» ... a remarkably simple device .....«
The JoyKey is a remarkably simple device that works extraordinarily well.
It makes playing the horn a more positive experience, and I am going to have it put on
all of the school instruments for my students.
High School Band Director
Dryden Central School District
» ... a revelation.«
Using JoyKeys on my Schmid horn has been a revelation.
It has eradicated any unwanted sound disturbance from accumulated water in the instrument.
This has left me with one worry fewer during performances.
Nicholas Korth, Co-principal horn, BBC Symphony Orchestra.
» ... the JoyKeys have helped solve a problem ....«
I am happy to report publicly that the JoyKeys have helped solve a problem which some horns, Scaffetta especially,
have with water collection, and the subsequent difficulty in finding it and disposing it quickly during concerts
The two JoyKeys which Luke Woodhead put on my horn have worked better than I expected.
Having been fitted in exactly the right place, they let out enough liquid to stop the dreaded burbling occurring
in embarrassing moments, and have taken away the stress of getting slides in and out in a bar or twos rest,
leaving the player more time to focus on the more important matters, like playing music.
Liquid does of course need removing from slides , but the build up is definitely slowed by the JoyKeys and I am more
relaxed about water collection in my horn than before.
Jonathan Williams, artistic leader at Minensemble
» ... an amazing aid to my playing.«
I've been using the JoyKey for the last 18 months on my Paxman double horn.
It's been an
amazing aid to my playing. No more constant emptying water from the tuning slides and I'm
convinced the instrument plays better with the JoyKey on the lead-pipe instead of a normal
water key which interrupts the air somewhat.
Playing a whole movement of a symphony without
worrying about water buildup is amazing. All horn players should fit one!!!!
Tim Jones, Principal Horn of the London Symphony Orchestra
» Another wonderful invention for musicians«
A little note from musical history,
In the beginning ( a very long time ago ) a creature stumbled upon a conch shell and
found by putting it to his ear, he could hear the wonderful sound of the sea.
By blowing into the shell, he could share these wonderful sounds with others.
Animals were also attracted to the sound and approached it's creator, who before
this event was unable to lure these beast into his traps.
He now saw the value shell with it's hypnotic sounds.
These poor creatures met their untimely demise at the hands of the ones with shells in mouth.
It was a great sacrifice but the BBQ had to be invented ( how could modern man survive without it?)
All said and done, a few objects were left over after the "Q".
Hooves,tails, and heads with funny appendages. These were found to be hollow and with a little effort
these could be shaped into objects which also produced sound.
These were random sounds because there was no exact way to position the thing to his lips.
Thus the invention of the mouthpiece ( which is exactly what it says, a little thingy to put your mouth on ).
The mouthpiece made it possible to consistently reproduce all these sounds.
But since these horns were animal outers, they soon developed a strange smell and then disintegrated.
Then the tides turned and metal was invented. This solved the smell problem but introduced other complications
like bending and curves. These new horns were vastly superior to the old versions but they too were limited.
They could only play a few choice notes. ( at least these were the only ones they could choose ).
The invention of the valve took brass players out of dark ages of the tonic / dominant
domain but sadly thrust him into era of "permanent gurgle".
This was a big hassle to the ones who now formed a brotherhood that called themselves musicians (the sounds they made
was aptly called MUSIC). This water remained a thorn in the horns of this fraternity for ages.
It was not until a brave young lad armed with a little knob and wick to dispose of this vile substance ( life-giving to all but horn players ),
invented a way to dispose of water without disposing of the wonderful sounds called MUSIC.
This invention brought great joy to all, hence the name JoyKey.
Another wonderful invention for musicians from the creative mind of a superb musician.
The title track to a record ( a little disc to store the sounds we called music ) by one of the great artist of our time is
"Songs in the Key of Life". My life song is the JoyKey.
» .... made a real change in my performance.«
I've had the JoyKey for 6 months now and it's the only new addition to my instrument that made a real change in my performance.
We all try to remember to empty our spit valves before any exposed passage that we have to play. The JoyKey eliminates that worry. It allows
water to flow from the horn without interfering with the tone.
For you jazz players: no water in the horn during a solo.
I recommend highly that brass players give it a try. You won't regret it.
TS Galloway (Composer, arranger, trombone)
» Very helpfull invention«
For a few months now I have one Joykey built onto my Alexander 1103. It's done wonderfully
by Klaus Fehr in the Netherlands. I wanted only one to try it first, but now I am
convinced and I would like to have some more of them. Very helpful invention, Andrew Joy!
» The JoyKeys are AMAZING!«
I had them installed about a year and a half ago at Flint Hills Music in Emporia, KS.
To my knowledge, nobody else in Kansas is a dealer for JoyKeys. I think John had his
installed at IHS a while back.
The JoyKeys are AMAZING! The first gig I played with
my JoyKeys was a musical- 2.5 hours with the intermission. If I remember correctly,
I had them installed, went home and tried them out, and then had a musical performance
that evening. I didn't even have to empty during intermission! I had to resist pulling
slides to dump water- it's a hard habit to break!
