Dedicated practice, natural ability, and drive are important factors that contribute to a musician’s progress and success. Something that’s not always talked about is the profound impact the quality of an instrument has on a musician’s sound. A well-crafted flute or clarinet has the power to bring out a player’s peak performance. When a player outgrows their instrument, musically or physically, it’s time for an upgrade. If you’re the parent of a woodwind student, or learning yourself, it’s not always easy to tell when to upgrade. Here are a few tips to help:
When the sound quality and playability of the woodwind instrument starts to slip
If you or your student starts to notice declines in the sound or functionality of the woodwind instrument in question, it’s probably time for an upgrade. From broken pads to malfunctioning valves, much can go wrong with a woodwind instrument, especially if it’s a basic student model. It’s important to remember that poorly made instruments or ones in disrepair, can negatively impact a student’s performance. If it’s clear that recurring sound and functionality issues are holding you back, an instrument upgrade is recommended.
If the current instrument isn’t inspiring
Inspiration is everything in music. It drives students to develop their skills through countless hours of focused practice and performers to play passionately on stage. When an instrument feels boring to a student, they’re less likely to play it. This means that keeping up with a woodwind student’s progress inevitably requires investing in a new flute, saxophone, or bassoon. A shiny new instrument won’t convert a student into a serious musician if they haven’t shown any initiative or drive on the one they’re currently playing, but an upgrade can do wonders for a child or adult who’s made steady progress and is eager to learn more. In other words, upgrades are recommended for helping hardworking students on their musical path, not for winning over disinterested players.
When serious students need to access better sound and performance capabilities
A woodwind instrument’s quality can determine how easily a student can perform and the quality of the sounds they produce. From a bird’s eye view, student instruments and upgraded ones are the same in terms of shape and functionality. Zoom in, and you’ll see and hear some significant differences in construction, materials used, and the overall sound quality. Notes that sounded dull on your beginner piccolo will sound brilliant, clear, and confident on an upgrade. And clarinet note passages that were tricky to nail on your starter instrument will become much easier to perfect when you play on an upgraded model due to the superiority of the construction and the instrument’s enhanced functional elements.
If you or your student are serious about music, upgrading is the logical next step because it matches dedication and enthusiasm with a phenomenal instrument that can truly take a musician to the next level of playing. With special discounts, no-interest financing, and a vast assortment of incredible instruments, Music & Arts’ Upgrade Your Sound event is the perfect time to up you or your student’s game by purchasing an amazing new instrument. This year’s event ends soon, so browse instruments now!