D’Addario have recently released two new sets of strings that could be of particular interest to jazz players. For the bass guitarist there is the ECB84 set, a 40-100 set of chrome flat wounds, while for the guitarist it could well be worth checking out the EHR370’s, a set of 11-49 in stainless steel half round. There are also some new speciality singles: the CG075 and the CG080 are flat wound chromes specifically made for seven-string jazz tunings, while the CB032 is a flat wound bass chrome .032 specially designed for the 6-string high C note. Nothing ventured – nothing gained!

For many drummers, a Protection Racket product has become the case of choice. Lightweight, in durable veritable bomb proof nylon denier, with a fleece lining and heavy duty MITS nylon zips, they have all but become the benchmark of the softcase. Recently however, they have upgraded their best selling snare cases for added convenience and portability. You can now buy your favourite cases fitted with rucksack straps, concealed shoulder straps that can be packed into a pocket when not in use and perhaps most useful of all, cases with a retractable handle and a set of wheels!

For those of us who use them, music stands are invariably an awkward necessity but RAT’s new jazz stand is a model of ingenious design, using all the latest advances in lightweight manufacturing compounds and technology. Careful consideration has been given to the size, shape and angle of the legs so as to achieve maximum stability, while a reducing sleeve system has been used to adjust the height from table top through any intermediate level to the standard four foot base of the score support. The whole unit only weighs a couple of pounds and folds cleanly and easily into the face of the score stand, making it extremely compact with no protruding arms or awkward corners.

Dubbed the musician’s briefcase, these unique cases are a cross between a rucksack and a hardshell case. Looking not unlike a small submarine, the Gig-Bag sports a fully zippered main compartment with EVA foam moulding (laminated layers with a styrofoam core), which benefits from being lightweight while at the same time offering excellent protection. To the front face, there is an accessory pocket with a couple of internal pocketed pouches that will hold anything from mouthpieces, to reeds, to straps. To the back of the bag, there is another large pocket that is ideal for storing music, name and address contact sleeve, a carrying handle and an adjustable rucksack harness with vulcanised non-slip shoulder grip pads and red reflectors. One problem – the zips aren’t waterproof!

Saxrax stands are a new range of modular saxophone stands, with component parts that are fully interchangeable and transportable. Made up in aluminium and steel, the Saxrax securely holds up to three instruments and features Tucker “captive head” rivets for silent studio work, soft feel hand knobs, detachable legs, nylon coated brackets and nyloc nuts for secure pivot screw holding. Each stand packs down in seconds into either the stage bag, which sits between the legs off the stand and can usefully double up as a place to store mouthpieces and reeds or, the Duffle bag, in a hardwearing, waterproof nylon that incorporates a reflective strip, so making it ideal for transporting stands between gigs.

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