Marshall McGurk logo. Tel; 01900 813200

Elm House Farm, Crosby, Maryport, Cumbria, CA15 6SH
Tel: 01900 813200
Mob: 07718 394355
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Musical Instrument Repairs
Instruments For Sale
How To Maintain And Look After Your Instrument
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CONFUSED? THEN READ ON . . . . .

So. You want to buy a woodwind instrument, but don't know where to start? Confused by all the different manufacturers and their beautiful shiny instruments? Let us take you on a guided tour through the woodwind maze!

RECOMMENDED MANUFACTURERS

It is probably wise to stick with the most prominent instrument manufacturers: Selmer, Yamaha, Le Blanc and Boosey & Hawkes/ Buffet. These companies have consistently produced instruments of a good standard.

BUT WILL IT LAST?

Some other manufacturers turn out what may seem at first to be good instruments, but they can wear more quickly than expected or the instruments may be of inconsistant quality, so you can never be too sure if what you buy will work. There are exceptions, so in a minute we'll look at each instrument in turn.

INSTRUMENTS FOR SMALL CHILDREN

We often get asked for instruments for children with small hands. Be sensible! If the child is small you can't magically shrink an instrument to fit! You can, however, buy smaller instruments which are quite suitable for enthusiastic children. More detailed advice is given in each section below.

SECOND-HAND INSTRUMENT CHECKLIST

Here are some things to look at when buying a second hand instrument.

PADS

Make sure the pads covering the toneholes are in reasonable condition. If they look dark and grubby they may need replacing and this can be a costly job, although on a good quality instrument it's often worthwhile having done.

CORK & KEYWORK

On instruments with cork joints, check to see if the cork is intact and not crumbling. Have a look at the general alignment of keys. In general, keywork should be pretty much in line with neighbouring keys. If a key is out of alignment it may have been bent or some cork or felt may be missing from the instrument.

MECHANISM

Make sure the mechanism isn't loose and rattly. Cheap instruments made from soft metal wear quickly; the pads get worn and the keywork becomes unreliable.

PLAY IT!

If you can play then give the instrument a blow and see how it feels. It should play fairly evenly throughout and not have clicks or rattles from the keywork. If you can't play then ask for a demonstration. If the seller can't play be wary!

GENERAL APPEARANCE

Check the general condition. Is it scratched or dented? Have plating or lacquer worn through? Some scruffy looking instruments play wonderfully. A professional will choose an instrument that plays well rather than one that just looks good. Worn lacquer or a dull finish probably won't matter, but be wary of something that looks as though it has been bashed around!

FOR MORE DETAILS CLICK ON HEADINGS BELOW

Guide For Those Contemplating Buying A Clarinet
Guide For Those Contemplating Buying A Saxophone
Guide For Those Contemplating Buying A Flute
Guide For Those Contemplating Buying An Oboe Or A Bassoon

MARSHALL McGURK, Elm House Farm, Crosby, Maryport, Cumbria, CA15 6SH Phone: 01900 813200