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A waterproof CD marker writes well on the shoulder of the reed, the part, where you can't injure the cut.

Instrument Jokes

Generally you shoul work carefully! Better do a step again some times than to be too radical, because on the sensitive tip you can't redo anything - pulling firmly over a sheet of sandpaper once can be too much for a soft tip! With more experience you will know in advance how much sanding the reed needs, but in the beginning things will go wrong, too - so you want to start with reeds that are a little older or that come out the box - never start with the reeds you rely on for your next concert Sometimes you find that you can't improve a reed however hard you try.

Then just throw it away; it is unlikely you will repair it later. It is sufficient if you keep one or two old unplayable reeds that you can use to cover the mouthpieces lay with when the mouthpiece is not in use, for example. Throw away old and unusable material or you might lose overview over your reeds.

The whole planed area of the reed is called cut. The colours show areas of equal strength like height lines on a map. The tip white is the thinnest and most sensitive area, it is responsible for the high frequency swinging and the attack behaviour of the reed. The area edged black is the raised crest sometimes called "heart". In the raised crest you don't sand except if the whole reed's surface must be redone. The sides or flanks next to the creast are important for the balance. The area below the crest is sometimes called shoulder, here the reed is strong and does hardly swing at all.

The unplaned area is called blade. First you check whether the bottom of the reed is absolutely flat and smooth. Often there still is some dust or the surface is sticky. Or it is not absolutely flat. Make the reed wet - only work on wet reeds. Then put the reed on the finest sand paper you have got, put index, middle finger and ring finger on top of the blade and push it over the surface away from the tip like you would move a matchbox car over the floor - no force necessary.

Never move a reed towards the tip, because the fibers on the thin tip will then break. It is not as easy as it may sound - because it is hard to get hold of the reed, and you must not press harder on one side than the other. Simplest way - if it is a very small correction: You pull the reed face-down over a fine sheet of sand paper that is with the crest looking down in an acute angle with only very little pressure. Make sure you keep the reed absolutely horizontal! Stronger effect: Take the spatula or the horsetail as seen on the picture left and make the tip a little thinner.

You move the horsetail only towards the tip, not the other way, so the fibres can't be ripped out of their structure. In addition you do make the sides in the picture above: the green are a little thinner but always keep out of the crest. The areas here are the mose sensitive of the reed, so be careful.

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Doing the sides be careful to work balanced on both sides. Often check by fixing the reed on the mouthpiece, and while playing a note, turn the instrument right and left - then the reed will be hindered to play right or left because it can't swing, and you can easiliy find out whether its responsiveness is the same on both sides. As described above, but now you work further away from the tip in the blue and yellow are. Here the reed is much stronger, and you can sand away a little more before you find the reed to react.

The reed plays easily, but it squeaks for no reason and it is difficult to keep the tone constant. Forte is clattering and when you want to play fortissimo, you press the reed against the mouthpiece and it shuts and blocks. Actually "too soft" just means the reed swings too much. This can be due to being to thin in the tip or the tip opening between reed and mouthpiece is too thin. So you can either cut off a little of the tip of the reed never more than a tenth of a millimeter and then redo the whole reed including the crest.

Attention when cutting with the reed cutter: Always take out the reed before opening the cutter spring, because otherwise the tip could be destroyed. As alternative you can put the reed on the fine wet sand paper and then work on the bottom of the reed - while you press on the back the blade of the reed. This will make the tip of the reed go a little higher and therefore the tip opening wider. That will make the reed feel "harder". This doesn't work with all reeds, but compared to cutting it has the advantage that you don't have to redo the whole reed.

Reeds squeak, if their tip is too thin and the crest is to strong. This results in a limited ability to swing back. If you press a reed in an angle of 45 degrees on a sheet of glas, it will bend. A sufficiently elastic reed will quickly bend back fully. If the reed has become to old or is too thin, it will stay bent into the direction a little. Then all you can do is cut shorter and rework the whole reed of throw away the reed, since all measures you take won't last very long anyway.

