Buying Guides

There is a wide range of good student trumpets on the market. They offer a robust construction, ideal for complete beginners and popular with schools. They offer a robust construction, ideal for complete beginners and popular with schools. Particularly good (if a little more pricey) are the Yamaha Instruments. We recommend the YTR2330 which are light and easy to play, and offer the great sound and intonation to support progression.

If you have been looking for a clarinet, it is likely that you will have been faced with choosing between wooden and plastic. The standard rule is that beginners use plastic clarinets and intermediate and advanced players will play a wooden one. If you are not sure which one is for you, we have put together a short guide of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Whilst keeping this in mind, the most important thing to consider is which one suits you!

Whether you’re a soloist or a fully-fledged frog-chorus of players or singers; making sure you get the correct music stand can make the difference of hassle and professionalism. How many times has an erroneous dead-leg kicked over a flimsy sheet music stand? How many times have you had to add of the bands branding onto a stand or move hundred from one place to another? Making the right choice from the start is the key point!

The Skoog is an exciting new musical instrument designed to empower those unable to play traditional instruments. It’s a soft, squeezable object that simply plugs straight into your computer or laptop's USB port. Activated by simply touching, pressing, squashing, twisting or tapping the Skoog you can play a wide range of instruments or even use it as a MIDI controller. Designed to adapt and fit with the users own natural movements, the Skoog sets you free to explore sounds and music in your own way. By adjusting the Skoog you can challenge yourself and grow as a musician.

The harmonica is a great addition to any musician’s inventory. From the solo on Billy Joel's "Piano Man", the introduction to Neil Young's "Heart of Gold", the wailing blues of Supertramp's "Take the Long Way Home", the Harmonica works with almost any instrument on a surprising array of music genres. The most common incarnation of the Harmonica is probably the Diatonic or "Blues Harmonica". This is the instrument played by many folk/rock artists like Bob Dylan and can be a fantastic addition to the repertoire of the solo guitarist allowing for a greater catalogue of songs or solo passages in the existing set of songs.

Coming from the Afro-Peruvian community in Peru around the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, Cajons were making Peru a cool place to be long before Paddington caught the train. The name translated from Spanish literally means “Crate” or “Box” and is played by slapping the front face (generally plywood) and sometimes the sides in different places to create different percussive sounds. Why the box shape? One theory suggests that under the Spanish colonial rule of Peru, the slaves were prohibited from making music. The Cajons, thanks to their box shape, could be disguised as stools or furniture so the guards could never identify what was making all the noise!

The reed is the generator of the sound of a clarinet/saxophone through its vibration. It is crucial in determining the type and quality of sound produced. They are produced from cane which is meticulously cut and shaved to precise dimensions to produce a reed of specific cut or strength. The main reed manufacturers are Rico and Vandoren, who between them make the majority of the world’s reeds.