In the past, I would dump slides even
if it wasn't needed. I was so worried about gurgling my way through a passage that I
took every opportunity I could to empty slides! I don't have to do that any longer!
I recommend JoyKeys to every brass player I know!
» ...I remain very impressed...«
As an instrument maker, I remain very impressed playing with the JoyKey that I installed
on my trombone three years ago.
It has in no way
altered the sound or response of my instrument.
To ensure good drainage of
the condensation, it is important to clean the WaterWick at regular intervals.
Werkstatt für Metallblasinstrumentenbau
Loikumer Weg 15a - 46395 Bocholt
Fax 02871 - 2189246
» INSTANT JOY. INSTANTLY INDISPENSABLE.«
From the moment you've had Andrew's invention fitted they become absolutely essential.
You wonder how you ever got by without them. More importantly, because the keys don't
sit proud inside the tubing your air-flow remains undisturbed (unlike the traditional
water-key) increasing the free-blowing characteristics & feel of your horn.
I believe that within five years over 80% of professional brass players will have Joykeys
fitted. Not just us trail-blazing horn players but all brass players. All the major horn
builders need to start fitting them to their model's ( eg: 103's, 8D's) as well.
The only down-side I can think of is losing the opportunity to terrify conductors by
emptying out just before a solo. Then again; they don't know about Joykeys.
Thank you Andrew for doing something I think we all would like to achieve. Making our
fellow horn players life a better one.
Muscat Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Philip is also an accomplished photographer. Here is his website.
» The Joykey is a fantastic innovation...«
"The Joykey is a fantastic innovation to fix an age old problem.
I applaud Andrew's
forward thinking to keep horn players moving into the 21st century.
I use them on stage,
on tour, while recording, and outside, all sorts of different circumstances and they never fail.
It's one less thing for horn players to worry about in that split second when the downbeat is coming."
The US Army Field Band
The Who's "Quadrophenia" 2012-13 Tour
» ... the JoyKey is one of the wonders of the 21st century!...«
I think the JoyKey is one of the wonders of the 21st century!
I have had JoyKeys on my horn for about six months now.
Last week I played
Brahms One and Two on the same program and dumped between movements as
force of habit. Most of the time no water came out of the slides.
I can not say enough good things about JoyKeys.
»...."aren't you ever going to empty?!"«
My JoyKeys could easily be renamed ReliefKeys! I'm consistently relieved that my horn
now relieves itself! Seriously, I wish I hadn't waited so long to install them on my horn.
Just two JoyKeys near the front of the horn provide noticeable relief from frequent emptying.
I do notice that when I'm nervous, sometimes the compulsion to empty in the old way tries
to come back, showing me that emptying wasn't all about emptying! Now I can consistently
address the music and myself with less concern about condensation build up.
A great moment at a gig recently . . . subbing on second in another orchestra, during the
second rehearsal, the principal looked over and said, "aren't you ever going to empty?!"
It's tough to make changes to the status quo. I think back to how long I waited to have the
bell cut on my Conn 8D. When I finally had it done and experienced the positive difference
in how it played and the added convenience for travel, I wished I'd not waited. Same for my
JoyKeys. I couldn't be happier with the daily relief I experience having JoyKeys on my horn!
The Breathing Book for Horn
»... the results were spectacular ...«
I recently purchased a Wessex Bubbie Tuba, a very useful and tiny instrument that I'm
very pleased with.
However there was one major problem from the outset and that was
that it would fill up with water and start bubbling around half way through a three to
four minute piece (I play Dixieland Jazz).
A fellow tuba player told me about the
Joykey and I had one fitted expertly and swiftly by Luke Woodhead.
I took the Bubbie
out for a long innings last week and the results were spectacular - I didn't have to
use the spit key once.
»... a fit and forget solution ...«
I'm not sure where I saw Joykeys first. I suspect that it may have been Luke Woodhead's
stand at one of the British Horn Society Festivals. I was certainly interested as they
seemed to be a fit and forget solution to getting water from inside my horn to outside.
In due course I visited Luke and had him fit four at first, two to replace the standard
waterkeys on my Paxman 23, and two in new locations.
As ever there is always a trial period with new kit, but I don't actively remember taking
a decision to stick with them. They just worked right from the start. I did feel a bit silly
on occasion doing the usual crook removal and flicking having had them fitted, but it just
served to emphasise how effective they were, the crooks being dry.
In due course I had another three fitted, bringing the total to seven. I'm no longer in the
habit of consciously thinking about emptying my horn. It never gets to the stage where it
The only slight disadvantage is that the water now ends up on my lap, but I guess an apron would fix that .
If anyone asks if they're worth fitting, I say definitely. And there's no discernible effect
on how my horn plays either.
»The JoyKey eliminates all that.«
"The kind of playing that I do sometimes doesn't allow time to hunt for water and
empty it. It can be extremely distracting to hear that familiar gurgling sound and
not be able to stop, hunt for the water and empty it. The JoyKey eliminates all that.
»... one defining moment ...«
I have been using JoyKeys on my horn for several months now and in this time there has already
been one defining moment that has made the decision to get them worthwhile.
During my performance
in the final round of a competition, I reached a point in the music where I previously have had
very little time to empty my horn before a long and difficult passage.
