Meri’s Musical Musings

10 Dollar Store items that musicians should consider using (depending on the instrument)

Posted on: November 1, 2016

  1. Pencil Grips, to make thumb rest cushions for clarinets, oboes, and increasingly recorders
  2. Sticky Tack, with the above, you can make a thumb pad that goes below the thumb rest of clarinets and oboes to guard your thumb from pressing against the instrument and possibly getting sore; it also improves hand shape on these instruments
  3. Coloured dots of at least 4 different colours. To guide clarinet students in which little finger keys match with which ones; also put a dot on both sides on the upper joint around the logo of one of the clarinets if you have a B flat and A to mark the one that is the A clarinet (on more than one occassion, I have picked up the wrong clarinet in a practice session or a concert. If you can write an “A” in the dot, it would help further.
  4. Masking tape. The common one to mark the location for beginning string players finger locations is the most common use, but there are other uses, see next one.
  5. Shoe laces, taped to a pencil several times around at one end and secured at the other end to your music stand means you never have to struggle to find a pencil!
  6. Small craft containers, eg: for cosmetics or small beads make useful reed water containers for all reed players, and come in a variety of sizes, from a little more than half an inch at the bottom to nearly two inches wide at the bottoms. They usually come in packs of 3-8 for a dollar or so.
  7. Small to medium fabric pencil case. For those smaller instrument items that tend to wander around the case, like pencils, cork grease, small pieces of paper towels, q-tips, and screwdrivers for example
  8. Sturdy clothes pins, for playing outdoors or anywhere with fans or air conditioning. Sometimes even heaters blow air that can push the music off the stand.
  9. Mittens with the finger tips cut out, for playing outdoors in cool or cold weather, or when a room is cold for a rehearsal or audition for exam.
  10. Thin heat packs of various sizes depending on the length and width of various parts, especially for winds and strings made of wood, particularly between late summer and mid spring if you travel a lot with our instrument, to minimize/prevent cracking.

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  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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