The Hobbit Ocarina from STL Ocarina (review)

hobbit ocarina

The first time I heard of an ocarina was when I played The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. The game is considered to many as one of the best video games ever, and it’s no surprise to find out that there are plenty of people getting into ocarinas because of it. Thanks to online stores like STL Ocarina, fans and music lovers can actually have a chance to own a Zelda ocarina. The store has been expanding their ocarina designs, and the latest one to pop up are the ocarinas inspired by The Hobbit. We had the opportunity to review this piece, and it’s a beauty.

The Hobbit ocarina comes with with a neck strap, a Lord of the Rings songbook and online instructional booklet. Each Ocarina is hand made and has a nice leafy green color with Lord of the Rings-inspired branch-like swirls. The paint used is non-toxic tree-based paint (The Hobbits do love nature).

You don’t have to be musically talented to get into ocarinas, since I think just about anybody can play with enough practice. I started off with the included songbook and was able to learn “In Dreams” (a variation of the hobbit theme from The Lord of the Rings films) and “The King of the Golden Hall” (the theme for Rohan). The other songs, since I didn’t remember or have a reference in hand, were a bit harder.

There’s also an online database for ocarina notes called Tabs-Ocarina. It’s a pretty cool site that includes notes for playing either the 12-hole ocarina or the other types of ocarinas, and it also contains video demonstrations so that you can learn the rhythm and hear how it should sound. So you’ll get to learn how to play songs like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time and more.

For fun, I asked one of my friends to name a random theme song from any movies or video games. I practiced and improvised by messing around with the notes, trying to get it right, and then playing it for him. I was mostly successful, and it was a fun process to learn on the spot.

Another important thing to practice is how you’re blowing into the ocarina. It has to sound elegant while also sounding loud enough for listeners to hear. However, it can get annoying to others if you’re practicing in a place with roommates or family members. Then again, if you’re pretty good, I don’t think they would mind as much.

The 12 Hole Tenor Hobbit Ocarina will cost you $59.99, but it’s definitely worth it. And since it’s so portable, I carry it around almost everywhere I go, and it’s great for bringing to nerd conventions. You can purchase it at http://www.stlocarina.com/hobbit.html.

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