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Gearcheck – December 2018

Jazzed Magazine • GearcheckNovember/December 2018 • December 20, 2018

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Hollywoodwinds Inc.’s Mouthpiece Position Guide

Hollywoodwinds Inc.’s mouthpiece position guide is a rubber mouthpiece pad that extends the lifespan of a mouthpiece, while also promoting the proper embouchure and proper placement of mouth and teeth. The mouthpiece position guide is designed for clarinetists and saxophonists of all skill levels and abilities and works with all types of mouthpieces and reeds. The nontoxic adhesive back makes installation easy, while removal is easy and does not leave residue. The mouthpiece position guide retails for $6 for a package of two. Education pricing is 10 pieces for $25. 

Signature Series Reeds from Légère Reeds

Légère Reeds’ newest and smallest reed is The Signature Series for Sopranino Saxophone. This is the first synthetic sopranino saxophone reed ever commercially released. The reed shares the same bright and responsive tonal qualities as found in the rest of the Signature Series product line. This is the first reed to be fully designed in conjunction with Légère BETA Testers.

New Straps from D’Addario Accessories

D’Addario Accessories has extended their strap line in three new patterns: Classic Tweed, Sunrise/Sunset Hootenanny, and a Padded Garment Leather Strap. The Classic Tweed Collection features variations of the industry favorite tweed design including standard, grey, and blue tweed. The Hootenanny straps are in a legendary hootenanny style with vibrant colorful designs. The Padded Garment Leather Strap is a comfortable thick padded strap perfect for heavier guitars. It is 2.5” wide and comes in soft garment leather.

Pure Technologies’ Pure Tone Barrel Jack

The Pure Tone Barrel Jack is comprised entirely of highly-conductive copper and with greater surface area at all contact points. This new panel-mount jack boasts full contact for optimal signal and lowest possible noise. The patented jack design creates a more stable connection, locking the cable securely in place and carrying more signal.  It eliminates the infamous “crackle” noise caused by pressure grounds. This long-threaded jack can be used in both mono and stereo applications. This panel mount jack joins the popular Pure Tone lineup of mono and stereo ¼” jacks.

New Stratocaster Pickguards from EMG

EMG Pickups’ two new passive prewired Stratocaster pickguards are the ST-54 and ST-65. The two systems come in both vintage and classic styles and are the newest passive additions to EMG’s SRO Series. Both Feature EMG’s solderless technology and are drop in ready for a seamless install.

The EMG ST-54 pickguard is loaded with pickups featuring Alnico 2 magnets for an alternative to classic Strat tone. Benefits of the ST-54 include: Alnico 2 magnets that provide a warmer and fatter low frequency response, a more pronounced mid-range for a smoother flow from the lows to mids, a lower resonance, but a higher Q resulting in a sharper high end, a different feel and attack than traditional Strat pickups, and half the magnetism of a typical Alnico 5 magnet giving the Strat player a nice “squish.”

The ST-65 pickguard is loaded with pickups featuring Alnico 5 magnets for a classic Strat tone. The ST-65 offers the following features: a magnetism of 1,000 Gauss giving the pickup a much more direct attack, as well as an overall more classic Stratocaster tone.

Both the Alnico 2 and Alnico 5 pickups are built in the traditional fashion with original style construction but feature a two pin connector for easy installation and tinkering. Both passive systems are on a three ply, 11 hole pickguard with a 5-position switch, master volume and tone controls on the neck and middle positions. MSRP: $359.99

Daisy Rock’s New Picks

The new eight celluloid guitar picks feature the premier pick material that give a traditional feel with a smooth striking surface and warm, round musical tone.

Drums & Percussion

Yamaha’s New Electronic Drum Kits

Yamaha‘s new DTX402 series electronic drum kits – the DTX402K and DTX452K – provide beginning drummers with an entry-level kit that will help improve drumming skills and techniques, while introducing intuitive, app-driven challenges and rewards to encourage them to keep playing. Improving upon the successful DTX400 series, these new models feature a sturdier design and quieter, more natural-feeling drum and cymbal pads. For increased stability, the redesigned rack provides a solid foundation and more flexibility for the placement of the hi-hat and snare pads.

