Which instruments should I get?

Discussion in 'Practical Advice' started by eddierich, Jan 13, 2008.

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Which instruments should I get?

  1. piccolo

    10.0%
  2. eb clarinet

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. bass clarinet

    20.0%
  4. soprano saxophone

    40.0%
  5. baritone saxophone

    30.0%
  1. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    A good low A Bari will run at least 2000 in just average shape. I bought a Yani 800 for $1500 a few months ago and had to put another $500 in it. You could easily spend $2500 on a used horn. Again think Yani, JK, maybe a rough Selmer, or an average shape Yamaha 61/62.

    If you are willing to go B flat instead of Low A you will find better prices.
     
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Ed's right on for generic bari prices, but you can pick up a used student bass clarinet for $200. Hey, I even saw some used pro horns (SML, Malernes, etc.) for under $1000.

    Now, those weren't to low C, of course ....
     
  3. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    A bargain basement baritone is going to have to be a real bargain to come in below $2000. An old school horn that's been beaten half to death might move that low, but not very many others. You might be able to pick up a "left in the barn with all of the rods rusted up and all of the pads eaten by mice" Conn that will fix up perfectly with a $1,000 overhaul, but more likely you're going to be getting a marching band casualty.

    Dropping baritone for "spiritual reasons" is all well and good, but it will limit your 'saleability' in the long run. I don't like playing bassoon, but I know that I've been hired for my faggotte playing ability. (And, this is all on my $333.33 bassoon, purchased at that price from a friend who was going to donate it to a school and take a $1,000 deduction on his taxes.)

    If I were doing the deciding, I would opt for the bass clarinet. While many of the shows from the 1970s and 1980s had baritone/bass clarinet in Books IV or V, there is a disturbing trend back towards baritone/bassoon/bass clarinet and (so help me God) contra-alto clarinet in the more modern ones. However, there are many bass clarinet parts in the Reed II and III books.

    (Plus, playing bass clarinet isn't that hard once you've got clarinet down. And, most musical directors/contractors will expect a bass clarinet double from clarinet players more than they will a flute.)

    The best way to test out this theory is to visit the Tamms Whitmark or MTI websites and review the book assignments there. Of course, there may have been a change in instrumentation (most recently I encountered this in The Music Man; the previous manuscript version of the show that I had played had the bassoon in a different book), but the rental houses are still a good guide.

    One thing is for sure - the day of the 'only clarinet' or 'only flute' book in musicals is long time gone from the scene.
     
  4. eddierich

    eddierich

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    A quick update -
    Yesterday I bought a piccolo at Flutacious in LA. Anybody in Socal looking for a flute or picc should check this place out. It's owned by Cynthia Kelley who is a flautist/repair tech. I set up an appt. with her, walked in, told her what I was looking for and my budget and she brought out 7 piccolos for me to try. A used Zentner, 2 Burkart-Phelan Globals, a Powell Signature, Haynes, a used Hammig 650/2, and a Hammig 650/3. She also had a variety of headjoint choices - both stock and aftermarket. After about an hour and a half, I settled on the Hammig 650/3 with a modified thin wave head (it has a wave-style lip plate). I am very satisfied with the instrument and the experience I had finding it. Now to find the next instrument!

    Here's a link: http://www.flutacious.com
     
  5. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Great to hear you found something. I'm looking at the link now. Thanks for that as well.
     
  6. robertsax

    robertsax

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    Flutacious has a Burkart #4 at the very tempting price of only $29,500. When I saw that I was thinking well-equipped used Lexus, or equivalent. But then again, I'm not a world class flautist with loads of cash.
     
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Mmmm. I bought my 2006 Taurus in 2007 and it was 1/3 list, at $10K. So, for $29K, I could have almost three really good 1-year-old cars. With leather. And moonroof.
     

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