If you turn the instrument in your mouth, you press the reed against one side of your lower jaw so the reed can't swing here any more.

If you compare both sides and there are differenzes, you can try to balance those like described above. But you can as well try the following: You put the reed with its softer side onto the sandpaper that is upright , and then, carefully, always away from the tip, you pull the reed away. This will make the reed a little narrower, but up to half a millimeter is OK, on the other hand this side will become heavier, too.

Since the effect is non-symmetric, you must re-check and balance afterwards.


What they are made of and how they are made The reeds are made of a reed grass that originally grows in the Mediterranean, called Arundo Donax. Fiberreed, Carbon and similar developments There were always experiments with different materials that aimed at replacing the sensitive naturally grown wooden reed by a reliable, long-lasting synthetic reed that would under all conditions show the always same perfect properties.

What role the reed plays when creating a tone The reed is fixed onto the mouthpiece of the clarinet so that only a very narrow opening remains between the tip of the reed and the mouthpiece. What do we expect from the reed? How to buy reeds The traditional way is to go to a music shop and buy a box or some single reeds of you favorite brand.

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GH Music. Drums Drums Staff Recommendation. Guitars Staff Recommendation. Bass Gear Staff Recommendation. Amps Staff Recommendation. Keyboards Staff Recommendation. Audio Tech Staff Recommendation. Sheet Music Staff Recommendation. Home Guitars Harmonicas. For those who dig country music, GH Music should be your first stop. This idea should be abandoned. It is, however, a good place to start — particularly if you are a male with a relatively average vocal range. If you are a female with a relatively average vocal range, you might want to start with a wild guess that a reasonable key for you to try might be about half an octave above standard key.

The musicians who are accompanying you will be most comfortable with it and are more likely to be able to give you their best performance. Interestingly enough, they are also, on some levels, less likely to be especially creative with it.

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When you have played a song more or less the same way hundreds of times, it is hard to keep from repeating yourself. There are great musicians out there — all with different skill sets and talents. Not all of them are equally proficient in all keys. In fact, few of them are Bob Smith is an exception to this generalization. Some keys are easier for the rest of us mortals than others. This varies a little depending on the instrument. Rock guitar players like E, A, D, and G. Horn players like F, B flat, and E flat.

Piano players often like C, F, and G. There are a few keys that are not used often generally the ones that have the most of those pesky black notes with two names each and because they are not often used, many musicians are less familiar and less comfortable in them. These include you might want to write down or remember this next bit :. Anything around the range of the key of F would, by any sensible and prudent composer or musician, be written in either F or G.

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Anything you feel inspired to do in B would almost certainly work just as well in B flat or C and the musicians will be grateful if you choose them instead. Requesting either of those two keys with four names will make you appear pretentious and ignorant to the band although we will still love you anyway.

  • Fiberreed, Carbon and similar developments;
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  • Here is one more thing to make it even more complicated thought we were done with the difficult technical stuff? This idea should come easily to most of you. There are Major keys and Minor keys. James Infirmary. I just wanted to bring this up so when you hear the term used, you will not be overly confused. The relative minor of any major key will be found by moving 3 half steps down from the major key.

    They are the same key. I feel your frustration. I will never remember or retain any of this. Plus, I have no way of knowing the name of any note I sing. How can this help me? The easiest is to find a musician who will take the time to run you through a variety of keys and fine-tune your choice for you. As I mentioned before, most will have a range of possible keys for any given song. Once you make a choice, write it down and remember it. The second, harder, yet more rewarding option is to figure it out for yourself. First, you have to get access to an instrument of some kind that will allow you to identify by name a pitch.

    I recommend a Steinway Grand piano. It will always be good enough to know the name of the first note of the melody. Any reasonable good accompanist will be able to tell you the key if you tell them your first note. This is not a particularly good method.