Sabian’s Center Hammered Triangles

Manufactured from heavier gauge phosphor bronze than other Sabian triangles, new premium center hammered triangles allow for more projection and offer more clarity in any performance venue. In addition, the dense center hammering technique produces a rich timbre with overtones, rather than a single penetrating pitch. For occasions where a consistency of timbre is required – such as a sequence of notes – Sabian has provided un-hammered areas at the corners where percussionists typically play for this effect. For a single rich sound, percussionists can play on the multi-surfaced, center-hammered area.

Print & Digital

New Releases from Sher Music

With New Orleans Trumpet: A Down Home Conservatory Method by Jim Thornton, students can learn the essence of traditional jazz from an insider. This book includes music theory, fingerings, an engaging history of the music and much more. $26 list.

Jazz Songs for the Student Violinist by Joanne Keefe and Kevin M. Mitchell offers seven jazz pieces, levels 1 – 5, with both violin parts and piano accompaniments included, and is compatible with any classical violin method.  $22 list.


New Books from Hal Leonard

Written by acclaimed musician and educator Matthew Rybicki, the Jazz Bass Method includes lessons on walking basics, chords and scales, blues, rhythm changes, string raking, soloing, technique, chord substitution, pedal points and ostinato, standard notation plus tab for electric bass, and more.In addition to lessons, the book includes access to audio examples online, which are available for download and streaming using a unique code in the book. The audio files include PLAYBACK+, a multi-functional audio player that allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right. Price: $19.99.

Lee Evans’s new 60-page book Jazz Piano Scales and Exercises: An Engaging Way to Practice Scales While Learning Jazz ($12.99 U.S.) provides notation and fingering for major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales in all 12 keys (36 scales), plus providing three short jazz exercises for each (108 jazz examples.) These serve to reinforce the fingers and patterns, and provide the pianist with a strong sense of the melodies, rhythms and harmonies that are integral to jazz.


Reverend’s New Guitars

The Reverend Airwave – Reverend’s 12-string guitar – has a Blackwood Tek fingerboard and tortoise pickguard. The Reverend Pete Anderson Eastsiders are available with either a Pau Ferro or a Roasted Maple fingerboard, both on Roasted Maple necks and with parchment pickguards. The Reverend Airwave is a large semi-hollow 12-string that was designed with playability in mind. With a fully intonateable bridge, a wider nut, and 24 ¾” scale length, the Airwave is just as easy to play as any other Reverend Guitar.

The Reverend Pete Anderson Eastsider T is the company’s take on Pete Anderson’s vintage T. The classic-style guitar offers lots of modern updates: a chambered body around the neck joint, stainless steel saddles, a compound radius fretboard, and a push-pull phase switch. On all Reverend Guitars, there is a Boneite nut and locking tuners, and a dual-action truss rod – all for maximum performance.

Also new is the lefty version of the Reverend Mike Watt Signature Wattplower in emerald green. The Reverend Mike Watt Signature Model Wattplower is a 30” scale bass with a smaller body that echo the short scale vintage basses that Watt gravitated towards. Features include an adjustable Hipshot A Style bridge, a brass bridge spacer for sustain and balance, and a front mounted output jack with an oversized, heavy-duty jackplate. On the fretboard, there are extra dots at the fifth and twelfth frets for increased positional visibility, with an anchor inlay at the first fret and “wattplower” at the seventeenth. Luminlay dots are on the side of the neck that glow in the dark to help with excellent visibility on poorly lit stages.

Alvarez’s Cádiz Series

Alvarez Guitars’ brand-new Cádiz Series of classical and Flamenco guitars feature Flamenco and Concert models in various configurations, including cutaway/electric and hybrid models with a slimmer nut width. Each model features a graduated solid AA grade Sitka top, asymmetric fan bracing and Spanish Heel neck joints. Flamenco models feature cypress backs and sides, while Concert models are constructed with walnut backs and sides. With the exception of the hybrid designs, Cádiz Series stays true to traditional classic design choosing three-piece mahogany and ebony neck construction to achieve optimal strength and weight instead of opting to use a trussrod.

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