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Gear Check: October 2020

Jazzed Magazine • GearcheckOctober 2020 • October 19, 2020

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Loog’s Electric Guitars with Built-in Amps

Loog’s new line of electric guitars with built-in amps and speakers includes the Loog Mini Electric (ages 3+), the Loog Pro Electric (ages 8+), and the Loog Pro VI Electric (ages 12+), the company’s first six-string guitar. These models also come with access to the revamped Loog app. Structured as a game, the app stimulates kids to learn music to earn points, and has a new and revolutionary augmented reality feature that allows kids to learn chords using the selfie camera on their phone or tablet. Starting at $149.

Luna’s Fauna Phoenix Guitar

Luna’s Fauna Phoenix acoustic/electric guitar features a soaring bird in abalone against the black lacquer-look finish of this cutaway folk body style instrument. The Fauna Phoenix is complete with a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, equipped with a Fishman preamp and onboard built-in tuner, and D’Addario strings. Abalone is also used for this model’s crescent moon, moon phase inlays, and headstock logo.

Dean NashVegas Select

The Dean NashVegas Select makes an old favorite into a stylish new contender. This model is available in classic black or a stunning metallic red finish, and is available with a Floyd Rose 1000 series tremolo system. The Dean NashVegas Select comes with a basswood body and 22-fret bound ebony fingerboard on a sleek 3-piece maple neck. Plugged in, the exclusive Seymour Duncan SH-5 & APH1N pickups deliver all the tones from metal, blues and sparkling cleans, while Grover tuners keep your tuning right on point.

Alvarez’s Artist Series 8 String Baritone in Shadowburst

Alvarez’s Artist Series 8 String Baritone in Shadowburst is one of the brand’s newest 8-string models to their Baritone line. This new introduction has become one of Alvarez’s bestsellers this year.

Furch Guitar’s Blue MM Model

The Furch Blue MM features full mahogany construction, which is further enhanced by Furch’s proprietary voicing process on the top plate. The natural feel is underscored by the smooth, matte, Open-Pore Finish, and a host of adornments, foremost being tortoise binding and black walnut rosette. Precise adjustment of the guitar’s neck is ensured by the patented composite Furch CNR System.

Fender’s Malibu Player Guitar in Natural

Fender’s Malibu Player guitar in Natural is a small-body, short scale acoustic-electric with a comfortable feel. Featuring a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and 6-in-line headstock, the bold style and balanced, articulate sound make the Malibu Player a natural partner on stage and in the studio. Suitable for any playing style, the mahogany neck features a comfortable, slim-taper “C”-shaped profile, inspired by Fender’s electric legacy. It features optimized bracing for superior resonance, a GraphTech NuBone nut and saddle, and a Fishman preamp system that allows you to reproduce the guitar’s natural sound when plugged into an amplifier.

Student-Sized Nylon String Guitars from H. Jimenez

H. Jimenez offers three student sized nylon string guitars with a satin spruce top and sapele back and sides perfect for any educational endeavor. H. Jimenez student guitars feature many player-friendly features, such as a truss rod for easy action adjustments, a comfortable wide neck profile, and smooth action open tuners. Designed to inspire new guitarists of all ages, they are available in a ½ size, ¾ size, and full size. Other standard features include D’Addario strings to improve tuning stability, better intonation, a full tone, and a thickly padded gig bag.

Print & Digital

Introduction to Jazz Piano: A Deep Dive by Jeb Patton

Designed for the musician familiar with the piano but not necessarily jazz, Introduction to Jazz Piano: A Deep Dive starts from the beginning and guides players through all the skills necessary to become a functional jazz pianist. It covers a wide range of subjects: the blues, comping skills, chord voicings (from basic to more intriguing ones), strategies for building solid solos, and much more. Accompanying audio files are available for free download.

Cases & Stands

Gator Frameworks’ Lightweight Music Stand

The Gator Frameworks GFW-MUS-0500 is a lightweight music stand with a compact, collapsible tripod base design. The easy-grip height adjustment tension knob allows you to adjust the stand to the maximum height of 45”. The 18.75” wide perforated tray allows plenty of room for full size sheet music and portfolios.

Drums & Percussion

Little Roomer 5pc Shell Pack from Dixon

When full-size drums are just too big and loud, the Dixon Little Roomer delivers great sound and options in an inspiring acoustic drum system. Compact for small spaces, volume control and easy transport, Little Roomer can be reconfigured down to its versatile 7”x20” bass drum to meet most performance requirements with little compromise. Available in two hand applied satin finishes: natural and coal black.

