How we test our new plastic instrument designs

For Warwick Music Group, innovating and developing new musical instruments is something we are passionate about - mostly because the needs and desires of modern children don't always meet the musical products which were designed centuries ago and have changed little.

So when our company commits to a new product we make sure that the whole team is involved in its journey and shares their insights, feedback and experience into the process - everyone has something valuable to contribute.

Looks can be deceiving

The pBugle in many ways is our simplest product yet - a Bb trumpet without valves. Our director of creativity and innovation, Chris Fower, talks about the Why of pBugle in a separate blog. The translation of the products requirements and specifications from the design team to our manufacturing partners is always a huge leap of faith. Making a large injection-moulding tool is expensive and can easily go wrong - which with musical instruments is a challenge because what is happening inside the part is as important as the outside of the part.

Your plastic injected car bumper looks lovely on the outside, but the 'B' surface or non-customer facing surface doesn't matter so much. In our case, every surface is an 'A' surface - and that is because the internal and unseen airflow and smoothness of the airstream are vital to maintain good pitch and sound quality.

Art and Science in Perfect Harmony

Pedagogy is defined as the art and science of teaching and something scholars across centuries have debated at length. So in the same way - our instrument design process includes the mixture of art and science and it's the healthy conflict between these two states brings the best out of our team and also the very best product for our customers. That is why we use professional teachers and musicians through the process to make sure we are on the right track - having a pBugle that looked beautiful would be not much good if the instrument did not have good pitch at all the harmonics.

The Two Jimmies

Thankfully, we have the two Jimmies to help us - in Hong Kong, Jimmy Tung is a respected professional trumpet player and teacher who understands the needs of beginner students and in the UK, Jim Stretton has a long and established career as a professional trumpeter and performer.

We thought it would be fun to share some of their feedback videos - raw and unedited - from our pBugle testing process earlier this year.