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‘Reed’ all about it…Part 1 of 3. Vandoren & Gonzalez (Clarinet Reeds)

Clarinet reeds have developed a long way since the old days when the choice was either a blue box of Vandoren or orange box Rico reeds. There are multiple brands that are worth your consideration and within the brands there are different models of reeds, let’s have a look at some of the more popular options (Vandoren & Gonzalez) in Part.1 of our Clarinet Reed ‘State of the Union’…


New Look Repair Dept, Shop & Testing Rooms

Although we’ve been kept very busy during lockdown we wanted to make some changes to our in-store environment. We’ve been in this building since August 2000, and we wanted to draw on some of our inspirations from 1966 when we originally began as just a small repair workshop in a shed back in Uxbridge…


Saxophone Playing | Low Notes!

We’ve all been there, a quick look at the music and “oh great, the composer has written a phrase starting on low Bb with a dynamic of pp, what joy!” or words to that affect! We know getting low notes to speak easily and clearly on the Sax can be a bit of a challenge so we tasked Alastair Penman with creating this video/blog to help…


Crack Repair: Using Hot Stuff and Grenadilla Wood Powder

There are many approaches to filling a crack in a wooden instrument. I’d like to share with you the most popular technique used in our workshop at Dawkes Music. We do most of our crack repair using fine powdered black wood dust (or the same wood as the instrument) set with Hot Stuff, a low viscosity, hard setting, quick working super glue. The items are available in a handy kit so you have what you need in one place.

HS-7 Crack Filling Kit

Clarinets – Why Upgrade?

If you’ve been playing clarinet for a few years on a trusty plastic beginner model, or indeed a basic wooden instrument, the likelihood is that at some point you’d very much benefit from an upgrade model.

But, the big question is “Why? – How do they differ?” It’s a common query we are asked. From a distance a beginner clarinet at £300 and a £3,000 pro clarinet don’t look massively different. So where is your money going, and why is it important to upgrade?


Breathing Control for Clarinet & Sax

It seems obvious, right? We all play Wind Instruments, and thus the importance of breath and airflow cannot be underestimated. But, it’s a common issue that comes up with players in-store and from Teachers…We all need to blow MORE!

Check out two videos from our pro-playing friends who discuss and demonstrate some exercises to help you improve your airflow and capacity.

Liz Drew: The Importance of Airflow


Clarinet Playing | Articulation Advice

Achieving a clean and crisp articulation is obviously the goal for all of us. We asked top Clarinet player Elizabeth Drew to give some tips for all advancing players on this topic…


Clarinet Playing | Resistance Exercise

This is a neat little exercise to get you focussing on your air flow and air support. Regular use of this exercise will improve your sound and control.


Ask Dawkes – Clarinet & Sax Answers Session #3

Carrying on our series with our top panel answering your questions…We picked out some more from your submissions and recorded our answers via the power of online meetings!

Check out all the questions and answers below, and the previous ones for Session 1 & Session 2 answers. If you would like to submit a question, you can do that through the initial blog, or by using the form at the bottom of this page.


Brass Playing Tips | Producing a Good Tone with Georgina Jackson

In this short video & blog, top UK Trumpet player Georgina Jackson discusses some simple ideas to help improve your tone and approach to playing.

Georgina Jackson is a professional Trumpet player and singer. Working for years with many famous faces, such as Frank Sinatra Junior, Nancy Sinatra & Seal. Georgina learned her trade as a lead trumpet player with touring Big Bands in Concert Halls, on Television and Radio broadcasts. She has even performed at the Proms in London both singing and playing!