Instrument stands for doublers: mini-reviews and a wish list

Recently I have been getting a bit of pit work from a nearby community theater. They like to do month-long runs of their shows, which means that the musical director often hires two or more people for each seat in the orchestra, so that they can trade off playing the show according to their availability. One little perk of this method is that often the woodwind player who does the first show leaves his or her instrument stands in the pit for the other doubler(s) to use, so I’ve gotten to try out a variety of stands lately in a real-life situation.

I have, of course, a number of stands of my own, most of which do a basically satisfactory job, but none of which I’m overwhelmingly enamored with.

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Sal Lozano on doubling

Los Angeles woodwind doubler Sal Lozano makes some basic points about flute-clarinet-saxophone doubling. This YouTube freebie appears to be a teaser for the video lessons you can purchase at Stars Teach Music, which has a surprisingly impressive roster of video woodwind teachers (mostly saxophonists).

I enjoyed this little clip by the esteemed Mr. Lozano, but I don’t think I would have paid the $4.97 for it at the commercial website.

Abe Weiss on practicing

I mentioned in a post yesterday how impressed I was by Abe Weiss‘s presentation at the IDRS conference. Mr. Weiss is principal bassoonist of the Rochester Philharmonic.

Here are a few points from his talk that stood out to me.

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IDRS 2008: Confirmed doubler sightings

I don’t usually think of the double reed crowd as being terribly interested in woodwind doubling, but there were a number of doublers (ranging from amateur to professional) present at the IDRS conference this year. I know of these ones:

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IDRS 2008 Conference report

I just got back from a fantastic week at the International Double Reed Society annual conference at Brigham Young University. The IDRS folks really know how to put on a great event, better than any of the various other instrumental organizations whose conferences I’ve attended. They seem to draw lots of high-caliber talent to perform and lecture, and everything is always impeccably organized. And being both an oboist and a bassoonist, IDRS is a nice two-for-one deal for me.

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Important people in woodwind history

In my ongoing quest to learn all things woodwind-related in time for my doctoral comprehensive exams, I’ve compiled lists of important woodwind players, makers, teachers, composers, etc., with very brief biographies. Here’s the result.

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Larry Krantz on not doubling

If you’re not familiar with the Larry Krantz Flute Pages, you need to surf right on over and spend a few hours. Mr. Krantz has been building a major hub for web-connected flutists since back before many of us knew about the Internet. His site is a positively huge repository of flute-related wisdom, including contributed content by the likes of Trevor Wye, John Wion, and Robert Dick.

Mr. Krantz was a doubler in years past, apparently quite accomplished on flute, clarinet, and saxophone, and at least a dabbler in oboe. Nearly twenty years ago, however, he decided to give up doubling to focus on his flute playing.

Mr. Krantz discusses his decision at some length here, in excerpts from discussions on the FLUTE mailing list. While he speaks fondly of his years as a doubler, and points out many of the benefits of doubling, his ultimate conclusion was that doubling was not for him. The primary reason he gives for this decision is that, in his admittedly well-qualified opinion, it simply isn’t possible to maintain a truly fine embouchure on multiple instruments.

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Flutist/flautist

“Flautist” is a pet peeve of mine. I just encountered it again in a message board thread.

These are worth a read:
Am I a Flutist, or a Flautist?
Is it Flutist or Flautist?

To summarize: there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for English-speaking people to say “flautist.”

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Which is your favorite?

Another question that I am frequently asked as a woodwind doubler is, “Which instrument is your favorite?”

My answer to this is simple.

If it’s a good day, then my favorite is the one I’m playing.

If it’s a bad day, then my favorite is any one but the one I’m playing.