Because I had JoyKeys on
my horn I was able to relax and prepare during this brief period of rest and as a result I was
much happier with my performance of the following passage.
The JoyKeys have significantly reduced
my performance anxiety caused by water collecting in the horn!
»I absolutely love the constant
great sound I can have with my 5 JoyKeys.«
I test my JoyKeys constantly in my average performance situations. I perform a
great many premieres of challenging new chamber and solo music that keeps the
horn on the face for a good while over great range and varied articulation.
Some of it is hugely technical, some schmaltzy and romantic. And I'm known
for duo and solo improvisations.
Who has time to stop and empty during any of
these endeavors, especially solo improv?
Well, I never need to and I'm quite
sure the audience does not miss the interruption. I absolutely love the constant
great sound I can have with my 5 JoyKeys. Thank you!
»without the need, or the uneasy
distraction of having to empty my instrument.«
I have always preferred playing on French horns without water-keys. For that little more assurance
of sound and aerodynamics, I thought it would be worth putting up with the inconvenience of having
to empty my horn often for the past 10 years.
Since 2011, the new Joykey allows my horn to give me the same playing assurance but now with the
privilege of extended periods of practicing and performing, without the need, or the uneasy
distraction of having to empty my instrument.
Thank you for the new found confidence and peace of mind!!
»The JoyKey is working wonderfully on my flugelhorn!«
The JoyKey is working wonderfully on my flugelhorn! Since the drain is after the valve section on
flugelhorns it doesn't prevent buildup in the valve slides, but to me that's not as big of a deal as
having to previously rotate the entire horn to get water out before I installed the JoyKey.
that it worked really well for a few weeks and then not as well after that, but I gave the entire horn
an acid bath followed by a very thorough cleaning, I put the waterwick in the acid bath as well to see
what would happen, it was cleaned out and functions properly.
The only downside I can see to this
product is that when I installed it on my Flugelhorn I never had to sit down and play it. While
standing there are no flaws, but I have to be careful of how I have my legs when I sit and use my flugel.
Not really a big thing for me, I just have to be mindful.
If I ever have another horn that has water issues, I would not hesitate to install one (or more!) JoyKeys on it.
Grand Valley State University Class of 2015
Interlochen Arts Academy Class of 2011
»I had to check whether I'd been given the correct instrument back«
My vintage Kruspe double compensator from the 50's had a leaky water key and the sound was really
difficult to focus, especially on the F side.
I had 2 JoyKeys fitted (one on lead pipe and one on
the F tuning slide) and within seconds of playing it I had to check whether I'd been given the correct
instrument back,the difference in sound and performance was incredible!
The problem with a leaky water
key is that it is a gradual decrease in having a good seal from having a new cork or spring fitted and,
over time, you are unaware of the decline in the performance of the instrument until you come to accept
it as a given.
However, this factor simply doesn't come in to play with the JoyKey; love it, great piece
I can really concentrate on long periods of playing and not worry about "emptying out" every
»Great invention, I really think JoyKeys are another step in the evolution of the horn!«
Just wanted to let you know that I really love the JoyKey. I have had the same WaterWick since
the 2010 IHS in Australia.
A month ago, Gottfried Büchel in Bonn (www.buechelmusik.de) serviced my horn and exchanged the
WaterWick as well as adding another JoyKey. I now have 2 on my Finke and almost never have to empty
my horn! At the end of a rehearsal I may empty my third valve slides and a bit of water comes out.
It is just nice not have to think about where to empty my horn during concerts, which takes off pressure.
It is strange to watch Geof (Winter AHQ) do a solo piece and during the pause in the piece there are
no horn theatrics of emptying the water…sometimes I miss the drama of the Horn Player always emptying
his horn, but we both love the convenience and have not felt any compromise in the horn's performance.
Great invention, I really think JoyKeys are another step in the evolution of the horn!
Sherry Wegner, 1st of February, 2012
»Brilliant idea that really works.«
»Thank you, Andrew for making my life a lot easier!«
I had the pleasure of playing tenor horn in LICHTER-WASSER, the first part of Karlheinz Stockhausen' s
Opera SONNTAG aus LICHT, which was premiered by the Cologne Opera and musikFabrik in Cologne recently.
After getting a new 4 valve tenor horn I realized, water is going to be a big problem.
First, the way I felt most comfortable holding the horn, the only water key was pointing up, meaning I had
to rotate the horn every time to get the water out. Second, in this piece the musicians stand, spread evenly
throughout in the hall, surrounded by the audience. Third, the part demands almost one hour of complete
concentration. It is hardly possible to look away from the music or conductor for long, doing so would
risk getting lost.
I decided I didn't really want to have the added stress of emptying water and had 3 JoyKeys put on my
tenor horn, one on the main tuning slide, one on the 3rd valve slide and one on the 4th valve slide.
After this it was possible to play the whole piece without having to empty the water once.
The only negative point I have is at the same time one of the JoyKey's strong points. The water in the
3rd and 4th valves would not drip out unless they were depressed. This wasn't a problem with the 3rd
valve, which was used regularly, but I found I had to hold the 4th valve down during rests to let the
water drip. This says a lot about the compression of the JoyKeys.
