Saturday, August 29, 2009, 09:30 AM
My computer went down and took my inbox with it. If you have not gotten a response to an Email recently, please resend it to me.
As you can see, I'm tooling up to fix the computer.
Thursday, June 18, 2009, 02:10 PM
Carl and Travis Thacker from Carl's Pro Band
Today I received a call from my good friend Carl Thacker at Carl's Professional Band Instrument Repair in Bloomington, IL. If you're anywhere near Bloomington or if you've ever had the pleasure of having Carl and Travis work on your horn, you know why I'm honored to know these guys.
Some of the finest players in the country are having their work done at Carl's Band Instrument Repair in Bloomington; a few of which are list on their site here
Carl and his son Travis have been repairing professional woodwinds for longer than I've been around, and using RooPads before RooPads were cool. When I first started offering RooPads for Saxophone Carl was one of first, if not the first tech to call me. So it was no surprise that Carl was one of the first techs to try our RooPads for Bass Clarinet.
It is a surprise when you see the instrument in which they installed our RooPads for Bass Clarinet.
Check out this keyed Bugle with RooPads for Bass Clarinet brought back to life by Carl's Pro Band!
Carl and Travis did some serious work to this baby. They replaced some of the tone holes. Leveled the ones that were OK, and installed RooPads for Bass Clarinet.
Travis tells me that he likes the way the RooPads worked on this bugle because of the, "Nice firm feel" and that they, "seal up well." -Of course, these are RooPads and it's your work Travis!
Tons of body work was done including the fabrication of various parts, stripping the lacquer dents etc.. I'm told that a new pigtail is being made for this Bugle as we speak. This will allow for the use of a 'regular' trumpet mouthpiece.
If you would like to learn more about Carl, Travis and Carl's Pro Band, check out their site:
If you need some horn work done, do not hesitate to call these guys!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 06:08 AM
photo by Malcolm Crowthers
When I started playing saxophone in Cambridge NY, I had no idea that the world's most respected classical saxophonist had retired to a small town bordering mine. After some time, I learned about Mr. Rascher and heard his music as well as the music of the quartet he founded "The Rascher Saxophone Quartet" (RSQ). While studying saxophone at Fredonia, I attended a workshop given by The Rascher Saxophone Quartet and it changed my life. During that camp I decided my ambition was to play in a saxophone quartet. Since that time, I've attended and enjoyed many RSQ workshops and many of the decisions I've made about music and business have been based on my desire to play in a quartet similar to the RSQ.
I've also had the honor of doing saxophone repair work for members of the RSQ and once went on a playing tour (duo baritone saxes!) with Kenneth Coon, the baritone saxophonist of the RSQ. Needless to say, this quartet and all they have done have greatly impacted my life for the better.
This year the Rascher Saxophone Quartet is doing a special workshop in the US at Florida State University. 'Special' for many reasons: First, three of the current members in the quartet are past students of Patrick Meighan, professor of saxophone at FSU. So this should be a sort of homecoming for the RSQ. Also, FSU is the home of the MANA Quartet, winners of the recent 63rd Annual Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition. MANA is the first saxophone quartet in the history of the competition to take home the top prize! Aside from the RSQ (isn't that enough?) and the MANA Quartet the Trio Bel Canto will be in attendance.
The Trio Bel Canto is a group of amazing players that you must hear to believe. The Trio is comprised of Alto Sax (Patrick Meighan), Tenor Sax (John Moore) and Piano (Krista Wallace-Boaz). I've heard this nationally acclaimed ensemble perform many times and it's always outstanding. I heard from Patrick Meighan this morning that the Trio may be performing on the evening concert at the workshop.
This means, The Rascher Saxophone Quartet will be under the same roof as the Trio Bel Canto, the hugely acclaimed FSU saxophone studio, the MANA quartet as well as all the amazing players from around the world that attend RSQ workshops, for a whole week. Wow, this will be nothing short of spectacular!
This is an event that should not be missed. I highly recommend that all my saxophone friends out their sign up for the RSQ workshop at FSU. I do not know how many spaces are left at the workshop, but I do know that spaces are limited. For all current and past students of mine this workshop is mandatory!
Every workshop I've been to included meals and lodging. The cost is extremely reasonable and the food is always good!
