Musical Instrument Mondays!-Ethnic Woodwinds

Well people, April is coming to a close which means this is the last post in my Musical Instrument Mondays Series. For the past four weeks, I have been posting something about a different musical instrument each week, and that usually went along with a regular post the same day. For the last week, I wanted to focus on ethnic woodwinds (not just those in the pictures). I also knew that I wanted to write one post so that I could focus on ethnic woodwinds as a whole.
I have always been intrigued by ethnic instruments of all kinds. I love how some of them don’t even follow the western scale. I believe the instruments in the picture are from Peru, but I don’t know much about Peruvian instruments, so I am going to write about what I do know.
I own a few various ethnic instruments. I have two ethnic strings and three ethnic woodwinds. For the strings, I have a ukulele, of course, and an Appalachian dulcimer, which is a string instrument that you rest on your lap and it is tuned to a weird scale. For woodwinds, I have a recorder, an Irish penny whistle, and a Native American flute.
I don’t get to play my ethnics very often, but I really enjoy getting to play them. I got my first recorder from a childrens’ toy store. It was translucent purple, but it didn’t play well. I still have it, but I don’t play that one anymore because I now have a professional plastic recorder made by Yamaha. I currently only own a soprano, but I would love to acquire an alto and possibly some other sizes as well.
I recently started playing the penny whistle when I got two on my trip to the Musical Instrument Museum (the trip that inspired this mini-series). I bought two because I thought they were in different keys, but even though they are the same key, I don’t regret buying both because they have different tones.
I got my one and only Native American flute from my grandma after she passed away. She is also where I got the dulcimer that I have. I don’t play the NA flute as much as the other ethnics because I have not been able to figure out what key it’s in or how to play it. When I do pull it out of its protective bag, I usually just mess around.
Thanks for reading! Comment below if you want me to do more mini-series like this!
I hope you enjoyed!
Here is a picture of the display of ethnic woodwinds at the museum:

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!

Free Sheet Music Websites

For today’s post, I wanted to write a little bit about my favorite websites for free sheet music. I only have a few sites that I like, but they are all pretty comprehensive in the materials that they cover.
The first site I like is called 8notes (www.8notes.com). I like this site for easy pieces that I just want to learn for pleasure and not necessarily for performance. I wouldn’t use pieces from this site in performance because a lot of them are transcriptions of pieces written for other instruments. This website is a good place to go if you are looking for inspiration as well.
The next site is the Petrucci Music Library (www.imslp.org). This site definitely has a more comprehensive list of sheet music, some arrangements, some originals. You can search by more than just instrument and difficulty, and there are more instrumentations on here than on 8notes.
The last site I want to tell you guys about is mainly for flutists, flute teachers, and pianists who accompany flutists. It is called Free Flute Sheet Music (www.flutetunes.com). This has a lot of flute solos, duets, trios, etc. as well as pieces with flute and keyboard, flute and bass, etc. you can search by difficulty, instrumentation, time period, written for flute, and more. I use this site for about 95% of my flute sheet music at the moment.
I hope this gave you a few resources to check out for your sheet music needs. I am sorry the list was so short, but honestly, those are the only sheet music sites I need.
If you have any other sheet music websites you like-free or otherwise-comment down below and let me and other readers know.
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!