diameter of the tubing through which the player blows.  It is the opinion of many instrument manufacturers that it is better for a young student to produce a tone on an instrument with a small bore.  While this is true in the beginning stages of playing, which may last for approximately a month or two, a small bore also encourages the development of poor breath support and faulty air management habits.  These problems can in turn cause a thin tone, poor intonation and difficulty in the high register.

  The mouthpiece, being the point at which the tone is actually produced, is critical to achieving a good tone and making an instrument easier to play. Virtually all of the mouthpieces supplied with student brass instruments are too small and restrictive for junior high age students. You should consider investing in a good, well designed mouthpiece.  Below is a list of recommended makes and sizes. Where a choice is given, you should consult your band director or private teacher in order to make a decision.

INSTRUMENT MAKE/SIZE               

Cornet ..................................................................Bach 7C for Beginner, Yamaha 11E4

Trumpet .....................................................Bach 7C for Beginners, 3C for 8th possibly

Horn ...........................Giardinelli C8 or S14 with medium rim

Trombone ..............................................................Bach 6 1⁄2 AL

Euphonium ............................(Best) Dennis Wix, Steven Mead SM6, or Bach 6 1⁄2 AL

Tuba ......................................................................Helleberg 7B (4-6), Helleberg (7-8)

By the time a student has reached his/her third or fourth year of musical instruction, it is a good idea to consider upgrading the instrument on which he/she is playing. If the purchase of a new instrument is being considered, you should let Mr. Wilson know. He can recommend makes and models that will fit your needs and help you to find a good value.

 

Back to top

 

Percussion

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussion | Required Materials | Method Book

Back to top

Information on Percussion Equipment needs for the Hendrix Junior High Band Program.

 

Note:  many parents buy what the consider to be the best bargain/cheapest mallet.  The reality is that like everything else, the best bargain/cheapest mallets tend to also be mallets that don't last very long.  I have seen cheap mallets last a week before they "died".  Quality mallets, chosen right, can last for years.  My personal preference are keyboard mallets that are not birtch shafts.  Birtch shafts tend to chip and shatter very easy.  Consider purchasing rattan shafts.  The bookstore may have mallets and sticks that Mr. Wilson considers to be mallets that are a good value

All percussionists should have their own set of sticks and mallets.  No exceptions! Students without proper equipment will not be allowed to use the percussion instruments.  

Required Materials:

Snare Drum sticks, general use keyboard mallets, medium to soft keyboard mallets (also to be used on suspend cymbals), timpani mallets

Below is a basic list of sticks and mallets that are recommended and accommodate the above required materials:

snare sticks: Vic Firth SD1 General

General Use Keyboard Mallets:  Vic Firth M153 Ensemble Series keyboard mallets (can be used on all keyboard mallets)

timpani mallets: staccato/hard felt (JH only or Advanced ES)

ALSO consider buying a stick bag for the student to keep all their materials in.  The stick bag helps students to not lose their materials.

It is recommended that all percussionists have some equipment at home on which to practice. A snare drum or drum pad is essential. A mallet instrument of some kind would also be helpful, since most percussion tests are on the mallet instruments.

All of the instruments the percussionists will use in band will be provided. The music department has gone to great lengths to provide the best possible equipment for our percussionists to use. In return, they are expected to handle the equipment with great care and to put everything away and cover the larger instruments at the end of each rehearsal and performance.

Back to top

 

Required Materials

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussion | Required Materials | Method Book

Back to top

 

All Elementary Students:  You must have a 3 ring binder to put your method book into.  Recommend size is 1/2 Inch.  5th and 6th Grade should start playing starting the week of the 13th.

All Junior High Bands:  The first day that we will play is the second day of school, August 9th. 

Students will need the following materials for band:

Brass

Trumpet/Cornet, French Horn, Euphonium/Baritone, Tuba:

valve/slide oil, slide grease, mouthpiece, instrument, pencil, method book (see below)

Trombone:

mouthpiece, instrument, pencil, method book (see below) 

also 

Advanced Trombone Students:  slide cream, spray bottle, slide grease

Beginning-Intermediate Trombone Students: valve/slide oil, slide grease

Woodwinds

click here for information on woodwind equipment

Flute: cleaning swab and rod, instrument, pencil, method book (see below)

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone: cleaning swab, instrument, reed holder, 3 usable reeds, pencil, method book (see below)

Oboe, Bassoon:  cleaning swab, instrument, reed holder, 2 usable reeds, pencil, method book (see below)

Percussion:

Method book (see below) also see info on percussion equipment

 

METHOD BOOK

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussion | Required Materials | Method Book

Back to top

Each band uses a supplementary METHOD BOOK in addition to regular band music. You may purchase it at most local music stores.

4th Grade 

Tradition of Excellence Book 1 - Students use a school copy at school, if you want one for home your will need to purchase this from a local music store.

5th Grade 

Tradition of Excellence Book 1 - Students use a school copy at school, if you want one for home your will need to purchase this from a local music store.

6th Grade 

Tradition of Excellence Book 1 - Students use a school copy at school, if you want one for home your will need to purchase this from a local music store.

Intermediate Band 

TBD

Cadet Band 

Tradition of Excellence Book 2

Concert Band

Tradition of Excellence Book 3

 

If you cannot afford to purchase this book, you must notify the director immediately so that assistance can be arranged.

Some of the bands will also use supplementary materials such as Chorales for Band. Copies will be checked out to you just like a text book would be in any other class. Each booklet must be returned in good, reusable condition or you will be charged the cost of replacing it.

 

 

Back to top