I found absolutely no deterioration in the response of the horn after having the Joykeys installed,
a point I was a bit worried about.
Thank you, Andrew for making my life a lot easier!
Bruce Collings, 15 June, 2011
Trombone - musikFabrik
» I have no hesitation in recommending JoyKeys.«
I have found the JoyKeys to be fantastic and they have made a huge difference
to my horn. Particularly for a piece like Mahler 5, I no longer feel concerned that the sound will
‘bubble’ in an exposed solo passage due to water in the horn and loud playing always feels solid and
secure. The horn feels stable all of the time and to me sounds the same as always (except now there
is no water noise or feeling of water in the horn!!)
I have 3 JoyKeys on my horn and find that I can
play an entire Movement of a Mahler Symphony without the need to manually empty the horn. I have no
hesitation in recommending JoyKeys. They are an excellent aid in removing water from the horn and
keeping the horn feeling the same at all times.
Many thanks for developing such a fantastic product
and I will be sure to recommend the JoyKey to colleagues and students.
» It has made my recording sessions SOOOO much more efficient!!!«
LOVE my JoyKey!!!! Amazing product!!!!
It has made my recording sessions SOOOO much more efficient!!!
I highly recommend the JoyKey to all horn players!!!! Thanks for the awesome product!!!!"
»It is amazing to play and not worry about gurgling!«
Andrew, I love my JoyKeys. It is amazing to play and not worry about gurgling! Superb invention!
»...my colleagues have been genuinely envious.«
I have been performing with 4 JoyKeys on my Alexander 103* for most of a year now and I
would happily recommend them to anyone.
I have played solo concerti, chamber music, orchestra concerts, studio- and jazz gigs and cannot find a single
negative thing to say about the JoyKey's effect on my sound and playing!
For me, they have in fact made performing in most situations even more enjoyable, since emptying the water
from my horn is mostly a thing of the past.
Now I can relax and focus more on the music–no more panicky calculations as to whether the next couple bars
of rest are enough to yank out the slides, empty them and get them back into position! This has been most
noticeable when playing concerts in cold places–horn and organ concerts in cold churches, for example–my
colleagues have been genuinely envious.
Like many of you, I was initially dubious about these newfangled water keys. Let me clear up a couple of things:
- Yes, you have to have new holes made in your horn, but you probably had one or two already if you've got spit
valves on your horn.
- Yes, your horn will dribble, but remember that the dribble would otherwise be making your horn go "blub"
just when you didn't need that (like during your big solo), or making you stop and empty it when you'd
rather be concentrating on the music.
- No, the Joy Keys do not affect my sound or the balance of my horn at all–seriously, not at all.
Important note: Be sure to take the time to work with your brass technician to position the JoyKeys
exactly right–in your normal playing position, they must point straight down on both axes (horizontal and vertical)
for them to be effective. If they are too far off plumb-straight down, they won't help you much at all.
On most instruments (not just horn), this usually means making new holes for the JoyKeys
because conventional water keys are not positioned in this manner.
* My JoyKeys are placed on the main tuning slide, the F-tuning slide and both 3rd valve slides.
»Now that I don't have to stop to empty, I have been able focus on my work in a deeper way, and
for longer periods of time!«
If brass players were singers,
emptying our instrument in concert would be
perceived by our audience as spitting on the floor right before a phrase!
Emptying our horns is very distracting. Everyone has seen audience member's
faces go from smile to sour when they see us dump out our "spit" for the
first time. Even though "it's not spit!" loudly rings out in our minds,
nothing can repair what was just shattered for our innocent
anticipation-filled non-musician audience members. We've just walked on
stage wearing our finest clothes, smiled, regally bowed, and then spit on
I've watched countless brass players reach for their spit-valve right after
playing a beautiful phrase. Doing this breaks the magical moment, and brings
something technical into it. Many players also unconsciously repeatedly go
for their spit valve when they're nervous. Wouldn't it be better to just
stand there with an obvious show (and feeling) of calm?
Now we can! The JoyKey can make this potential negative concert
experience moment magically disappear! I have had mine for 4 months now, and
LOVE it! I have found a guilty (ok, not that guilty!) pleasure in
standing/sitting still while my brass colleagues turn their horns around,
dumping their condensation every-which-way.
With my JoyKey, I have also found a better sense of calm and concentration
in the practice room. I've always felt a little break in my focus and
intensity when I empty my horn. Now that I don't have to stop to empty, I
have been able focus on my work in a deeper way, and for longer periods of
Thank you Andrew! You've keyed in on something remarkable! These are a pure
» These new water keys are a clever .... a very welcome technological development that has long been
I would like to take the time here to tell you how much I appreciate the new
JoyKeys that you added to my horn last summer in Australia. These new water
keys are a clever invention and provide a very convenient solution to the age old problem of emptying
the horn of excess condensation.