The Luminote Stage Pack

Designed for growing hands, Luminote percussion instruments are a step up from traditional children’s musical instruments in size and sound quality. Luminote instruments feature enhanced comfort for playing, vibrant contrasting colors, and high-quality sound. With striking tones and the ability to shape and alter each timbre at hand, these instruments create a rich, creative experience and encourage deeper interaction.

ddrum’s Dominion Series Snare Drums

ddrum’s Dominion Series snare drums include Dominion Ash models, which come in four ash veneer finishes and in two sizes, as well as Dominion Standard models, which come in four PVC wrap finishes. ddrum’s Dominion Ash snares are available in two sizes, 5.5’’ x 14’’ and 7’’ x 13’’. The 5.5’’ x 14’’ snares have a 10-lug design, while the 7’’ x 13’’ snares have an 8-lug design, all made with high-quality diecast hoops and providing a wide tuning range. On each Dominion Ash snare drum, the birch shell is finished with a special lacquered ash wood veneer available in four color options: green burst, gloss natural, red burst, and transparent black. Dominion Standard snares measure 7’’ x 13’’ and come with a 2.3 mm triple-flanged hoop and 8 box lugs. The birch shells have PVC wrap finishes in four colors: brushed blue, midnight black, red sparkle, and silver sparkle.

The Royalty Ride from SABIAN

The 18” Royalty Ride from SABIAN is a replica of Chick Corea’s ride, as heard on the 1968 recording Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. SABIAN will be introducing this legendary re-creation to market in a limited quantity of 250. As with all SABIAN Limited Edition models, these cymbals will be individually numbered and will include a certificate of authenticity signed by Chick Corea.

SoundArt Concert Snare Drums from Black Swamp Percussion

Black Swamp has released an update to their SoundArt snare system, featuring the new Arch Throw. The original SoundArt Strainer was the first trio snare system directly integrated into the throw off, giving players accurate and unprecedented control of snare unit tension. The updated Arch Throw functions exactly the same, but with a modern, stylish design. The shape matches the existing arch style tube lugs, with a universal adjustment knob now on the strainer side. Adjustment knobs have also been updated, along with the wire wound snare unit now placed in the center of the drum. The updated throw is available on SoundArt snare drums 5” or deeper, and on the line of Symphonic Field Drums.

Keyboard & Piano

Kawai’s ES920 and ES520 Digital Pianos

The ES920 and ES520 are the latest additions to Kawai’s popular ES series of portable digital pianos. The flagship ES920 is the long-awaited successor to the award-winning ES8, while the intermediate ES520 (pictured) is a new midrange model that delivers many of the features of the ES920 at a more affordable price. Kawai’s ES series of instruments are high-performance, 88-key portable digital pianos suitable for the home, stage, recital hall, or classroom. The brand new ES920 and ES520 combine Kawai’s Responsive Hammer keyboard action and Harmonic Imaging piano sound technologies, to reproduce the touch and tone of a concert grand piano, and provide an authentic, rewarding playing experience for pianists of all abilities.

CDP-S150 Digital Piano from Casio

The CDP-S150 is a portable, lightweight, affordable digital piano that delivers a realistic piano experience for players of any level. It features 88 scaled hammer action keys with simulated ivory and ebony key surfaces to prevent slippage. It has a great-sounding stereo grand piano tone, nine other essential tones, a metronome, duet mode, and a built-in MIDI recorder. You can use the included power supply or go mobile with six AA batteries. Stereo speakers are complemented by a headphone output for quiet practice. Connect via USB-MIDI to the free Chordana Play for Piano app for iOS/Android to control your piano, learn MIDI songs, view PDF scores, play audio files with pitch/tempo control, and more. For more piano authenticity, add the optional CS-46 wooden stand, and replace the included sustain pedal with the optional SP-34 portable three-pedal unit.


D’Addario Accessories’ Pro-Winder in All-White

D’Addario Accessories is expanding the best-selling Pro-Winder to an all-white version, available now. Easy to use and store, the Pro-Winder combines a high-quality string winder, clipper, and bridge puller in a single restringing tool for guitar and bass. The Pro-Winder has a hardened steel clipper that cuts cleanly and resists wear. The winder grips the peg securely and fits mini, full, and most bass sized tuner as well as a bridge pin puller for acoustic guitars.

Meredith Signature Quick-Change Acoustic Guitar Capo

This limited-edition signature quick-change acoustic guitar capo features a thoroughly modern, chromed-out candy teal finish, Kyser’s low-tension spring, and a handwritten signature stamp, along with Kyser’s classic Quick-Change shape. These capos are available in a limited quantity of 2,020 units and wrapped in a special-edition premium package.

Levy’s Leathers Classics Series Padded Black Leather Guitar Strap

The M26PD leather guitar strap from Levy’s represents the next generation of classic Levy’s styling. It’s made from top-grain leather with a generously padded garment leather backing for comfort that lasts all night long. $29.99

Chedeville Teeth & Mouthpiece Protector Cushions

The Chedeville Teeth and Mouthpiece protector cushions are smaller than many other cushions because too large a patch can deaden vibrations from the mouthpiece, which takes away some of the richness in the sound. This is the best clear mouthpiece cushion to protect your mouthpiece and the enamel on your teeth. Pack includes four mouthpiece cushions.

Music Nomad’s 2 ‘n 1 Beyond Plush Players Cloth and Piano Care Kit

Music Nomad’s 2 ‘n 1 Beyond Plush Players Cloth features deep plush fibers to trap and carry dust away from the surface. With 90,000 fibers per square inch and lint-free construction, the suede fiber is designed to wipe away sweat, finger oil, and grime buildup that attacks the strings and reduces string life and string tone. A soft microfiber edging helps avoid it scratching the finish.

