FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please select the link below to find the answer to your questions about specific products.
General
How can I get my Nuvo instrument repaired?
The Nuvo Flute and Clarinéo are designed to withstand most accidents. However, if you do have a problem please refer first to our “Repairs and Maintenance” section to see if the particular problem is dealt with there. You will find that some problems can be resolved without expert help. If you are unable to fix the problem, take your instrument to you local instrument repair shop. We can work directly with them to supply any spare parts or support that they may need to quickly get your instrument back in working order. If you can’t find a local repair shop to help you, please contact Nuvo directly and explain the problem. It will help us if you can include where and when you purchased the instrument and also if possible a photo showing the problem.
How long would it take me to play tunes people can recognize?
This varies with the learner’s natural aptitude and time spent practising, but on average one can start to play simple 5 or 6-note tunes well within a month. But don’t expect instant results. As with learning any serious and worthwhile instrument it takes time and practice to achieve a pleasant tone and finger control.
Will I be able to get private lessons to learn to play Nuvo instruments?

Certainly most woodwind teachers will be very happy to teach you how to play your Nuvo instrument. Your teacher can use the Nuvo First Steps books which are downloadable from the WindStars website.

Will I be able to teach myself to play Nuvo instruments?

Yes, you can use the First Steps books to learn the basics. Once you have the basic skills you can start exploring the wide range of music available on WindStars. The most fun you can have with WindStars is playing with your friends in a group.

How do I decide which Nuvo instrument is best for me?

The best way to decide is to try each instrument and see how you feel when you play it. If you can get your teacher to help you with this it will be great. If you can find a local Nuvo dealer, they will be happy to let you have a try before you make a purchase. Remember, you may not get a great sound straight away, it takes practice and determination to master a musical instrument ….but it’s well worth the effort!

Recorder
The recorders look fun and modern. Do they use the same fingering as a standard recorder?

Yes, the Nuvo recorder has the same fingering as a standard recorder used in schools.

It seems the colored rings on the Nuvo recorders can be taken off. Can I get replacements or alternative colors?

Yes, the rings are designed so that they can be taken off and used as a learning reward system. Rings can be given back to the student as they pass learning milestones. We can provide extras and replacements.

How can I clean my recorder?

It is safe to use hot soapy water to clean your recorder and it is recommended to do it frequently.

TooT
Can I teach myself to play the TooT?

Sure you can! You can use the “First Steps” method book which is available as a download from the WindStars website.

What kind of tunes can I play with the TooT?

The TooT has a range of 1½ octaves so there are lots of tunes you can play ranging from simple nursery rhymes to more complex tunes. You can find lots of tunes in WindStars.

Is there anything that is likely to go wrong with my TooT?

No, your TooT is super-robust and durable. If you take care of it, it should last forever!

How can I clean my TooT?

You can clean your TooT frequently using hot soapy water.

What age is it suitable to start playing the TooT?

Using the FirstNote lip plate, you can start as young as 3 years old! To begin with you may find it a bit difficult to cover the holes but with practice you should be able to play lots of simple tunes from the WindStars website.

My friend has a DooD. If I buy a TooT can I play along with her?

Yes, you can play the same tunes and you can also play some simple duets. It’s fun to play together.

DooD
I can't get a sound out of my DooD. What am I doing wrong?

We do hear this from time to time and it is usually one of two reasons. 1. You may be gripping the mouthpiece too tightly with your lips. Since the reed is very soft, it will easily be stopped from vibrating if your mouth is too tight. Try to relax your lips and blow gently. You can also try putting the mouthpiece further in or out of your mouth to see if this helps. 2. The other reason might be that the reed has become damaged. Look very closely to see if the reed is perfectly flat. Any slight imperfections at the tip of the reed will prevent it from vibrating properly. If in doubt, try another reed.

My DooD squeeks loudly when I blow it. How do I stop it doing that?

Sometimes the DooD will squeek. This is usually because you are blowing too hard and also, the mouthpiece may be too far into your mouth. Try pulling it out a bit and breathe gently until you get a nice sound.