Over the last few months I have learned more about how useful they are. Not only do they allow
excess water to drain continuously, but I have discovered that by stopping the horn and blowing hard
I can empty the horn almost instantaneously- even moments before an important passage- a very welcome
technological development that has long been
needed. I appreciate this contribution to the art of horn making on the part of you and Andrew Joy
very much, and I can recommend these new water keys without reservation to all horn players, both
amateurs and professionals! (View original letter)
»Now I can get through most, if not all, of a rehearsal or concert without dumping water.«
Regarding the JoyKey, I have two on my horn. I had them installed about four
months ago. I love them.
I play in two bands, the horns never stop and finding time to dump water
was a challenge. Now I can get through most, if not all, of a rehearsal or concert without dumping water.
I only have two on my horn, where the water keys used to be, so they don't catch all the water but what
they do catch is significant. All I have to do is spin my horn around to get the rest of it out. I
have not pulled slides out of my horn, other than to apply valve oil or slide grease, since I got them.
The one downside is that they do drip, very slowly, on my pants leg. A simple cloth on my leg, that most
of us have anyway, solves that problem.
4th Chair, Riverhead Community Band
4th Chair, Shoreham Wading River Community Band
»....stunning amazement whilst playing!«
An article about the JoyKey in the german musician´s magazine “Sonic” caught
my attention. Usually, I’m very sceptical when someone claims to have invented the wheel newly. But,
from what I’ve read, this little gadget seemed to be convincingly well developed. Also, why should a
water key that was originally developed for the French horn (an extremely sensitive instrument) not
work on the trombone as well? Because the water hole is so far away from the trombone player himself,
there would be no issues with water dripping onto my suit. Additionally, the price for the
JoyKey is by no means higher, than that of a regular rocker- arm water key with
all of it’s parts. I decided to try out the JoyKey, knowing the change could be reversed,
i.e. no risk involved.
So I ordered the JoyKey and had it mounted on my trombone slide by a master craftsman.
The whole “operation” took him approximately 5 minutes.
Since then, I’ve played several concerts and I’m totally enthusiastic about it!
No loss of air, no difference in the sound or response of my instrument, but stunning amazement whilst playing!
The movement, that had accompanied me for more than a quarter of a century now (especially before solo passages),
the movement towards the water key, the bashful turn- away from the audience, so no one could watch the disgusting
amount of fluid leaving the instrument, this all is history as of now! I didn’t count the times my arm still went
down the slide, just to find that this is obsolete - for ever.
The trombone is held (whilst playing) in such a way that the water key is more or less at the lowest point of the
slide, so the water can easily drain out through the JoyKey. The drops themselves
are so small that no one can really see them, and they vanish within short time. After the show, when
the instrument is on its stand in an upright position, a small amount of humidity collects in the slide
and has to be removed. But that has always been the same and- once the concert is over- who cares?
The JoyKey is well made and works brilliantly. The price is definitely fair and
I happily recommend it to all trombone players! The JoyKey is in fact a key to joy!
I studied jazz trombone at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany and finished my studies with
my diploma in 1993. Although I’ve been a regular band member of Albie Donnelly`s Supercharge for 11
years now, I also play in various other groups with differing styles.
»....it was much easier for me to concentrate during the audition ....«
Here is my experience so far with the JoyKey.
Basically I had heard a bit about them and in spite of an initially skeptical
feeling, I was a little curious. Anyway, I'd heard that Christi Chapman
(hornist who I sometimes work with in the contemporary music ensemble 'musikFabrik'
in Cologne) was using the JoyKeys. Christi is someone who I've always
felt is open minded yet not fooled by cheap gimmicks or the 'latest
brass device that promises to make you better yet doesn't help much'.
So after hearing that Christi had bought some JoyKeys and was very
pleased with them, I decided they were probably very effective. Still,
it wasn't until I spent a few days playing alongside Christi in the
'musikFabrik' that I felt I really wanted to buy some for my horn. I'd
noticed instantly that Christi's sound was just as beautiful as it
had been before she got the JoyKeys put on her horn. In fact, I
actually thought Christi was sounding even better than her usual very
high standard of playing, maybe because she didn't have to spend any
energy or disturb her focus having to quickly empty water from slides
So I ended up getting some JoyKeys for my horn and it was much more
relaxing playing the Stockhausen 'Hymnen' with
'musikFabrik' because I could concentrate fully on the music or
watching the conductor instead of emptying water. But the actual proof
that the JoyKey has no negative impact on sound
quality/articulation etc. came the day after the enjoyable Stockhausen
At 10am the following morning I had an audition for a job in
a German orchestra. Surely the fact that I won this audition means
the JoyKey has no discernable negative impact on the
sound/articulation/dynamics/'feel' of playing etc. But not only do I
believe winning the audition to be more than sufficient proof that the
JoyKey doesn't have any negative effect on
sound/articulation/dynamics/'feel of playing' etc, what I also would
like to mention is that it was much easier for me to concentrate
during the audition because I never had even the slightest thought or
feeling, (while playing or in the 'short breaks' between the different
excerpts or in rests during a concerto) that I might have water in the
horn. I just let the JoyKeys take care of the water for me.
