It’s nearly Christmas and what better gift to get a musician than one from Normans?
Interested in learning a new instrument for Christmas?
Whatever your age, there’s never a wrong time to pick up a new instrument, especially woodwind!
Those by Sonata would be perfect for a first-time player of any woodwind instrument. They are our best-selling brand, one of the reasons being their great value for money!
For example, the Sonata Student Bb Clarinet comes with everything you need to get started; reeds, cork grease and even detachable shoulder straps for the case! Bearing in mind the amazing price, it is still great quality, with an ABS body making it lightweight and robust.
This is the same for all the Sonata woodwind instruments, be it an oboe, flute, saxophone or even Bassoon!
Why not treat someone, or yourself, to a new instrument?
You would like to buy a new instrument for Christmas but not sure which ones quite best for you? I have listed a few that I think would do the job perfectly!
For all alto saxophone players, I believe the Yanagisawa A-W01 Eb Alto Saxophone is one of the best saxophones. It creates a beautiful warm tone perfect for classical music, but can also be used for different genres such as jazz.
For a cheaper alternative, the Yamaha YAS280 Eb Student Saxophone is a popular one amongst our customers. It produces a rich, rounded sound and will easily get you through grade 5 and above. The saxophone also comes with a ligature, mouthpiece cap, sling, reed and of course, a sturdy and protective case.
Clarinets here start at an amazing price of £140. Similar to the Sonata clarinet, the Yamaha Bb Student Clarinet is perfect for beginners and is still great quality. The matte ABS resin body is designed to create the same quality and sound of a wooden instrument, and creates a strong projection through all registers.
Another popular, yet often pricier, make of clarinet is Buffet. They range from £365 to £3,249 with many in-between. A popular one, and best seller, is the Buffet E13 Bb Clarinet which comes with a gig bag style case. The grenadilla body creates a beautiful warm tone and is known for its accuracy of tone. The gig bag style case is also water resistant, contains lots of extra pockets for things such as music, and a detachable strap. This clarinet is also sold with a leather case or on its own. This would be a great gift for someone who is at a more advanced level.
The Yamaha YFL312 Flute is recommended by many players. The new and improved model has been ‘re-vamped’ to improve all aspects. This includes the key work, lip plate and many more. It also creates a more powerful, better-quality tone.
The typical next step for a flute player is to play piccolo. It is a great skill to have if you wish to take music further as a career, or to play on the side-line. The Yamaha YPC32 Piccolo has easy playability and is made from ABS resin, making it similar to the sound created from natural wood.
A more advanced piccolo is the Yamaha YPC62. The main difference is that this is made from granadilla wood, giving it a warmer tone and stronger projection. It is very popular with professional musicians due to this.
There is a range of oboes with the Sonata Student Oboe, again, being a popular choice due to the great value for money.
The Howarth S10 Oboe is also a beginner oboe and is very popular. It has closer finger spacing, perfect for smaller hands and is lightweight.
Bassoons, similar to the oboes and cor anglais, have a unique tone and are rare in orchestras, making them very popular if you are able to play it. We have bassoons ranging from the Sonata Student Wood Bassoon to a more advanced Schreiber Bassoon.
There are also mini and short reach bassoons available which would suit beginners well. The Sonata Student Mini Bassoon example is developed for children and is perfect for smaller hands. It also has a solid resin body, meaning there is no risk of swelling or cracking to the body, making it more durable with a longer life span.
Even though cor anglais are slightly higher price, they are worth it! The Howarth S20 Cor Anglais creates a beautiful tone and will be able to take you to grade 8 and further.
The cor anglais isn’t a well known instrument so playing this will make you popular for wind bands and orchestras.
I understand instruments come with a case. However, there’s always room for improvement!
Brands that provide cases and gig bags include Sonata, Champion, Chord, and Tom and Will.
Sonata cases are the go to cases for being lightweight, protective and having detachable straps for ease of carrying. They include alto saxophone, clarinet, flute and even oboe cases.
Tom and will are a great brand to consider if you would prefer a more gig bag-style, colourful case. They are vibrant and space efficient, yet still sturdy and protective. They also do cases for a wider range of instruments and come in many colours to choose from.
If you are a parent reading this blog and would like to encourage your child or someone you know to start playing woodwind, these gifts would be perfect…
The typical instrument for a beginner musician is a recorder. They don’t require a difficult embouchure or much stamina. This allows you to focus on learning different notes, rhythms and ultimately learning how to read music which is a key skill to have. They come in a range of funky colours and start from the amazing price of £2.39.
Another way to encourage music is by fun instruments such as Wak-a-tubes. They are great for the younger ones and are very colourful. It is also a great way to introduce children to music and can get them learning musical basics such as scales.
If you were looking for something more substantial such as the flute or clarinet, our best-selling brand, Sonata, would be perfect.
There are many different woodwind instruments you can try from Normans, from the typical flute and clarinet, to the Nuvo Plastic Woodwinds.
These Nuvo designs would make a great present. They are more durable than a normal instrument due to the plastic design. They also come in a range of colours, such as pink and green, which makes them much more appealing to younger musicians. This may give them more motivation to learn a new instrument.
Ever heard of a Dood? They are a new concept that are a mix of clarinet and recorder. Typically, after learning recorder, students will then go on to learn something more challenging like a clarinet. This design is perfect to bridge the gap between recorder and clarinet as it can be quite challenging. The Dood is much smaller than a clarinet and will introduce you to a single reed instrument for the first time. Like the Clarinets, they come in a range of colours and are an amazing price of only £26.99.
If the flute appeals to you more, there are a range of flute style instruments. They include the TooT, jFlute and Straight Head Student Flute. The TooT is similar to the Dood and uses the same principle. It is smaller than a normal flute so is perfect for smaller hands. The jFlute is similar to a curved head flute and the Student Flute is a step up from the Toot and a fully-fledged flute. They are all much lighter than normal so will help beginners to get used to the feel of playing the flute.
Also by Nuvo is the jSax. Again, it will ease you into playing the saxophone without chucking you in at the deep end. It will allow you to learn the basics which will make learning the saxophone easier.