Gift Recommendations for Brass Players!

Several of my students’ parents have asked me what brass or music accessories would make good Christmas or holiday gifts, so I’ve decide to put together a list with some of my favorites! I like to buy my brass equipment from Brasswind, so that’s the site I’ll link to, but of course you can find these items other places!

All Brass: 
  • chopsaverChopsaver is a lip balm or chapstick developed by a trumpet player for brass players. It’s all natural, and has herbs and other ingredients that reduce inflammation and bruising after a long playing session. The scent is very mild. This is the only lip balm I use.
  • Portable Music Stand: There are many brands and styles available. Every student needs a stand that will support heavy music books at any height without collapsing or wobbling. Avoid the cheap wire stands — they fall apart. Look for something sturdy! A collapsible stand allows the student to easily carry it to rehearsals, etc. Here’s another one.
  • Tuner/MetronomeEVERY student needs a tuner and metronome at home. There are apps available for these functions, or you can buy the actual thing, either a combined tuner/metronome, or two separate devices. Korg makes excellent products.
  • Pencil Clip: This makes a great stocking-stuffer! Every musician should always have a pencil at the ready during rehearsals!
  • Stand Light: Great for practicing in less-than-bright areas, or for performances where the lighting isn’t designed for reading music. Doubles as a book light!
  • Polishing Cloth: Keep your instrument’s finish in great shape and tarnish-free!
  • Metal-free Cleaning KitMany cleaning kits and snakes have exposed metal, which can scratch the inside of the instrument, leaving grooves where bacteria and tarnish can flourish. I recommend using a metal-free kit.
  • New mouthpiece: Choosing a mouthpiece is like buying shoes — they’re not one-size-fits-all, the right fit can be amazing, and the wrong fit can be crippling. Selecting a new mouthpiece size is a process that needs to be done with the student and teacher working together. Check with me before buying one.
  • Mouthpiece Pouch: A must-have if the mouthpiece comes out of its place and keeps rattling around the case. Protects both the mouthpiece and the instrument from damage.
  • Music: There is SO MUCH great music available for every instrument. If you’d like to get some sheet music, I can either make some recommendations, or let you know if the music you’ve picked out is too easy or difficult for your child.
Trumpet:
  • Valve casing guardProtects the finish on the trumpet from corrosive oils and acids in the skin. Also allows better grip for people with sweaty hands.
  • Lexan (non metal) mouthpiece: Sort of gimmicky, but can be useful. Many people will use one of these mouthpieces during marching band season, when extreme outdoor temperatures can make a metal mouthpiece uncomfortably hot or cold. Get the same size the student currently plays.
  • Trumpet stand: Portable, stores inside the bell of the trumpet, allows the student to have hands free when taking a break, or during rehearsals when the conductor is working with other sections. MUCH more secure than laying the instrument on the ground, a chair, or (god forbid) balancing it on its bell! Here’s another one.
  • wick fibreFirst Straight Mute: This is the first mute that students will need. Denis Wick has a new fibre mute that offers the same high quality that their professional mutes have, but at a more affordable student price. This is the only mute under $30 that I can recommend. I currently have two of these, still in the packaging. I’ll sell them for what I paid for them – $13.
  • Next Mutes: As a student progresses to harder music in band, jazz band, or solo performances, they’ll need extra mutes. If you’re investing in this equipment, I recommend buying good quality stuff from the beginning, rather than starting with something cheap and low-quality. It will actually save you money in the long run. Here are the mutes I recommend: Straight MuteCup MuteHarmonPlunger (3-4inch)Practice Mute
  • Lead Pipe SwabKeep the inside of the leadpipe free of red rot, mildew, and other gross stuff. Prevent costly repairs down the road! If you have an expensive horn, this is a must.
  • Custom Valve Finger Buttons: This is quite pricey, but also pretty cool! If you do this, make sure your student SAVES THE ORIGINAL BUTTONS from their trumpet!
French Horn: 
  • rotor oilHorn StandThis is actually a guitar stand, but it works well for horn. Great for practicing at home so the horn can be securely set aside during breaks, or left set up all the time so the instrument is always in sight, which usually leads to more practicing! Here’s another one.
  • Hand Guard: Makes the hand more comfortable and protects the instrument’s finish from corrosive oils and acids in the skin.
  • Pencil Clip: This is extremely popular with horn players — keep a pencil at hand at all times!
  • Rotor Oil: Designed specifically for rotary valves, with a long pin for getting oil to the hard-to-reach areas.
  • Horn-to-Mellophone Mouthpiece adapter: Great for marching band. Allows the student to use their french horn mouthpiece on the mellophone, preventing them from having to switch back and forth between embouchures. This is a big deal for horn players.
Trombone:
  • Trombone stand: Allows the horn to be securely set aside when not in use — MUCH safer than laying it on the ground or balancing it on a chair. Prevent costly damage! Here’s another one. 
  • slide bow protectorFirst Straight Mute: This is the first mute that brass players need. Denis Wick has a new fibre mute that offers the same high quality that their professional mutes have, but at a more affordable student price. This is the only mute under $30 that I can recommend.
  • Next Mutes: As a student progresses to harder music in band, jazz band, or solo performances, they’ll need extra mutes. If you’re investing in this equipment, I recommend buying good quality stuff from the beginning, rather than starting with something cheap and low-quality. It will actually save you money in the long run. Here are the mutes I recommend: Straight MuteCup MutePlunger Mute (6+inch)
  • Slide bow protector: Avoid dents in the end of the slide, which are incredibly difficult and costly to fix.
  • Slide savers: clear plastic sleeves protect the outer slide!
Euphonium and Tuba:
  • euph muteMutes (euph) (tuba)Until a euphonium or tuba player gets well into college, it’s unlikely they’ll need anything more than a straight mute. The larger the instrument, the more expensive the mutes, so these mutes are a bit pricey.
  • Breathing aids: The larger the instrument, the more air is required. Equipment and techniques that develop lung capacity and control are incredibly helpful to the low brass student. Here’s another breathing aid. Here is a book of breathing exercises for euphonium or tuba.
  • Tuner pick-up: Plugs into a tuner, with a small microphone that clips onto the bell of the instrument. Allows the player to more accurately tune their instrument.
  • Tuba rest: Allows smaller tuba or euph players to hold the instrument more easily, leading to more practicing!
I hope this is helpful! Happy Holidays!
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Posted on 4 December, 2012, in Gear and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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