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Technician Spotlight: Lee Hirschmann

ATT00002My Name is Lee Hirschmann. I am the owner and operator of The Band Shoppe, LLC. in Baltimore Md. I have been professionally repairing and building musical instruments since 2007 and started The Band Shoppe in 2016. I am a graduate from both Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery and Minnesota State College Southeast Technical. I am an active member, clinician and instructor for NAPBIRT. (The National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians)

I repair brass, woodwinds, orchestral strings, fretted instruments, as well as percussion instruments. As a result, I have a very strong, loyal, and diverse client base in my area. If I had to classify myself to only 1 or 2 instruments I would classify myself as a guitar, and saxophone specialist, but personally I like to think of myself as a talented generalist. (a jack of all trades if you will)

For the most part, it’s safe to say that music teachers, musical repair technicians and most musicians often dream of and aspire to preform and tour for a living. However, for myself personally, I have always wanted to build and repair musical instruments. It was a dream I never let go of, and a dream my entire family always supported me in. My passion for music and working with my hands comes from my Dad, and his dad, my grandfather better known as “Pop”. They have always pushed me to be better and truly taught me what working hard is about. Because of my father and Pop, and the love and support from my entire family, I have dedicated my life to learning the skills necessary to be successful as an instrument repair technician. Most importantly I try and learn something new every day to continue to hone and refine my skills for myself and most of all my clients.

ATT00005When it comes to woodwinds, pad selection is very important. I love a firm, stable, and dependable pad for my clients. I have been using their pads, glue, cork, and felt for several years now and it’s because of their consistency, over 90% of the pads I stock are from MusicMedic. At The Band Shoppe we stock the following pads in every size they offer: Standard Tan Saxophone Pads, Flute Pads, Clarinet Bladder Pads, Clarinet White RooPads, Cork Pads, and a wide variety of Saxophone RooPads in all finishes and styles!  Not only are these pads made by wind players, they are made in the USA, they’re incredibly affordable, and I can safely say they cost less than from other US based pad suppliers. MusicMedic not only turns their pad orders around faster than any other pad manufacturer they will custom build you any pad you could want. If there is ever an issue with quality they stand behind their clients and correct any issues you may have had. As if those reasons aren’t enough ordering their pads could not be any easier, and let’s not forget possibly the most accurate prepackaged pad sets for most instruments on the market!  The last reason I choose, and support MusicMedic so strongly is unlike a lot of companies today they fully support their clients and our industry. I personally can’t thank MusicMedic enough for all they have done for me over the years. Last summer my shop was hit with a massive flood do to a freak storm. Just a few weeks into my new business that storm cost me thousands of dollars, it ruined tools & pads and not to mention all the time and energy I lost dealing with the cleanup. When the folks at MusicMedic heard, they didn’t just offer me nice and encouraging words (Well they did), they sent me a bunch of new tools and supplies. (THE SWEET NEW UPDATED VERSIONS TOO!) I still get choked up at their generosity that was shown to me.

 

One repair tip I would offer is to always make sure your body tube is straight. Before performing key fitting, post aligning, tone hole facing or any other precision work your body tube must be true. A simple, but effective, way to make sure the body is straight is to lay a straight edge along the body or on top of the tone holes. Just like inspecting a neck of a stringed instrument, the straight edge will show any unwanted concave or convex bowing. Unlike stringed instruments we do not want any “relief”. Once an affected area is identified it is much easier to isolate and straighten using a body slam tool, or other preferred methods of straightening. Like any repair situation you always need to find the primary issue before you fix any other subsequent issues!

fbLee Hirschmann
The Band Shoppe
Professional Luthier &
Brass Woodwind Repair Technician
410-617-0584
http://www.thebandshoppemd.com