Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Is In Your Instrument?

One question I often am asked is, "What type of things do you find stuck in instruments?" Thankfully, I have never found a dead mouse, although my college instructor did. Other than the normal stuff like swabs, cleaners, and pennies, I really have not found too many things. Once I play tested a saxophone after repairing it, and it sounded terrible. I checked it over again and it was in adjustment and the pads all seated fine, so it should have played. After about a half an hour, I finally found the problem... a snowman eraser inside of the neck. On the repair tag I wrote, "Remove snowman from neck" and I taped the eraser to the repair tag. The best, though, was inside a sousaphone. After much work, I managed to dislodge a drumstick, a feathery plume that was supposed to be on top of a marching band hat, and a school newspaper from 1974. Obviously the bell of the sousaphone doubled as a target.

If you can one up me, please tell me I would love to hear it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Top 10 Worst Things About Band Instrument Repair

Here is a list of the top 10 worst things about band instrument repair:

10:Summers are very busy... It is hard to get time off in the summer.

9:I will never make very much money... This is really not bad though, because you learn to live on what you make. It makes life more interesting.

8:Occassionally I have to tell parents that their kid is trashing their instrument.

7:Green slime.

1 through 6:There might be some other bad things, but I can not think of them now.

Top 10 Benefits of Band Instrument Repair

Here is the yop 10 list of the benefits of being a band instrument repair technician:

10:Great customers... The vast majority of band people are pleasant to work with.

9:Close to home... Since I own my own business, I can choose where to work which is about 400 feet (120 meters) from home.

8:It is a good conversation starter.... Everyone wants to know more about a peson who makes a living working on instruments.

7:A lot of time to listen to books on CD... Whenever there are not customers in the shop, I can listen to books on CD that I get from the library.

6:Low stress job... usually

5:I get to work with my hands and my brain at the same time.

4:I have a lot of energy when I get home... It does not usually take too muck energy to fix instruments, so when I get home, I am ready to work hard.

3:It does not take a lot of money to run the store.

2:A lot of time with kids... I often take my kids to work with me.

1:A lot of time with my wife... Since I have a 1 minute walk to work and back, I have more time to spend with my wife.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

About Me part 2

I would like to ask for comments and suggestions. Please feel free to make suggestions, but do not be insulted if I do not follow them. I may not be technologically advanced enough to figure out what you are saying. Also, my posts will tend to be short because I am a slow typer.
On monday, I will try to do my first interesting post on "The Top 10 Benefits of Being a Band Insrtument Repair Technician".

Friday, June 25, 2010

About Me

I do not think of my job repairing musical instruments to be exceptionally exciting, however, others seem to. Whenever I tell anyone that I repair musical instruments, they usually act very interested and have more than just the polite obligatory response. To me, it is normal to spend several hours per week taking apart and beating on instruments (well, I do not really beat on them, but it appears that way to others). To most people, my chosen career seems anywhere from odd to highly fascinating; anything but normal.

If you are one of the people who find band instrument repair highly fascinating, please feel free to follow my blog. I have no idea where it will take us, but I guess we will find out.

I know VERY little about computers, so please be kind to me. I am a hands-on mechanical kind of guy and not one of those techno-experts.