And you thought we only covered guitars/amps, percussion, DJ equipment, pro audio and a few other types of products. The Music & Sound Retailer backs up the statement with our second annual “Salute to Lesser-Publicized Instruments.” Some instruments and related accessories rarely are covered in the magazine’s pages. That’s why we devote a cover story every November to them. The products we provide are based on what we receive from manufacturers. Of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other products that could fit under this heading. This year, we’re going to focus on six cool products available to you now to sell at your stores. As AC/DC might say, “For those [products that] rock, we salute you.”
Some instruments that are considered lesser publicized should, perhaps, get a lot more ink in our pages. Ukuleles are the perfect example of such an instrument. According to several reports and comments made in past issues of our magazine, ukulele sales have made a resurgence. One possible reason for the renaissance is that ukuleles are considered easier to play than many other stringed instruments. That can be debated, but the numbers show many end users believe that to be the case.
D’Addario has several ukulele string models. The line consists of the following products: J71, J92, J68, J65, J53 and J54. The J71 is the Pro-Arte Tenor Ukulele string set. The all-nylon strings are made from an assortment of Pro-Arte classical guitar string gauges.
The J92 is the Pro-Arte Concert Ukulele set. The strings are also made from nylon and sorted by a computer-controlled laser machine, which performs diameter/tension measurements and quality checks.
The J68 Baritone Ukulele set is made from clear rectified nylon and silver-plated copper wound on nylon, intended to provide a warm, long-lasting tone.
J65 strings are for baritone ukuleles. They also come from clear rectified nylon.
J53 is the Ukulele/Hawaiian–Concert set. Each set of strings is made from black nylon, which is intended to deliver a warm sound.
The J54 is the Tenor/Ukulele/Hawaiian set. Each unwound string is made from black nylon and the wound string is silver-plated copper. For more, visit www.daddario.com.
Once a customer finishes playing a ukulele, he or she needs a place to store it. Damage to an instrument can affect its sound. In addition, instruments are collectors’ items. Many belong in museums. Therefore, there is certainly a need for bags to store ukuleles. Stepping in to provide that need is Gator Cases. The company expanded its Commander gig bag line to protect ukuleles. The Commander gig bag is weather resistant and has a military-grade polyethylene-reinforced interior defense shield. The bag has more pockets than a mob of kangaroos. Those pockets are designed to hold handheld recording devices, hard drives, cables and more. On the bag’s interior, it features a quilted ultra foam. Both a soprano and tenor baritone-style ukulele will fit in the bag. For more, visit www.gatorcases.com.
Shifting gears, how about a mandolin? Meadowlark has released its version of the classic instrument. The company’s MD55FC, available through House Band Gear, is a traditional F-style mandolin. It features a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and ABS pearl side and back binding. The MD55FC sports a tobacco burst finish, ornate headstock inlay and gold-colored hardware. The product features a $309.99 MSRP and comes with a plush hardshell case. For more, visit www.house bandgear.com.
We featured a Hohner harmonica in this space last year. This year, how about an accordion? Well, we’re not going to feature just one accordion, but Hohner’s entire Custom Accordion Shop. The shop opened at the beginning of the year. Customers can now customize their Corona II Classic accordion. Who says accordions aren’t cool? With the Custom Shop, end users can get a whole host of designs for their accordions, including flames and skulls. If a customer doesn’t want any of Hohner’s available designs, it’s no problem. They can submit their own.
The Custom Accordion Shop is a full-fledged business. Also available is custom tuning for Jazz, Tex-Mex, Norteño, Merengue, Tony de La Rosa style or Valerio Longoria. Personalization can also be done for the treble cloth, grille cloth, bellows and more. For more information, visit hohnercustomaccordions.com.
“Beep, Beep!” “We’re off to see the wizard.” What can Bugs Bunny and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz possibly have in common? Alfred offers Looney Tunes for Recorder and The Wizard of Oz for Recorder. Now when we say “Lesser-Publicized Instrument,” we mean it. Recorders have not been covered in the magazine at all this year…until now. The books are written for easy recorder and feature big, easy-to-read notes. Titles of the Looney Tunes books are “Animaniacs” (main theme), “Chopsticks,” “I Taut I Taw a Puddy-Tat,” “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down” and “This is It!”
“Wizard of Oz” titles are “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead,” “If I Only Had a Brain,” “Lullaby League and Lollipop Guild,” “The Merry Old Land of Oz,” “Optimistic Voices,” “Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.”
Both titles are sold as book and recorder packs for $9.95 retail. Visit www.alfred.com for more.
When you have a bunch of lesser-publicized instruments, you need a lubricant to keep them playing in tip-top shape. (Perhaps the Tin Man can relate when his body gets squeaky.) Anyway, for the instruments, GHS distributes GraphitAll, a lubricant formula that assists in tuning and maintaining all stringed instruments. The lubricant was developed by guitar technician Rene Martinez. Rene first tested his lubricant on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s instruments. A little GraphitAll works well with metal-to-metal contact with tremolo instruments. For more, visit www.ghsstrings.com.
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