Ordering Marching Band Instruments

We are are often asked by new and old customers alike to provide quotations for marching band instruments and accessories. This can be a complex process. Not only do we require information regarding the required instruments and their quantities, but there are other details that are also rather important. We’ve put this blog together to highlight some of the key decisions that you might need to make when ordering marching band instruments.

Thinking about finish when ordering marching band instruments?

When ordering any brass instruments, it is important to specify whether you or your client would prefer a lacquer of silver finish. Depending on the makes of the instruments you have requested, the price can vary according to finish. The players of the instruments may also have a preference based on several of the following factors.

The instrument must…

  • ‘match’ existing instruments in the marching band
  • produce a certain sound – lacquered finishes tend to produce a warmer sound, whilst silver finishes tend to produce a brighter sound
  • adhere to past traditions within the region it will be played
  • require limited maintenance – lacquer finish instruments are sometimes considered easier to maintain as silver tarnishes far more easily
  • be durable and last for a long time – there are studies which have suggested that silver finishes last longer, and some believe that scratches on lacquer appear worse as the air can get to the brass underneath
marching band in South Africa

Chains or cords?

It is highly likely that the band ordering marching band instruments will require several maces of varying heights. Maces are used by drum majors to give signals and commands while marching. Maces are also seen as a symbol of music and military music across various territories. When requesting a quote, we will ask whether your customer would like chains or cords. We supply these free of charge with our maces, and they are purely for cosmetic purposes. You will have the option to have either chains or cords wrapped around the shaft of the mace.

drum major holding ceremonial mace with chains

Choosing the colour of your drums?

When you request a quote from us which includes percussion instruments, such as bass drums, side drums and tenor drums, we may ask you if you require a specific colour. Although this rarely affects the price of your quotation, lead times can vary. We endeavour to provide an accurate lead time as possible for our quotations, so knowing the colours you require really helps.

Further to choosing a specific colour for your marching band drums, it is possible to have bespoke instruments custom made. Military and marching bands will regularly customise the drums they use in performances. We can tailor your marching band drums to a particular band or company. Marching bands often have their crests or badges printed on the side of their drums as a show of unity and identity. Such a public display of pride plays an important part in how military regiments represent themselves to the world. It also creates a sense of unity and pride among the musicians. Bespoke instruments help to shape the identity of the military band.

Tailoring instruments to your client is something that we can assist with. Why not check out one of our previous blogs – ‘A guide to custom marching band instruments and equipment’?

percussionists with painted side drums

Additional accessories?

Many of the quotation request and orders we receive for marching band instruments also include accessories to accompany them. Examples of these include reeds, mouthpieces, straps, slings, harnesses, cases, lyres, and so much more.

Depending on the instruments you or your customer are interested in, we can source a variety of different accessories for a range of different budgets and tastes. We are also more than happy to make recommendations for the specific instruments on your order.

side drum player with sling

Interested in maintenance products when ordering marching band instruments?

The majority of orders we receive for marching band instruments also include products to maintain them. This can help ensure they are working as well as they can, and to prolong their longevity. These often include a mixture of oils, creams, greases, sprays, soaks, brush, cloths and pull-throughs.

Depending on the requirements of your customer, we can source a variety of different maintenance product types; from premium brands, to affordable brands to environmentally conscious brands. As with accessories, we are also more than happy to make recommendations for the specific instruments on your order.

range of Edgware by BBICO cleaning accessories for marching band instruments

Spare parts & repair tools?

Following on from our last section on maintenance product, some of our customers also require the spare parts and tools needed when an instrument is damaged or requires a service. Musicians or repair technicians will usually have specific requirements. The best way to communicate these to us is to send their requests directly to us.

With regards to spare parts, we frequently supply our customers with:

  • Pad sets
  • Corks and cork sheets
  • Springs
  • Strings
  • Felt

In terms of tools, we often supply:

  • Screw drivers
  • Calipers
  • Dent balls
selection of tools on a work bench to repair marching band instruments

Miscellaneous items to consider when ordering marching band instruments…

Despite specialising in musical instruments and their relevant accessories, we do often get asked for items outside of these categories. Some of the items are still related to music, such as musical software programmes like Sibelius, and the accompanying hardware needed such as laptops, smart boards, and so on. We can also assist with uniform requirements.

If we are ever unable to supply particular items, we will always try our best to recommend someone else who will be able to assist you.

musical software and hardware products

We’re here to help

With a combined 55 years in the military band instrument exporting industry, our team have supplied marching band instruments and a range of accompanying products to bands across many territories. We understand that sourcing such a wide range of specialist products can often be overwhelming. We endeavour to make the process as easy and seamless as possible for our clients.

Why not check out this article in The Times about are largest order to date?

If you have any questions at all regarding ordering instruments for marching bands, or to request quote, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can either use the contact form on our website, give us a phone call, or drop us an email.

+44 (0)20 8381 3101 / info@bbico.com

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