How wonderful and helpful it was to be able to put 100% of my energy and
attention into the music and not into distracting mechanical things
like emptying slides and the like. For me it was incredible, in a
stressful situation like an audition, for it to be almost impossible
for gurgling water to ruin my sound or even to have to break my
musical concentration by emptying water.
So when one weighs the cost of the JoyKey against the financial rewards
of playing in a more relaxed, concentrated way, one would have to conclude
that it's an
EXTREMELY WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT. It is also not something so
expensive that one has to sell his or her car/bach horn/computer to be
able to afford it.
The only other thing necessary to buy once you
have JoyKeys is a nice towel or cloth to avoid having lots of little
droplets of water on your pants!
Evan Williams, May 12 – 2010
»....because the horn was substantially easier to play (better center of pitch, smoother slurs, and
more accurate in the middle range low F side) after the JoyKey was installed.«
I now have had the JoyKey on the F/B mouthpipe side of my triple for over a month
and have played a couple of symphony concerts, church gigs, and even an outdoor band concert with it.
I pour oil right down the mouthpipe about twice a week to protect it from my acidic saliva, every week,
and the WaterWick is still drawing water and oil from the pipe as efficiently as it did the first day of
use. In addition to not having any water in that particular pipe, the water collection in the rest of the
horn has noticeably slowed down.
The water key that it replaced was one of the water key types
with a "well." Apparently the original "well" was placed on a nodal point because the horn was
substantially easier to play (better center of pitch, smoother slurs, and more accurate in the middle
range low F side) after the JoyKey was installed.
My only complaint is that I showed how
it worked to another of my friends who plays a triple and one of the extra JoyKeys I
purchased "disappeared" into his case. I will have the last one I (still) have installed in the next
few weeks and order a replacement for the"lost" JoyKey in short order. To sum up,
the metal in the WaterWick is not affected by oil in any way; the capillary action continues to work.
Scott Young, April 23 – 2010
»....I never had water trouble once, even though the church I was playing in was only heated to
around 18 degrees celsius and I had to play continually for 22 minutes with no chance what-so-ever
to dump water«
I've been using JoyKey for 4 weeks now, and am completely satisfied with
the results. In the field of contemporary music - where the scores are often
written through without a chance to turn a page or take a breath - composers
seldom take into consideration the need to empty water.
I had 3 JoyKeys installed, and was convinced right from the start. There is
no difference in the feel of the horn, how it responds or sounds. Actually,
I've noticed more stability in some of the longer valve combinations at the
top of the staff, for example "A" and Ab." I gather that the lack of water
build up in the lead pipe keeps those notes placing every time just where
I am going to add a 4th key to on the "F" horn 3rd valve slide. Aside from
an infrequent spin of the horn to get rid of residual water, that slide is
the only place where water collects now.
I can highly recommend using JoyKeys - I can't imagine playing without them
Christine Chapman, April 2 – 2010
musikFabrik - Ensemble for Contemporary Music, Cologne
I would like to add to my testimonial after having survived the marathon KLANG weekend in Cologne,
Germany where I performed Stockhausen's NEBADON for solo horn and electronics eight times. Please
add that I never had water trouble once, even though the church I was playing in was only heated to
around 18 degrees celsius and I had to play continually for 22 minutes with no chance what-so-ever
to dump water - even if I'd had a chance to spin the horn, I wouldn't have been able to due to the
microphone arm attached to the bell. On top of all that, the piece requires in the last minute of
music that the performer picks off a row of high "G'#s," ending the piece with 2 high "Bb's" spaced 20
seconds apart! The JoyKeys on my instrument enabled the world premiere of NEBADON!
» I am now a JoyKey enthusiast, happy that I don’t have to keep emptying my horn while playing.«
A couple of months ago, I was having trouble with my JoyKeys – neither of the two were working –
and I sent a rather anguished call for help to Dennis Houghton, of Houghton Horns, who had installed them.
Originally, I had asked Dennis to place the two JoyKeys – one on my leadpipe, the other on the
F slide – where I had had two Amado water keys installed years ago. The one on the leadpipe worked
for several months and then, for some unknown reason, quit. I tried a new WaterWick, cleaned the leadpipe,
all to no avail. The problem with the second JoyKey was more serious. Even though it was in the same
place as the Amado had been, no water ever dripped out.
Because I had mistakenly put my frustration on the entire list , I got an email from Andrew Joy, and
at his suggestion, joined him in a video Skype call. I showed him where the JoyKey had been installed;
he suggested a different location. I then got in touch with Dennis Houghton and brought my horn to him.
I don’t know what he did with the leadpipe JoyKey, but it is now dripping merrily, as it’s supposed to.
He then took off the F slide JoyKey, patching up the hole there and moved it to where Andrew had suggested –
Dennis agreed that this was the better spot. I want to let you know that the two JoyKeys are now doing
their job admirably and once again, I’ve taken to putting a small unobtrusive towel on my knee to catch
the dripping. (It’s better not to have the small drips fall on your pant leg, especially if you’re
wearing khaki or other light pants.)
I am now a JoyKey enthusiast, happy that I don’t have to keep emptying my horn while playing.
