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How to Know When it's time to buy a New Instrument

It's Ana here writing today's blog post! I've had a busy but exciting week attending my high school students' graduation parties (I'm going to miss them!), playing wedding gigs, and prepping some new amazing new content (a special surprise!) with Amanda we can't wait to tell you about soon. 🎉

Amidst the busyness, I wanted to take a second to tell you something that we've both heard A LOT these past few months, and guess what, I'm finally amped up enough to write an email about it! Ok here it is!!

How do you know when it's time to buy a new instrument??

Maybe you:

⏩️ struggle with your high notes

⏩️ have a hard time getting a consistent tone

⏩️ feel like you don't have enough air support

⏩️ get FRUSTRATED when you practice, wanting an easier and faster way!

Soo...maybe the solution is to upgrade and buy that new shiny instrument?! It can fix your problems once and for all!

The answer is: 

Save your money!!! ​Here's the deal, if you're confident in what you're practicing, know exactly what to do...🛎️ you don't need a new instrument! 🛎️ Not before you fix all the other stuff anyway :)

You might be thinking....Ana whatttt are you talking about? Well, let me go on!!

Take a personal story from me, and I'm really putting myself on blast here...

A few years ago, during the pandemic, I had started getting my flute chops back up to take on some jazz doubling gigs. During that time, the lovely Amanda came to visit me to work on Woodwind Academy things and eat donuts, and she brought her Brannen flute!! (trust me that they are a serious investment $$$$$)

With her permission of course, I picked up her flute, excited to finally play a masterful instrument. I played my first note, and guess what..

I SOUNDED THE EXACT SAME.

Seriously. Could this be a fluke in the universe? I played my C major scale again and again. New flute, same old Ana. How could this be?? 

Oh wait, I had an idea. I gave Amanda my Accent flute to try. It simply COULDN'T sound as good as her Brannen, it was about $18,000 less.... 

Nope. SHE SOUNDED INCREDIBLE. 

Now, OF COURSE you should make sure your instrument is in good working order, which means taking it to a reputable tech at least once a year, and taking good care of it through proper maintenance we talk about in Woodwind Academy. It should also be a good well-known name brand (no Amazon instruments please!), at a beginner or intermediate level. After you've been playing a few years and in consultation with your teacher or reputable, knowledgeable experts (like us!), it MIGHT be time to upgrade. 

We know from years of experience that buying a new instrument is NOT the solution to fixing fundamental problems. Be it a new pro level instrument, headjoint, bocal, whatever, the answer sadly is no. You might sound a little bit better, but still end up with the same problems and frustrations as before. Seriously. We've seen it all, and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to make a quick buck.

WE LOVE YOU and we don't want you wasting your hard earned money on a new instrument or gadget and STILL having these problems!! 💕

So, what should you be doing instead!? Signing up for personalized support on your instrument. If you wanna check out our program for adult woodwind players, you can do so here! 😉

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