Tag Archives: instruments

Washburn Revival Series guitars

Washburn Revival Series Guitars

Washburn Revival Series guitarsThe Washburn Revival Series guitars bring back inspirations and designs of classic models from the 1930s. The Revival Solo Deluxe Grand Auditorium is an electric/acoustic version of the 1939 Solo Deluxe guitar. It features torrefied Sitka spruce top and bracing and solid mahogany back and sides, with a 1930s style sunburst design. It employs a Fishman GT-2 under-saddle pickup and comes with a deluxe arched-top hard case.


The Roberto Quintero Signature Congas

The Roberto Quintero Signature Congas

The Roberto Quintero Signature CongasThe Roberto Quintero signature congas from Gon Bops are made from premium fiberglass shells, California Series Contour Hardware, and custom REMO Skyndeep heads. The drums create a perfectly balanced sound—deep, resonant bass tones and loud, cutting highs. The congas come in conga, tumba, and super tumba sizes, plus paired 7-inch and 8.5-inch bangos. “Roberto Quintero is one of the world’s premiere congueros, and working with him to develop these outstanding drums was an honor,” says Gon Bops Brand Manager Luis Cardoso.


British Report Says Career Teaching Music Is Becoming Unviable

A new report shows that British music teachers are suffering from low play and less job security than ever before. The British Musicians’ Union (MU), the authors of the report, warns that job dissatisfaction and stress are on the rise due to widespread lack of financial support.

The current music education provision in England provides for “peripatetic” music teachers in schools, who travel from location to location to teach children to play instruments. They are frequently either self-employed or have contracts that provide no regular work and sometimes clauses that restrict them from working elsewhere. They may even be charged for the use of teaching rooms. The MU recommends protecting the future of music in Britain by providing the teachers with fit-for-purpose template contracts.


Airline Travel with Musical Instruments in Canada Update

by Allistair Elliott, AFM International Representative for Canada

Early in 2015, after several years of lobbying efforts by AFM Legislative and Political Director Alfonso Pollard and AFM International President Ray Hair with the National Instrument Carry-On Coalition, the US government voted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act into legislation. It regulated the carriage of musical instruments onboard US air carriers. About that time, given that this act governed US aviation only, AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert asked me to represent the CFM office on behalf of musicians travelling with instruments on airlines in Canada.

With the help of our Ottawa lobbyist, Isabel Metcalf, we began a series meetings that included airline councils, the Canadian Transportation Agency, and the Minister of Transport’s office. We found out that the Government of Canada, under the Harper government, had initiated a complete review of Canadian Transport. Working quickly, we were able to submit documentation of our concerns with a follow-up meeting to the Transport Review Committee.

Chaired by the Honorable David Emerson, PC, OBC, the Canadian Transportation Act Review Report was tabled February 25, 2016. The review encompassed all modes of transport, from rail to shipping, trucking to airlines. We were thrilled to report at that time, the assiduity of our effort was not only mentioned in the report, but also cited as an example of a general theme of harmonization with US and EU transportation standards. Soon after the report was tabled, Air Canada initiated some changes to their own airline policy regarding musical instruments. The changes, which were generally positive, included priority boarding for musicians with instruments and the purchase of a second seat for musical instruments (such as a cellos) was reduced by 50%.

With the change in government, there were many changes in staffing, including a new Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau. After meeting with his staff, we were assured that he would be looking at the recommendations of the Emerson Report on Canadian Transport.

Earlier this year, Garneau announced he would initiate a new passenger bill of rights to modernize the transport industry. It has been important to continue our lobbying efforts, meeting with CTA staff, Garneau’s office, opposition transport critic Kelly Block, MP, and Judy Sgro, MP, chair of the Standing Subcommittee on Transport.

On May 16, 2017, Garneau announced the Bill C-49 proposal to amend the Canada Transportation Act. One of the items detailed in the paper is a requirement that carriers implement standards for transporting musical instruments. This is another step in the right direction for our efforts in this area. The bill has gone through second reading in the House of Commons, and will likely go to committee in September. We have already requested to appear before committee and over the summer we are preparing for this.

Recently there have been some concerns with new Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) procedures at some Canadian airports. CATSA has initiated a newer, more efficient, and more automated CATSA Plus. Some musicians have raised concerns about travelling through security with instruments. CFM is working with CATSA to determine the best advice for musicians who have concerns. (Alfonso Pollard’s column in the March 2017 IM has additional information regarding US Transportation Security Administration automated bin lines.) I am currently in communication with CATSA and I hope to soon provide information via local offices with regard to passenger rights going through security at airports.

Our goal throughout our lobbying effort has always been, and remains to be, to achieve harmonization with the FAA Carry On Act, so that musicians travelling throughout North America will have the same policies when travelling on any airline with a musical instrument. In that regard, we continue to work on behalf of all musicians so that the toughest part of the gig is not getting there!


Webinar Provides Resources for Travel with Instruments Containing Protected Species

The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was created to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. There are 183 parties to CITES, which meet every three years. The most recent meeting, CITES COP17, was held last fall in South Africa. (You can read more about this meeting in AFM Legislative and Political Director Alfonso Pollard’s November 2016 IM column.)

On December 7, a webinar co-hosted by the AFM, as well as the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music America, League of American Orchestras, NAMM, and The Recording Academy, highlighted new rules for protected species and musical instruments. If you missed it, you can view the webinar from the website: www.afm.org/2016/12/travel-instruments-containing-endangered-species. Following are some highlights from the webinar.

Protected Species

Musicians should be aware that certain interstate or international activities with wood or wildlife products such as wooden instruments or instruments with ivory inlays are prohibited or regulated under international and domestic law. Before you acquire a new instrument or make plans to travel with an instrument made of protected wood or wildlife species, you should make plans to ensure compliance.