Can I clean my DooD in the dishwasher?

It should be ok but we strongly recommend you take off the mouthpiece and reed and clean these seperately in warm soapy water. The DooD is 100% waterproof but the very high temperatures inside a dishwasher may damage the reed and mouthpiece.

jSAX
Is the jSAX a good stepping stone before playing the regular saxophone?

Yes, the jSAX will enable you to learn many of the important skills you will need to play the regular sax. You can start as young as 4 years old with the jSAX and then when you’re big enough you can try a regular sax.

Can I get lessons for the jSAX?

Yes, any woodwind teacher can help you to learn some basic sax techniques and learn some tunes using the jSAX.

Can I teach myself the jSAX?

Yes, you can download the First Steps book for jSAX and teach yourself the basics and then you can explore some of the tunes on WindStars.

Is it true that NASA have photographs of an alien jazz band playing the jSax?

No!

Flute
Is the Nuvo Flute the same as a regular silver flute?

Well, it has exactly the same fingering and you hold and play it exactly the same. The main difference is that it is much lighter, more durable and easier to maintain and it comes in fun colors!

Clarinéo
Would a clarinet teacher be able to give me lessons on the Clarinéo?

Certainly. The method of tone production is the same as for a clarinet and the basic fingering is similar. Even if you use the First Steps pack, it’s helpful to take some top-up lessons with a clarinet teacher.

Can I teach myself the Clarinéo?

“First Steps” method books are available to do download from the WindStars website will give you a good grounding in correct single reed instrument technique. After this you can use any conventional clarinet tutor book.

What reeds does the Clarinéo use?

E-flat clarinet reeds. The Clarinéo comes with three reeds: two plastic reeds – one easy blowing for beginners and the other harder to play but with a better tone suitable when you have gained more control. The third reed is a standard E flat clarinet reed made from bamboo cane. These cane reeds can be bought from most shops that sell woodwind instruments. Remember to ask for E-flat clarinet reeds. Not just “E-flat reeds” or “clarinet reeds” but both together: E-flat clarinet reeds.

I have retired and I am thinking of taking up a musical instrument. Is the Clarinéo suitable for me?

Yes! Although primarily designed for young physiques its characteristics make it more suitable than any wind instrument for all beginners. It’s also particularly suitable for social music making. Apart from being light to play and take around with you, it is in the key of C, so you can play a range of ensemble music; for example, flute, violin or recorder music. You can even play songs or hymns and be in the right key.

I am a professional clarinettist and, at the moment, play C clarinet parts found in orchestral music by transposing the music up a tone on my B-flat clarinet. I am considering buying a C clarinet. The Clarinéo is much cheaper than C clarinets – but is it musically up to the job?

The late Ted Planas was the acoustic designer of the Clarinéo. Most clarinet players from symphony orchestras entrusted their clarinets to him when they needed serious alterations such as retuning, or modifications to the internal bore or keywork. He was the acknowledged master of woodwind acoustics and mechanisms, in theory and in practice. Ted based the acoustics of the Clarinéo on an 1820 clarinet. It thus has a smaller internal bore than modern C clarinets (approximately equivalent to that of an E-flat clarinet). The Clarinéo is moulded in two tranverse halves, which are then ultrasonically welded to form the body. This production method lets undercutting of tones holes and flaring of the bore be moulded into the instrument. As you know, these features are vital for optimum tuning of the clarinet between the three registers. The consequence is that intonation and ease of speaking is at least as good, if not superior, to that of modern C clarinets costing four times as much. Since its sound is that of the clarinets of the late Classical and early Romantic eras there is a strong case for playing orchestral C clarinet parts on the Clarinéo. Despite there being no duplicate keys you can still play smoothly and quickly by sliding the left little finger (pinky) across C#/F# and B/E; and the right little finger between C/F and Eb/Ab, a similar technique to the saxophone. However, rarely-met fast trills and tremolos between those pairs of notes are not possible. Incidentally, if you play an E-flat clarinet, your E-flat mouthpiece (or any make of E-flat clarinet mouthpiece) will fit the Clarinéo.