One final comment. I’ve posted my great satisfaction with the work Dennis Houghton has done on my
85-year old Kruspe over the past several years. I want to make note that he did the entire patching
of the hole and moving the JoyKey (even though that was where I had asked him to put it) and also
figuring out why the leadpipe JoyKey had stopped working, without any charge or even claiming that
the problem was really my fault. That’s one of the many reasons why I keep going back to him.
Ed Glick, 16th of August 2011
»I want to tell you what a Godsend this has been!«
Last week I had two JoyKeys installed on my horn. I want to tell you what
a Godsend this has been!
My instrument collects condensation quickly and in
copious amounts. The result is that I continuously had to empty slides, turn
and twist the horn, and do all sorts of manipulation of the instrument to
get the problematic water out of the horn.
Over the years, I have received some pointed messages from patrons and the
orchestra management has fielded complaints from other vocal patrons. While
I sympathized, playing a phrase while gurgling was not an option for me.
Then I saw the add about the JoyKey on my Facebook page.
Long story short, this has been a revelation! In the week following the
installation of these keys, only rarely need I turn the instrument or remove
errant moisture that doesn't collect. I've performed four concerts and have
found that these keys make absolutely no difference in the performance of
the horn. Even playing stopped passages, LOUDLY, has no discernible ill
Installed correctly by a competent repair person, these JoyKeys, will be a
boon to any performing hornist.
Eldon Matlick, DM, March 27 – 2010
Professor of Horn-University of Oklahoma
Principal Hornist-Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra
»I am totally impressed and completely satisfied with the installation by Scott Bacon, of the two
JoyKeys on my Horn.«
My experience with the extraordinary innovation of the JoyKey begins three
years ago in 2007, when I first approached Scott Bacon for any possible solution to the problem of
an overwhelming amount of condensation collecting in my relatively new custom made Engelbert Schmid Horn.
Already installed on my Horn were two rocker arm type water keys, nonetheless; the accumulation
of condensation remained a detriment to my inability to avoid playing GLITCHES. I tried numerous
tricks to try and absorb water from the water key on the lead pipe, and the second water key on
the next extension of the wrap, by inserting, cotton, small sponges and Q-Tip ends, between the
cork on the rocker arm, and the port opening of the water keys. All done with absolutely no success!
I tried to persuade my son, an Electronic Engineer, to develop a thermostat control unit that would
equalize the temperature of the Horn to room temperature, and thus diminish the ability of the tubing
to generate condensation. Long discussions culminated with the realization, that: such an idea
would be too complicated, and require a power source, along with extra parts attached to the Horn,
thus: making the Horn bulky and clumsy to handle. In reality, the problem actually lies with removing
the condensation before it can interfere with the air column that resounds and amplifies the vibration
from the lips. At that point nothing existed to remove condensation before it could cause a problem
of GURGLING, and/or causing Glitches.
Obviously, the only solution is to eliminate the condensation before it can cause a problem.
Miraculously, that is accomplished with the JoyKey by allowing the condensation to drip out instantly!
On my Horn, Scott Bacon used the existing holes of the old rocker arm water keys, thereby; he
avoided the risk of making additional revisions on the Horn. My first reaction after the installation of the
JoyKeys was that my Horn performed as well as ever. The tone remained warm, dark,
flowing and expressive. There is also less collection of condensation in the valve slides; that happens
because by the time the air moving through the Horn reaches the valve slides, most of the moisture is
already eliminated by the JoyKey.
The same day Scott Bacon installed my two JoyKeys, I practiced for several hours
without having to empty the Horn. The next day, my experience was very much the same. I had two students,
one after the other, at the lessons I demonstrated numerous passages, and practiced later in the day. I
did not have to empty the Horn at all. The next day I also had two students, and again; I demonstrated
on the Horn and did some practicing with no appreciably collection of condensation. In fact, my performance
seemed to improve, in terms of not missing, or GLITCHING notes, as previously experienced. Scott Bacon,
explained to me that the installation of the JoyKey lies flush, and smooth along the
inside surface of the tubing, whereas; the rocker arm water key has a recess along the tube. Condensation
collects in the recess rocker arm key and thereby; interferes with the vibrating air column, which can be
blamed for the cause of several difficulties.
I am totally impressed and completely satisfied with the installation by Scott Bacon, of the two
JoyKeys on my Horn. In addition, I not only highly recommend the
JoyKey, with no reservation whatsoever, but also claim it as a great innovation and dynamic aid to Horn Playing!
Abby Mayer, January 26 – 2010
»... a revolutionary innovation.«
Ruth Funke (Die Blechharmoniker)
When Andrew Joy first told me about his idea for developing a water-drainage-filter system for the horn, I thought:
“wonderful idea, but I don’t believe it is possible”. If it were to function, it would be a revolutionary innovation.
