Re: What brands of instruments do you use for beginner Woodwinds?
Posted by Me on 12/24/2020, 2:20 pm, in reply to "What brands of instruments do you use for beginner Woodwinds?"
Many people may disagree with me, but hear me out. |
You have really two situations with beginner woodwinds.
1. Your kids' parents will buy an instrument for them, but won't buy them a new one in late MS/in HS. One is "fine" and it's all they'll buy - or realistically be able to afford.
2. You have flexibility and can buy a product for them to use for a year or two, but parents will accept a trade-in or trade-up at some point.
For either, you want a decent quality instrument, but you can back off a bit on #2.
For flute, Yamaha IMO is the way to go. Offset-G and B foot. I think it's the YFL-362. You want an open-hole flute with an offset G 100% of the time for beginners if you can manage it. There's no acoustical reason to have inline G, and the offset is much easier to hold. There are other companies that make this type/style of flute, but make sure you get a good one playtested. Gemeinhardt isn't what it was. Pearl can be great too.
My go-to Bb Clarinet is the E11-B, but those have seen a marked dip in quality in the past ten-fifteen years. Yamaha makes a quality intermediate to advanced model as well, but they tend to play a bit more "stuffy" than a Buffet.
Don't overlook Jupiter - lots of people knock them but the WARRANTY alone makes them worth looking into. A decent intermediate-level Jupiter is affordable and will have options an E11 won't (left-hand Eb key, anyone?) They also make a much better clarinet than many people realize.
For saxophone - I'm simply not a fan of Conn-Selmer anymore. They make a GREAT product but the cost is not in line with the quality. C-S's prices have more than doubled in the past fifteen years, and the quality simply isn't as good as it used to be. Yamaha makes a great mid-line saxophone (YAS-480) as do some boutique brands (Cannonball), but again Jupiter is worth looking into here.
I don't start people on low clarinet or low saxophone, and the school issues oboes and bassoons.
Avoid Eastman for all instruments. Your district may get a "deal" on them but they're simply not worth the money.