Learn about the workshop or register (do it!):
RSQ at FSU info and register:
Rascher Saxophone Quartet:
The MANA Quartet:
Trio Bel Canto:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 03:03 PMOne of the toughest places on a saxophone to keep silent while still feeling smooth and tight is the link from the side key lever to the pad cup on most modern horns. Here is a quick technique we use in our shop:
Remove the old material from the shaft on the end of the pad cup arm. Cut off a piece of Hot Glue Filled Heat Shrink Tube that is the smallest diameter possible.
Shrink it over the shaft. This heat shrink tube will remain more resilient if it is not overheated, so hot air may be a better choice than a flame.
Now, shrink a piece of Heat Shrink TeflonŽ Tube over the Hot Glue Filled Heat Shrink Tube. Assemble the mechanism. It should be too tight at this point.
With the pad cup and lever both in place on the saxophone, heat up the joint to soften the shrink tube, while at the same time moving the lever through its normal range of motion.
The hot glue inside the shrink tube will soften and conform to the forked arm on the lever. Remove the heat as soon as the key moves freely. Continue moving the key while the shrink tube cools so the spring tension doesn't force all of the hot glue to one side of the joint. After it's cool, test that the key moves freely and silently. If it still feels too tight, re-heat again while moving the key. If it is not silent, add a little heat without moving the key.
Once you have this working properly trim off any excess tubing.
TeflonŽ shrink tube has a tendency to slide off over time if not glued in place. Most often the nature of this joint allows the forked arm on the lever to hold the TeflonŽ in place, but if it doesn't just slip the TeflonŽ tube off halfway, put a drop of super glue under it and slip it back in place.
If you have any questions about this technique feel free to email me at: Questions@MusicMedic.com
Thursday, April 16, 2009, 12:44 PMHello!
We're all just getting back from our trips and I thought it might be a good time for a quick update. As you may know, Matt and Rich went to Louisville Kentucky for the NAPBIRT convention while Jen and I went to Frankfurt Germany for the Musik Messe. A great time was had by all.
At the Messe, there weren't too many new things and the show was not as crowded as it has been in the past. That said, our booth was jam packed. It was strange to leave the booth at the Messe and see the isle empty with a crowd around our booth.
I asked nearly every person coming to the booth what was the most exciting thing they saw at the show so far. Many of them said our Pearl Saxophone Rollers and our RooPads for Clarinet! I was amazed at the response these two new products got. I didn't have a chance this year to go around playing saxophones but I was able try a few.
Technicians at the Messe and the NAPBIRT convention were really excited about our Precision Pads. For years now, we have been offering Precision Pads for nearly half the price of even the least expensive pads offered by other manufacturers. Now, technicians are coming to us amazed at the high quality of the pads we offer and really excited about the price and free shipping. Offering a superior product for way less money was bound to catch on and it did, this year, in a big way. Thanks to all the techs who offered to try our pads at the show and to all of you that have known for years what a great deal we're offering!
-Don't worry, we won't be raising the price now that the secret is out!
For those of you that I saw at the Messe, I look forward to seeing you again next year! I hope you have a great year! For those of you who were so kind to Matt and Rich at the NAPBIRT convention we'll see you next year!
Here are some pictures of the Messe in Frankfurt. I didn't take too many pictures my camera/phone was acting up. The pictures I did take are a bit fuzzy! After the Messe, we took a little time in Venice so there's a picture from there too.
Two great friends that I enjoy hanging out with every year at the show. On the left is Karsten (maker of Gloger-Handkraft necks), Curt, Paul (proprietor Saxophoonwinkel)
Curt and Johann.
Johann is the inventor of the Cebulla neck strap!
Milandro, Arthur and Curt. These two are fascinating characters! It was great to see you guys. Next year, lets get some dinner and a beer! -Arthur, I still have a piece of candy here, I'm waiting to try!
I pulled Stephen Howard away for a chat this year. Great to see you again Stephen!
Random Venice picture. There is so much cool stuff in Venice.
Here's a special boat in Venice that you may not see anywhere else in the world! Once you've seen it in action, you learn to stay away from them!
All the best to all my friends at the shows. I can't wait for next year!