I didn’t think it was possible to have a hole in the instrument that – contrary to normal water keys that are only
open when emptying water – continuously lets water through without negatively affecting the sound quality and response
of the instrument. I was very sceptical and yet curiously followed the various stages of development, all the while
doubting that this system could be airtight. Now I have the JoyKey installed on my instrument
and have to admit to being unconditionally enthusiastic. The horn is unquestionably air tight and there is no change
in the feeling when playing…….WRONG! There is one huge change: I had to give up automatically reaching for the water
I can simply play and remain focused on playing with no need to organize emptying water. Since most
of my horn playing is on stage whilst acting, the JoyKey now enables me to focus on my acting
without the otherwise necessary technical interruptions. Prior to installing the JoyKey, water
removal had to be planned in advance: where and when will it be possible without disturbing the proceedings? When will
I have enough distance to the audience to get the water out without breaking the spell? And with the external water
catchment, my dress or costume remains dry……an important point for a woman.
I believe the JoyKey will soon become an integral part of brass inruments.
The JoyKey system is a little like the ABS system on motor vehicles: it takes the danger out
of otherwise critical situations and ensures a predictable handling response.
Hornist of the Blechharmoniker Brassquintet
»I can play a whole opera performance or a two hour long wind quintet rehearsal without having to empty water even a single time.«
Nicolai Frey (Duisburger Philharmoniker)
When I first heard of the idea of a permanent water drainage system, I was sceptical.
How should it function?
Does it affect the sound and response of the instrument?
After several conversations and trying an instrument fitted with several JoyKeys,
I decided to have seven of these keys fitted to my instrument. (This must be done carefully in a specialized workshop.)
I was very curious as to how the keys would perform under normal working conditions.
I am quite surprised and relieved to experience how unobtrusively and reliably they functioned.
I can play a whole opera performance or a two hour long wind quintet rehearsal without having to empty water even a single time.
There has been no change in the sound and the feeling of having an instrument permanently free of water reduces the stress.
The JoyKeys remain inconspicuous apart from the odd drop of water.
I am very satisfied with the JoyKeys and am happy to recommend them.
»Comme beaucoup, il est aujourd'hui séduit aussi par les effets induits de cette pièce révolutionnaire sur sa trompette ...«
Boss, comme beaucoup de souffleurs de cuivres, a découvert JoyKey chez Feeling et pensait qu'il
s'agissait uniquement d'un système pour vider l'eau automatiquement. Comme beaucoup, il est
aujourd'hui séduit aussi par les effets induits de cette pièce révolutionnaire sur sa trompette :
amélioration acoustique, meilleure sensation de facilité, d'endurance... Boss est aussi le dessinateur
talentueux de la musique, des musiciens, et particulièrement des instruments depuis plus de vingt cinq
années d'amicale relation qui le lie à Feeling Musique.Boss, comme beaucoup de souffleurs de cuivres,
a découvert JoyKey chez Feeling et pensait qu'il s'agissait uniquement d'un système pour vider l'eau
automatiquement. Comme beaucoup, il est aujourd'hui séduit aussi par les effets induits de cette pièce
révolutionnaire sur sa trompette : amélioration acoustique, meilleure sensation de facilité, d'endurance...
Boss est aussi le dessinateur talentueux de la musique, des musiciens, et particulièrement des instruments
depuis plus de vingt cinq années d'amicale relation qui le lie à Feeling Musique.
»Sa découverte de JoyKey est une véritable révélation.«
Reportage avec le tromboniste Daniel Casimir, l'un des tous premiers utilisateurs du ®...
Musique contemporaine, Jazz, Daniel Casimir quand il ne compose pas, joue du trombone... Plusieurs
heures par jour. Il est perfectionniste, attentif à éliminer tous les bruits parasites pouvant survenir,
surtout lors de concerts ou de séances d'enregistrements.
Sa découverte de JoyKey est une véritable révélation. Terminés, les insupportables "glouglous" survenant
systématiquement lors des interprétations des plus belles phrases musicales. Avec lui, nous avons tout,
absolument tout testé. Le timbre, l'herméticité, les attaques, le jeu, le fonctionnement général du JoyKey.
En terme acoustique, aucune différence, à part la suppression des bruits parasites dus aux accumulations
de liquides dans le tube.
Pianos, pianissimos absolument parfaits... Forte en pleine puissance, compression maximum sans que l'on
remarque le moindre manque de la plénitude du son.
Tout en jouant, nous le voyons. L'humidité s'accumulant dans le tube de l'instrument s'extrait seule ;
une goutte se forme... Elle finira par tomber sans que personne ne fasse rien, simplement. Elle n'aura
pas perturbé le jeu du musicien qui n'aura eu qu'à se consacrer à la Musique et à elle seule !
Daniel Casimir est un fan absolu de JoyKey. Chercheur continuel de nouveaux sons, de nouveaux instruments
plus performants, cette découverte contribue pour lui à aller beaucoup plus loin dans son application à
réaliser des phrases plus longues, des improvisations qui ne seront plus limitées par le geste nécessaire
du vidage de l'eau... Souvent provoqué par le "glouglou" fatidique. Maintenant, cette contrainte n'existe
plus ; c'est une révolution instrumentale.
Daniel a étudié avec André Muller (luthier cuivres de l'Atelier Feeling), l'idéal endroit pour poser JoyKey ;
c'est le point inférieur de l'instrument quand il est en position de jeu. Feeling Musique met à votre service
son extrême maîtrise pour l'installation de ce nouveau dispositif qui devrait changer la vie de tous les joueurs