Buying from the "little" guy and the benefits of shopping local


Very recently a customer came in store with a problem on their saxophone - there was an irritating squeaking noise on one of the keys. Within 10 minutes, we had identified the problem and fixed it - it was something and nothing and when the customer asked how much, we said "it's free, don't worry about it". If you've been a regular customer in our store you'll have witnessed this plenty of times, people with emergency repairs taking an exam in half an hour or got a concert or gig that day -  we rarely charge for small jobs and see this as a way of building up customer loyalty - WRONG!  

This particular customer was delighted that his sax was fixed and it didn't cost him anything - a convenient local shop to drop in and have your instruments fixed on the spot. We got onto the subject of reeds and informed him we were the same price as Reeds Direct and other internet "discounters" - he turned around and said "I get my reeds from Amazon - sorry they're cheap". Needless to say, we were slightly put out by this response particularly after not charging for our services. 

We have particularly noticed a decline in our clarinet and sax reed sales of late and thought we'd investigate! After half an hour of surfing the web we found that our prices are virtually the same (sometimes slightly cheaper) as Reeds Direct, Amazon and a host of other online sources - we offer FREE first class shipping and more importantly, you DON'T have to buy full boxes of 5 or 10 reeds from us - all of our reeds are available as singles so you can pick'n'mix for different brands and instruments. 

Therefore we are bemused why so many customers are buying online from other sources - surely if we're the same price but offer a better service (FREE shipping and singles) it would make sense to support the "local" guy where you can benefit from quick, often free repairs, advice and so on. 

Of course, we appreciate we're a small, independent store and cover all aspects of woodwind (instruments, accessories, sheet music etc) - we can't stock an abundance of specialist reeds like Riggoti, Francois Louis, Marca etc but we do cover perhaps 90% of what people want, namely Vandoren, Rico, D'Addario and so on.

If you read this blog, please pass it on and share - small businesses need those little orders to keep going. 

Bottom line - we don't think Amazon will fix your sax today for free.


We've always stocked a good range of saxophones new & used for the last 17 years here at Curly Woodwind, but as we move into 2018 we're going to be dealing more and more with vintage and classic saxes from yesteryear as well.Expect some great hand selected American pieces such as Conn, King, Buescher, Martin [...]

Read More »

THE SELMER MKVI - a true classic!!

Now in stock a beautiful, highly coveted Selmer MKVI alto sax made in 1963 - what a fantastic horn!

Read More »

Tenor Sax Shootout Yanagisawa/Signature Custom RAW/P Mauriat

Bob demonstrates 3 of our most popular unlacquered professional tenor saxes. Yanagisawa wo20ul Signature Custom RAW XS P Mauriat PMXT67RUL

Read More »


That's right - we've got P Mauriat saxes back in stock! We used to sell plenty of these handmade beauties going back about 8 years or so, then distribution rights were changed and you could only buy them from one UK shop.Great to have them back, we always loved the way they played along with [...]

Read More »


Bob gives a quick sax lesson live on air at BBC Radio Merseyside as part of Learn To Play Day 2017

Read More »

Signature Custom RAW sax - Worldwind/ Trevor James

Bob shares some thoughts on the Signature Custom RAW Tenor

Read More »

Local Orchestras/Groups/Windbands etc.

We have added a new page to our website with local windbands, jazzbands, orchestras, brassbands, sting groups that our customers play at. If you would like us to add your listing please send us the detailsClick the link below for the listings:

Read More »

Tenor Sax Mouthpiece shootout - D'Addario Select Jazz v Vandoren V16 v Otto Link New Vintage

Bob from Curly Woodwind takes the new D,addario Select Jazz Tenor Sax Mouthpiece out for a test drive and compares it with the Vandoren V16 and Otto Link Vintage

Read More »

Saxophone Workshop - Iain Ballamy - Free Admission

LIVERPOOL JAZZ FESTIVAL AT THE CAPSTONE THEATRE Sunday 26th Feb 2017, 11amThe Great Hall, Creative CampusSaxophone Workshop - Iain BallamyFree AdmissionRenowned saxophonist, Guildhall and Royal Academy of Music professor and composer Iain Ballamy will share his inside knowledge of the saxophone in this presentation as a D’addario endorsee of 20 years.Topics covered will include reeds and [...]

Read More »