Another happy Fretish user
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Spark Joy by Kondoing Those Unused Orchestral Band Instruments

What’s the hottest trend these days? Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. And Fretish is all about hopping on trendy bandwagons – sharing economy, peer-to-peer, et al. Heck, trendiness is our jam.

It may be the dead of Winter, but Spring is just around the corner. And it’s never too early to start planning what to de-clutter in your annual Spring cleaning ritual.

Particularly for households with children about to leave for college (or graduate from college), soon-to-be empty nesters, there’s one big de-cluttering opportunity: orchestral band instruments that will never be played again. First, ask yourself this: does this string, woodwind or brass instrument spark joy? Whatever your answer, Fretish can help.

No Joy Sparked: Sell it! Join Fretish (it’s free). List the instrument for sale (also free). Set the price you want for the item. Set the fulfillment options (in-person pick up or include shipping). And then post the listing to your social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter to increase its visibility. You could also email the listing to the band director (or PTA) at your child’s old school and s/he could let the incoming class of students/parents know about the available instrument. Fretish handles the payment processing, so the payment will go directly to your bank account.

Major Sparking of Joy: Can’t bear parting with that instrument? Share it! You’ll continue to own the instrument, but you’ll be able to monetize your collection while giving another up and coming musician an opportunity to play/practice on it. Join Fretish (it’s free). List the instrument for rent (also free). Set the nightly rental rate you want for the item. You can also set the rental to be for several weeks or months at a time. Simply specify the terms you want in the instrument description field. Set the fulfillment options (we strongly recommend to only offer in-person pick up/drop off for instrument sharing). And then post the listing to your social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter to increase its visibility. You could also email the listing to the band director (or PTA) at your child’s old school and s/he could let the incoming class of students/parents know about the available instrument. Fretish handles the payment processing, so the payment will go directly to your bank account.

What are you waiting for? Get started now.

Aren’t sure what type of instrument to list? Any of these instrument types have a home on Fretish (along with a suggested monthly rental rate):

  • Flutes – $17 – $25/mo
  • Percussion – $13 – $40/mo
  • Mellophones – $50 – $60/mo
  • Clarinet – $17 – $60/mo
  • Trumpets – $19 – $50/mo
  • Flugelhorns – $36 – $46/mo
  • Saxophones – $36 – $70/mo
  • Trombones – $25 – $60/mo
  • Oboes – $33 – $90/mo
  • Tubas – $80 – $100/mo
  • Violins – $16 – $25/mo
  • Violas – $19 – $40/mo
  • Cellos – $38 – $80/mo
  • French Horns – $36 – $60/mo
  • Baritones – $40 – $60/mo
  • Euphoniums – $50 – $70/mo
  • Piccolos – $20 – $30/mo
  • Bass Clarinet – $60/mo
  • Alto Clarinets – $50/mo
  • Bell Kit – $29/mo
But wait, there's more! Get your Fretish listing seen.
How To

Pro Tip: Get your Fretish listing seen

It never gets old.  I love receiving the notification that someone has registered with Fretish.  It feels equally good when someone requests to list their musical gear on the platform.  Being the world’s largest peer-to-peer music instrument sharing service means your gear will be seen by qualified musicians looking for short term rental (or outright purchase).

But, once you’ve joined and listed your instrument(s) on Fretish – which is completely free to do – are there any steps you can take to increase the visibility of your listing?  Absolutely!  Here are just a few of the recommended steps to take once your listing is live:

  • Tell your friends about your listing on Fretish, in person and via email.
  • Check sites like Craigslist to see if anyone is asking to borrow or purchase an instrument just like yours.  Reply to their ad letting them know you have just the thing and include a link to your Fretish listing.
  • Share your listing on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest.
  • Create a demo video of yourself playing the instrument and post it to YouTube with a link to the Fretish listing. Conversely, you can now embed that YouTube video into the description field of your Fretish listing so people can actually hear what it sounds like.  See this example.
  • Like and tweet other instruments on Fretish to grow visibility on social networks.

Have any other suggestions?  Send us a note to let us know.

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The case for respecting guitars

Image uploaded from iOS (9)
Joe Perry smashing a perfectly good instrument.

About a week ago, the following picture appeared on my Instagram feed.  It’s Joe Perry, of Aerosmith fame (and a guitarist that I long held in high regard), smashing his guitar at a recent performance.  You may also notice the following details:

  • This is Joe Perry’s official Instagram account
  • Joe appears to be in reasonably good physical shape
  • Supro amps power this rig
  • Johnny Depp is in the background
  • I have not liked this post

I admit that, in my youth, seeing Townshend or Cobain smash their instruments provided a surge of adrenaline – like a visceral thrill one gets when witnessing a stadium demolished in a controlled explosion.  No longer, though.  Now, watching people destroy their instruments intentionally, produces a sense of frustration and lost opportunity.

How did we get here?

Pete Townshend is generally credited with being the first guitarist to smash his guitar on stage in the early 1960s.  The crowd’s reaction so impressed Pete, that he decided to make this a somewhat regular gimmick of Who concerts.  Somewhat after the fact, Pete argued that his destruction of guitars was a legitimate artistic statement: the “auto-destruction” motif, inspired by Gustav Metzger.

Jimi Hendrix then took auto-destruction to a new level at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 – both lighting his Stratocaster on fire and then smashing it to bits.  No artistic rationale was provided.

Over the five decades since, guitarists of various fame and notoriety have mimicked their guitar heroes by laying waste to their gear.  But, with each successive “homage” to Townshend and Hendrix, the act of destroying guitars generates less publicity and dilutes any artistic integrity which may have actually existed in the first place.  Whatever the motivations are by these guitar-breakers, to the outside observer it’s seems like an act of desperation – someone trying to become or retain their relevancy.

The alternatives

Getting back to Joe Perry’s post.  I was heartened to see a fair of amount of commenters giving the picture a thumbs down or asking why he destroyed a perfectly good instrument.  Indeed, there were quite a few suggestions of what he could have done with the guitar instead of smashing it.  Here are a few of my own suggestions for any musician who considers destroying their instruments:

  • Don’t smash your gear.  Put it back in its case and continue to play it.
  • Donate your unwanted instrument.  There are tons of charities who accept instrument donations, including Girls Rock Campaign Boston.
  • Gift the guitar to one of the fans in the audience.  How much goodwill and positive word-of-mouth would come from that?  A ton.  You’d have a fan for life.
  • Sell your unwanted instrument.
  • List your instrument for rent on Fretish.  It’s free to join.  It’s free to list.  Your fans will get to play your gear, you’ll make money and you’ll deepen your relationship with your fan base.

Final thoughts

When George Harrison started to learn sitar from Ravi Shankar in the mid-60s, he committed himself fully to the endeavor, practicing for 3+ hours per day.  But, Ravi demanded more than time.  In one of his earliest lessons with Ravi, George recalled getting up to use the restroom.  He placed the sitar down and stepped directly over the instrument.  Ravi immediately reprimanded the young Beatle.  Respect the instrument George was told!  Respect your practice.  Respect the art.  Respect the instrument.  That lesson stuck with George for the rest of his life.  And I think it’s one we should all consider.

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