4B or not 4B? A love letter to the 4B Pencil

There are few moments in a musician’s working day more joyous than when a freshly sharpened 4B pencil makes contact with a premium grade musical score.

This year, I’ve been blessed with a particularly uplifting fleet of pencils, not least this giant monster of a 4B, gifted to me by a kind orchestral colleague:

As a child, I was always told to bring a 2B pencil to rehearsals. Excellent tools, sure, for taking orders about bowings … that may later change, and require erasure and correction

But for creative exploration of ideas that can be easily erased, particularly temporary fingerings? Well, 4B is the business!

Strong enough to commit the idea, light enough to be removed without a trace when the idea turns out to be nonsense 🙃

But most of all, the sensation when one quality tool engages with another … nothing beats that pedal-to-the-metal, wheels-to-the-runway, bow-to-the-string moment of first contact, when the graphite hits the staff paper!

Pencil makers of the world, I salute you ✏️🫡🎖️🙂🎼

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Simon Hewitt Jones c/o 1st Floor Studios, 41 Whitcomb Street, London, WC2H 7DT, United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)20 3051 0080, E: info@simonhewittjones.com