Music Nomad’s three-piece Premium Piano Care Kit comes with everything you need to care for your piano. Music Nomad’s Piano ONE is organically formulated to clean, polish, wax and protect gloss pianos. The formula is infused with white Brazilian carnauba wax to deliver a transparent, protective shield on your finish. Music Nomad’s All-Purpose Key ONE features a formula that’s safe on all piano keys. A single spritz cleans fingerprints, dust, and smudges. Music Nomad’s Dusting and Polishing Cloth features a plush higher pile side, designed to lift and trap dust away from the surface. After removing the dust, flip the cloth over to the lower pile cloth side and use with Music Nomad cleaners and polishes to clean and restore the surface’s original finish.

Légère’s American Cut Reeds

Légère’s American Cut reeds are the culmination of a six-year research project to advance the popular Signature Series technology and create a reed that answers the needs of the world’s most demanding jazz artists. The reed features a reinvented profile and heart, and a shorter and wider vamp. By drawing material from the edges toward the center spine, the reed strikes a harmonious balance of responsiveness and control. Ultra-fine edges allow unrestrained vibration, rewarding the player with a clear low-register and vibrant altissimo.

Mouthpiece Cleanser & Case Freshener from On-Stage

Packed in a 2-oz fine-mist spray bottle, DSA2000 offers users a safe and easy way to clean mouthpieces, cases and other B&O gear. This alcohol- and fragrance-free spray is effective at reducing the spread of bacteria and germs, leaving behind no smell or sticky residue. The light mist nozzle makes it perfectly safe for use on children’s mouthpieces.

JodyJazz’s DV Alto Mouthpiece

The DV Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece is JodyJazz’s best-selling metal mouthpiece model and one of the most popular Alto sax mouthpieces in the world. Company founder Jody Espina applied the concept of the “Golden Section Proportions” to create the patented secondary window design that eliminates the shrillness associated with other metal alto mouthpieces. Made from 24kt gold-plated bell-brass, the DV Alto is extraordinarily free-blowing, delivering effortless power and projection with an unusually full tone.

Rovner’s Platinum Gold Ligature

The Rovner Platinum Gold ligature offers superb facility and response, a rich, distinctive presence, and a darker aspect that helps synthetic reeds sound more like cane. Features 24-Karat gold-plated platinum. $174.50

Print & Digital

Adaptable Quartets for Strings and Flexcel Concert Works for Strings from Excelcia

The Adaptable Quartets for Strings series is a timely expansion of the flexible instrumentation Adaptable Ensemble Series, which already includes Adaptable Duets and Adaptable Trios. Written at accessible 1.5 – 3 grade levels, Adaptable Quartets contains 21 new compositions or arrangements that are scored in four-line quartets and can be played with a small chamber group and expanded up to full ensemble. This line scoring arrangement not only facilitates the needs of the classroom, but also offers sound pedagogic progression making a class set a remarkably useful tool. Books in the Adaptable Quartet series are available for violin, viola, cello, and bass for $14.99.

Flexcel Concert Works for Strings series offers flexible grade 1 – 2.5 favorite titles from beloved composers, which are scored in four parts with optional piano, and can be played with as few as four players in any combination of stringed instruments. The Flexcel series is packed with goodies like photocopy permission, online score videos, and digital copy access for remote learning. Professional recordings of each piece are available for free on all streaming platforms. When their complete orchestra is back together again, directors can easily transition to the fully-scored version of the same piece published by Excelcia Music Publishing.


Alfred’s Sound Differentiation for Beginning String Orchestra and Music Mosaic

Sound Differentiation for Beginning String Orchestra from Alfred Music helps provide ways to help meet the needs of all the learners in beginning string classes. Sound Differentiation is a motivational, time-saving supplemental resource that provides differentiated parts for 15 well-known pieces and is perfect for a variety of teaching situations, including like- or mixed instrument classes, as well as in private study. These arrangements are ready for use in an adaptable format with identical parts for all instruments. The difficulty of each piece progresses throughout the book. Any or all of the parts can be used to create an arrangement. The ensemble can play in unison, separate into two groups, or more. The parts are identical for each instrument. $8.99 each (violin book, viola book, cello/bass book) and $12.99 (teacher’s score)

Music Mosaic is a contemporary collection that teaches American music history through student-centered projects. Each of the 15 lessons is intended to prompt risk-taking and the expression of artistic intent. From tracing the culture of an ancestor to forming a student ukulele jam, pick and choose favorites or use the complete book as a sequential curriculum. Many of the projects involve student research and culminate with a slide presentation, making them perfect for distance learning. Core music standards, teacher instructions, reproducible student sheets, and single-point assessment rubrics are included for each project. Recommended for grades 5-9. $34.99

Hal Leonard’s George Gershwin – Super Easy Songbook

This series from Hal Leonard features accessible arrangements for piano, with simple right-hand melody, letter names inside each note, basic left-hand chord diagrams, and no page turns. Lyrics are also included. This edition includes 22 Gershwin classics, such as “But Not for Me,” “Embraceable You,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “I Got Rhythm,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Someone to Watch over Me,” “Summertime,” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.”

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