Gizmos and Gadgets - October 2007

12-Oct-2007

From the latest high wonder products to the simplest little bits and bobs and a few that are truely weird and wonderful. 4BR has been out shopping - this is what's on offer at Band Supplies in October.


deviceMethodischer Ubungsadapter
Trombone - Methodical accessory device
£45.00 (inc VAT)

Only the Germans could think of, and then produce something as wonderfully weird, yet practical, as this.

Just in case you are a trombone player who likes to rely on the good old fashioned ‘screw it on’ method of playing, this little beauty will simply get you out of the habit by stopping you from doing just that – although it will take some practice and you may end up cursing its very existence.

The reasoning behind it is simple enough: The harder you press the less air gets into the instrument, therefore making you sound less like Christian Lindberg and more like Walter Lindberg.

So simple in design (just five parts, including the good old spring) it is adjustable so that you can lessen the pressure required to stop the air quicker than a quick half nelson from the Boston Strangler. 

It fits just about any trombone shank and mouthpiece, is engineered as good as the spark plugs on a Porsche 911 and may well stop you from having a dent in your top lip the size of the Marianas Trench when trying to play anything above top C.

Not to be confused with an expensive winestopper or to be ordered in the mother tongue in Band Supplies if you really haven’t passed your O Level German exam.

All you have to remember as the Daleks used to say: resistance is futile…

For more information:
http://www.bandsupplies.co.uk/default.asp 


jo ralJo Ral cornet/trumpet Bubble copper mute
£59.95 (inc VAT)
 

American made Jo Ral mutes have been around a long time and the reason is that they are pretty good at what they do.

If you on the look out for something a bit different to add to your stable of effects as a cornet player of repute then the ‘bubble’ is what you need. It’s innovative design and unique shape add up to giving it that very distinctive sound – a mix between a mosquito buzz and that tinny noise you hear from those spaced out trumpeters on 1920’s jazz records.

It is an expensive bit of kit – the price of copper is at an all time mind you – but it is superbly put together, looks the biz and makes you sound like a poor man’s Miles Davis if you are any good.  
Beware though – it does like a lump of lead cannonball, so drop it on stage and you could either break your foot and look like a right chump.

Not to be confused with a plant pot from IKEA or in a vain attempt to make you believe you can actually sound like Bix Biederbecke.

For more information:
http://www.bandsupplies.co.uk/default.asp


ritterRitter Euphonium Gig Bag
RCB700-6-EUBU/NBB
£69.95

Gig bags are all the rage it seems. From cornet payers with little spongy bags that make them look like trendy skateborders to tuba players with sturdy backpacks that wouldn’t be out of place on the shoulders of Army cadets on a drill march, the days of the bespoke hard case for instruments are now fast becoming a thing of the past.

No student (and even players over the age of 25) would be seen dead without one.

Ritter are one of the leaders in the field and this euphonium gig bag seems to have all the right boxes ticked for those who have just splashed out their grand parents inheritance on a brand new state of the art instrument, and don’t want it scratched or bumped in any way.

Sleek and minimalist in design, with plenty of padding, pockets and zippers, it comes in black (the colour of choice for those with misanthropic tendencies) and is light enough to lift onto hard pressed shoulders without making you feel like Sherpa Tensing.

The neat backpack system is plenty sturdy and allows enough adjustable leeway for those of the more Ruebensian build, thus allowing the hands to be kept free for more important duties, such as texting friends about the right time for band rehearsal. There’s space a plenty for mouthpieces, tutor books and even band parts and it can take a fair bit of wear and tear.

It may not quite get 5 stars in a NCAP crash test but it will protect an expensive instrument from the odd misplaced bump or three on the way back home from the pub after practice.

There is no room for a sleeping bag or 12 cans of cheap Dutch lager however.

For more information: 
http://www.bandsupplies.co.uk/default.asp


bremnerBremner sssssshhhhhh trombone mute
£31.95 (inc VAT)

Given that most of us do not live in a country manor house, miles away from the neighbours, then the thorny problem of when and how we do some home practice is always a bit of an issue – especially given the increase in ASBO’s from anything from flushing your toilet late at night to blasting out Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkarie’ when it takes your fancy.

Now you have to be considerate to you fellow neighbour, so practice mutes are an essential tool not only in keeping your lip in some sort of shape between band practices, but also from stopping you being hauled down the local magistrates court by one of those special hobby bobby constables for breach of the peace.

The Bremner sssssshhhhhh mute (and that is the right spelling) should stop that from ever happening and according to the website by the makers, some very impressive professionals swear by it (perhaps they have awful neighbours too).

Light and durable it’s made out of plastic with a small tube that runs through it through it the size of a HB pencil. The top has a spongy grip to ensure it fits neatly into the bell of your instrument and it is even colour coordinated so you can get you trombone mute mixed up withy you euph one! 

The design is not just clever but by all accounts works wonderfully well also (otherwise the so top brass musicians wouldn’t like it), and it is claimed to help you develop a more open throated approach to playing (also good for beer drinkers) without inducing bad habits.

It is quiet too and comes in a very handy little cloth bag. You can now blow to you hearts content and don’t have to worry about the miserable old codger next door reporting you to the local council. A pity that they don’t produce one to stop their moaning though.

For more information:
http://www.bandsupplies.co.uk/default.asp
http://www.4barsrest.com/shopping/du_default.asp

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