Do you have a musician in your family, especially one who plays sax, clarinet, oboe, or some other variation of the wind instrument? Here’s a fun holiday gift for them: the Venova, what Yamaha described as a “casual wind instrument.” The idea here is that the Venova is super-portable. It’s just one piece (plus, of course, the reed), and made out of very durable plastic. For a musician who wants to bring the music with them, but not risk a nice classical instrument, or deal with the assembly and disassembly some of the woodwinds require, this is a fun and practical alternative.
Created with innovative Yamaha technology, the Venova features a unique branched-pipe structure that gives it a bright and rich timbre with plenty of volume. Its ABS resin body is smaller, lighter and more durable than conventional wind instruments. It is water washable and easy to clean.
Like a saxophone or clarinet, the Venova is a single-reed instrument that produces different sound nuances depending on how you blow it. It’s capable of playing everything from powerful passages to beautiful soft, expressive melodies.
It’s been quite a few years (decades) since I played sax in my grade school band, and even longer since I learned how to play the recorder, but upon picking up the Venova, I was able to put out some clear clean notes in a tune I recall from back in the day without much fuss. I will admit that, having been away from a reeded instrument for so long, my breath control was terrible, but that’s what practice is for!
The Venova sounds like a tenor sax, and plays like a recorder, making it tremendously easy for any reasonably-experienced musician to pick up with just a little familiarization. It has a fully-chromatic two octave range, allowing for a lot of flexibility. The Venova comes with a mouthpiece, a synthetic reed, a mouthpiece cap, and a durable carrying case with strap. You can find them online now for just $100.
[Note: Yamaha sent me a Venova for review.]