woodwind-stocking-filler

woodwind-reedsReeds

Reeds are a great woodwind gifts (bar flute players of course) as you always need backup. You can buy them in packs of 3, 10, and even 20, a great one being Vandoren. This brand is very popular and used by many professional musicians.

A reed guard would also be a great present as it will keep reeds safe and will mean you won’t have to keep buying lots of reeds!

Definitely a worthwhile investment for a cheap price. They simply sit in your case and prevents your reeds getting chipped or lost.

Mouthpieces

There are many clarinet mouthpieces to choose from, from the Buffett A0101 Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece to a Vandoren B45 Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece. There are many in-between, all of which you can try out at our store. Some create warmer tones, some sharper tones, and there is also a variety of beginner to advanced mouthpieces.

We offer mouthpieces for all saxophones. The Selmer C Star mouthpieces are great and a personal favourite! They are professionally made, creating a smooth tone and never fail to impress. They feature a square cross-section within the mouthpiece instead of the usual arch, making them unique to other mouthpieces.

ligatureLigatures

There are more styles of ligature than most people think. The typical beginner ligature is those made from metal. However, there are many more styles such as the Vandoren Bb Leather Clarinet Ligature and the Faxx Ligatures.

My favourite ligature is the Rovner. They create a warm tone and are easy to play as they are softer on the reed, allowing them to vibrate more freely.

They are available for clarinet, alto saxophone and also tenor saxophone. I would highly recommend!

clarinet-cushionComfort

A practical gift for a clarinet or saxophone player would be a thumb cushion. It may not seem much, but it would will certainly make playing the instrument a lot comfier. Especially when playing for long amounts of time, the thumb rest can be quite uncomfortable and start to dig in. These cushions would help immensely.

For a single reed-instrument, mouthpiece patches are also a small yet useful gift. They create comfort when playing and protect the mouthpiece from bite marks, keeping it in better condition.

 

saxophone-slingSlings

Slings can be uncomfortable if they are not the right one for you. There are many variations of slings you can get. For example, the Faxx KCLS is an elasticated sling which allows for movement and a bit of freedom compared to a standard sling. For younger players, this may also help take pressure and the weight off your thumb.

Another popular sling is those with padded neck-pieces. They take the pressure off your thumb, but also your neck and prevent any fabric burns or strain it may put on your neck, especially if you play for long periods at a time. The Sonata Padded Neckpiece Sax Sling has much thicker neck padding than a standard sling and therefore gives it much more comfort, making it popular amongst professionals and gigging musicians who have to play for long sets at a time or have to stand up to play.

If you suffer from neck strain, or just wish for more comfort when playing, this sling would be a great way to reduce this.

instrument-standStands

Hercules sell stands for multiple instruments. The best thing about them is they also do stands for more than one instrument in one stand. For example, if you play clarinet, flute and piccolo, there is a stand that provides for all 3 in one stand. It will save you the hassle of taking 3 separate stands out and possibly losing one. Its easily done.

Stagg also do a double stand for saxophone and clarinet/flute. This is a stand that I personally use and has done wonders. It is lightweight, collapsible and sturdy for both my alto saxophone and clarinet. There are also the single stands for the instruments.

A funky stand that would be a great idea for a present is the Stagg Wall-Mounted Clarinet or Flute Stand. It simply screws onto the wall. It’s a great stand for at home, in a classroom or for displays. This way, you’ll never lose your stand and will always have somewhere to keep your instrument!

pad-saverKeeping Them Clean

There are pad savers available for alto, tenor, clarinet and flute. This is for when you’re not playing to reduce the moisture around the pads which will ultimately prolong their life span. I personally own one of these for my alto. A major bonus with these is that you don’t have to physically clean them yourself as frequently; you simply put it in the instrument when you pack it away.

The better the condition of the pads, the clearer the sound will be and the easier it will be to play. Win-win!

You can also clean your instrument with pull throughs. This works the same way as the pad saver and soaks up the moisture inside the instrument.

saverKeeping it clean on the outside will also help the lacquer last longer. Again, cleaning tools are more of a practical present. However, it will keep the instrument in better quality for longer so again, totally worth the purchase.

A brand that provides a range of cleaning products is Superslick. They provide for all woodwind. They also do care kits which include everything you need to clean your instruments and keep them in tip-top condition for as long as possible. The Superslick Clarinet Care Kit, for example, includes pull through swabs, cork grease, mouthpiece brush and a cleaning duster. It also includes a thumb rest cushion, reed guard and even a practice chart which will encourage younger players to practice.

music-standMusic stands

A necessity for all musicians, and not just woodwind players are music stands. Whether it be collapsible and lightweight, or a much sturdier stand, I’m sure there will be one perfect for your situation.

There are a range of fold up music stands, starting from £8.50 and available in multiple colours. Brands that do these include TGI, Stagg and Rocket.

For a sturdier and more durable stand, Manhasset do a wide range with multiple colours to choose from.

The RAT Jazz Stand is a popular music stand. It is very sturdy and will stay in place without slipping or moving. It is also very easy to use and packs away easily and small for storage.

If you aren’t interested in full length stands, there are music stands that sit on a table/desk which are just as sturdy and supportive. For example, the Manhasset 5301 Desktop Stand is sturdy and has a rubber foot to prevent it from moving and causing damage to the surface it’s on.

For a funky alternative, the Konig and Meyer Table Top Music Stands are a fun and more colourful way to read music. They are smaller and collapsible, great for storage, and takes less setting up than a full-length stand.

About the author

Lucy joined Normans in November 2018 after finishing her A-Levels, one of them being Music. A very talented musician who plays the Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano to a high standard. I'm sure you'll agree, she's a great addition to the Sales Team. In Lucy's spare time, she loves to travel!

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