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Introducing Venova

What’s a “casual wind instrument,” anyway?

The Venova™ is a completely new type of instrument — one that we’re calling a Casual Wind Instrument. But just what is a “casual wind instrument?” Are you expected to serve light hors d’oeuvres to your audience? Should you play it while wearing jeans and tennis shoes?

Well, maybe. The Venova is intended to be super accessible and fun to play, without requiring years of practice and private lessons to learn. It’s a hybrid instrument that blends the simplicity of a recorder with the sound of a saxophone. It has easy fingerings that are very similar to the notes that students learn in elementary school on the recorder, so even someone who has never played a wind instrument can get started with the Venova right away. But it also uses a real soprano saxophone mouthpiece and reed, so a more experienced player can make it feel and sound like a sophisticated clarinet or saxophone.

Picnic basket on sand on the beach with various jars and tablecloth and a plastic reeded instrument sticking out of the top of the basket.While you could probably play the Venova in a formal concert setting, the truth is it’s going to be more at home in places that you’d be unlikely to find a traditional instrument. Stick it in your backpack and take it to the park or to a barbeque, or toss it in your suitcase and take it along on a business trip or on vacation — it’s small enough and lightweight enough to go anywhere with you. And since it’s made from plastic and has synthetic pads, the Venova is durable too. You won’t have to run to a repair shop if it gets wet or exposed to the elements — just let it dry out and you’re ready to go. You can even wash it in the sink — something you’d never do with a clarinet or a saxophone!

With respect to our friends in Hawaii, maybe the best comparison is to think of the Venova as a wind instrument version of a ukulele. Both are a lot of fun to play, and both are very portable, so you can take them anywhere. A ukulele isn’t expected to replace a full guitar, just like a Venova probably won’t replace a real clarinet or sax. But someone starting on a ukulele might eventually decide to take up the guitar, and someone trying a Venova may find themselves wanting to try other wind instruments in the future.

If you’ve ever been drawn to the sound of a saxophone, but were intimidated by the thought of actually having to learn to play one, the Venova might just be the perfect way to get started!

Click here to see and hear the Venova in action.

 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Kerns has been involved in school music for just about as long as he can remember. From the early days tagging along to his big sister’s marching band tournaments, he’s been a performer, an instructor, a salesperson and now a proud band parent. Matt heads up our band and orchestral accessories department – drawing from decades of knowledge and expertise on everything from mouthpiece tip openings to valve oil viscosities.

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