Speaking the language of woodwinds

There are some terms I sometimes hear woodwind players use that make me think that they don’t know what they’re talking about. I could be wrong. But that’s the impression I get.

I think as woodwind doublers, when talking to players of single instruments, we sometimes give the same impression that obnoxious foreign tourists give—that we have read a few paragraphs out of the guidebook and now consider ourselves experts on the local culture. If you’re a woodwind doubler hoping to function as an honest-to-goodness oboist or clarinetist or whatever, I think it’s worthwhile to speak the language like a native. Continue reading “Speaking the language of woodwinds”

Getting started with ethnic woodwinds: your holiday wish list

I’ve got ethnic woodwinds on the brain lately, and no end in sight since they are the topic of my doctoral dissertation research. If you haven’t added any ethnic instruments to your arsenal yet, here’s what I recommend for a relatively easy to play, low-maintenance, inexpensive, and versatile beginning to your collection. Continue reading “Getting started with ethnic woodwinds: your holiday wish list”

Pedro Eustache: ethnic woodwinds

If you’re interested in ethnic woodwinds, you ought to check out virtuoso flutist Pedro Eustache. I like that on his website he refers to himself as a “multidirectional flute soloist.”

Continue reading “Pedro Eustache: ethnic woodwinds”

Recommended: Jeanjean “Vade-Mecum” du Clarinettiste

Lately I’ve been doing some clarinet work out of the Jeanjean Vade-Mecum. The title page translates charmingly to:

“Vade-Mecum” of the Clarinet-player

6 SPECIAL STUDIES

to

render the fingers and tongue rapidly supple

But this is what really sold me:

NOTICE

The aim of these 6 standard-studies (combining the essential parts generally contained in several exercise books) is to prepare instrumentalists in a very short space of time (about 1/2 hour) when, due to their occupations, they are not able to devote the time necessary for developed exercises and must nevertheless be ready to execute difficult passages, from the standpoint of lips, tongue and fingers.

The movements to which these Studies oblige the clarinet-player to submit will rapidly overcome those imperfections, the diminution or the passing weakness that might result from either fatigue or irregularity of technical work.

“…not able to devote the time necessary … and must nevertheless be ready to execute difficult passages…” This, in a nutshell, is the quandary of the woodwind doubler. Continue reading “Recommended: Jeanjean “Vade-Mecum” du Clarinettiste”