CITES protected species (about 5,000 animals and 35,000 plants) are listed in three appendices:

Appendix 1: Species threatened with extinction. Commercial trade is generally prohibited.

Appendix 2: Species vulnerable to overexploitation but not at risk of extinction. Commercial and noncommercial trade is allowed.

Appendix 3: Species protected by at least one country to address legal origin, not sustainability. Most activities are generally allowed.

The complete appendices are found at: cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php.


The backbone of CITES is a permit system that facilitates international cooperation in conservation and trade. Permits are issued only if a country’s management and scientific authorities determine trade is legal and does not threaten species’ survival. Permit requirements are:

Appendix 1 species: Require an import permit from the importing country and an export permit from the exporting country.

Appendix 2 species: Require an export permit or certificate from the exporting country.

Appendix 3 species: Require an export permit from the listing country and a certificate of origin from all others.

Pre-convention specimens: Require CITES certificates for export, but not import.

Musical instrument and traveling exhibition certificates:

Musical Instrument Certificate—a passport-like certificate for musical instruments that is issued to individuals.

Traveling Exhibition Certificate—a passport-like certificate for musical instruments that is issued to orchestras and ensembles.

These certificates are valid for up to three years and are intended for noncommercial purposes, including travel for performance. Single-use CITES Export/Re-Export Permits (form 3-200-32) are available for commercial purposes (sale). Application forms are available at: www.fws.gov/international/permits/.

Sometimes a permit is not required for musical instruments personally owned and containing less than 10 kg of these species of wood. If an individual is traveling with an instrument that contains only Appendix 2 and 3 species, he may qualify for a personal or household effects exemption. (Regulations on personal effects can be found at www.ecfr.gov.)

Travel Tips

For each instrument, gather as much information as possible: scientific name and common name of woods used, date of manufacture, evidence of lawful acquisition, and evidence of lawful import.

Print out regulations and keep them with the instruments for reference.

Keep and travel with documentation about the source and history of your instrument.

Consult with CITES Authorities in any countries to which you will be traveling prior to travel with an instrument containing a CITES species (www.cites.org/cms/index.php/component/cp).

If you are unsure about the status of the species you wish to import or export you can search by scientific name or common name on the CITES Species Database (www.speciesplus.net).

For more details on the Endangered Species Act visit www.fws.gov/endangered/. Or contact Alfonso Pollard (apollard@afm.org) for more information on travel with instruments containing protected species.

DTX920K Electronic Drum Kit

Yamaha’s DTX920K Electronic Drum Kit

DTX920K Electronic Drum KitYamaha’s DTX920K electronic drum kit provides the feel and playability of acoustic drums, combined with add-ons that only electronic drums can provide. It features exceptionally authentic acoustic sounds, plus the DTX900 Drum Trigger Module to provide a collection of sounds to cover just about any music style. The three-zone DTX-PADs used for snares and toms, as well as three-zone cymbal pads, produce different sounds depending on where they are hit.


Roland’s FR-4x and FR-4xb V-Accordions

Roland’s FR-4x and FR-4xb V-Accordions

Roland’s FR-4x and FR-4xb V-AccordionsRoland’s FR-4x and FR-4xb V-Accordions provide a full selection of traditional accordion sounds from around the globe, 163 orchestra sounds, three drum sets, and 32 organs, plus four expansion slots to load additional tone libraries. Chorus, reverb, and rotary effects are built in. Compact and lightweight, they feature pressure-sensing bellows, built-in speakers, and USB song playback. Line out jacks allow direct connection to a PA or recorder, while a headphone jack allows quiet practice. Both models are equipped with 120 left-hand buttons. FR-4x (pictured) has 37 right hand keys, while FR-4xb has 92 right hand buttons. Both models can be powered with the included AC adapter or 10 AA batteries.


Black Label Elise

Fret-King Black Label Elise ‘GG’ MKII

Designed with the help of British guitar legend Gordon Giltrap, the Fret-King Black Label Elise ‘GG’ MKII has a two-piece mahogany chambered body with double-carved solid maple cap and figured flame maple veneer, finished in Antique Sunburst. A direct mounted Tune-O-Matic bridge and attractive inlaid ebony trapeze tailpiece provides superb tonal transfer and sustain, that resonates on its easy-access mahogany set neck and ebony fingerboard. Vari-Coil control allows a player to progressively wind down the pickup and achieve single-coil tones from the Wilkinson neck mini double coil and standard bridge Black Label Elisedouble coil. It comes with a Fret-King carry bag.


Yamaha’s Recording Custom Series

Yamaha-Recording-Custom-Kit-2-copyYamaha’s Recording Custom Series was reintroduced this year, making its debut at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (NOJHF). Yamaha collaborated with Local 802 (New York City) member Steve Gadd on creating the redesign. Together they set out to retain the greatest features of the previous Recording Custom Kit while incorporating the latest innovations. For the first time, the snare drums will be available in a variety of metal shells, including brass, stainless steel, and aluminum, and in sizes to meet the needs of all performance styles. The Recording Custom Series drum sets include 100% birch shells and 30-degree bearing edges. Yamaha has been an official drum sponsor of NOJHF since 1985.


SKB’s iSeries Cases

SKB’s iSeries Cases

SKB’s iSeries CasesSKB’s iSeries cases include the 335 shaped, Thin Body Semi-Hollow guitar case that will ease the worries of any traveling musician. The injection-molded exterior is made of ultra-high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin. It is water and dust proof thanks to the integrated rubber gasket in the lid. The case also includes inline wheels, eight trigger latches (two with TSA locks) and three injection-molded handles. The molded interior is plush lined and there’s room in the lid for a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. There’s a large pocket for storing strings, guitar pedals, picks, and other accessories.