I’ll keep this short: there are new bretpimentel.com t-shirts available, and everything in the store (shirts and the PDF of my book, Woodwind Basics) is priced at 1/3 off through Christmas Eve 2018 if you use coupon code reeds2018. Your purchases help pay for hosting and other site costs, and otherwise support what I’m doing on the site.
Here are some videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital. I enjoyed tackling Brett Wery‘s challenging Sonata for multiple woodwinds (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone) and piano, plus some little oboe pieces and the André Previn bassoon sonata. As always, the goal was to challenge myself, so, as always, the performance had some hiccups. But it was a valuable growth experience for me and a chance to perform some new repertoire.
The Suite requires more-than-casual doubling on flute, clarinet, and saxophone. (Some of the altissimo in my performance isn’t in the original part.) Like most of Smith’s music, the Suite is light and appealing, with some rhythm/meter hijinks and a hint of jazz influence. Worth tackling if you’re a serious flute-clarinet-saxophone doubler and get a chance to work with a good wind ensemble.
Here’s a YouTube video (audio only) of the April 11 performance:
Today makes ten years since I started the blog. At the five-year mark I did a little retrospective, and I don’t think there’s much need to do it again. Basically the things I was excited about and proud of then are the things I’m excited about and proud of now. Other than publishing my book, which grew largely out of this blog, it has mostly been more of the same: another 250 or so posts, another few hundred musicals added to the doubling list, new and updated web tools and resources for musicians, and of course lots of comments, emails, donations, and other happy connections with woodwind players around the world. I hope you will continue to read, engage, and of course make music.
A few weeks ago I put out a request for questions from my readers. I got some good ones, and here are some answers:
To my own amazement, this blog is rapidly approaching its 10-year anniversary later this month, May 24th. (Some of the content is dated even earlier than that, because I wrote it before starting the blog and retroactively turned it into blog posts.)
If you like, send me question(s) about whatever you want, about woodwind playing, doubling, blogging, teaching, or whatever. You can remain anonymous if you like. If it makes sense to do so based on the responses, I’ll answer them in one or more blog posts starting on about the 24th. If the response is low or the questions are not particularly of interest to my audience at large, I’ll answer as many as I can privately.
This year I played all jazz at my Delta State University faculty recital. Program and some selected videos are below.
I’m very much a part-time jazz player, so it was fun to spend the summer trying to get my chops in shape to play tunes in a variety of styles on a variety of instruments. This was my new record for number of instruments on a recital: flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon (electric bassoon), soprano/alto/tenor saxophones, and EWI, 9 in all. I’ve written previously about the challenges of improvising on multiple instruments, which I suspect might be surprising to non-doublers or non-improvisers.
An additional challenge is that I live in a small town in an isolated area, so I had to bring in some rhythm section players from out of town and rehearsal time was extremely limited. Enjoy the videos warts and all.
I have previously done some things with bassoon and electronics, but I took that to a new level this time around with a Little Jake pickup and a few new effects pedals. This was lots of fun and I’m already brainstorming how I can use the Little Jake with some other instruments.
I’ve been using various drafts of this book for the last few years with my own woodwind methods classes. (If you’re a reader of this blog, you’re familiar with mycomplaintsabout the existing textbooks.) I wanted to write something very focused, clear, and methodical, with the side benefits of being relatively short, easy to read, and inexpensive.
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and I hope you’ll get yourself a copy. I especially recommend the PDF/ebook version for low price and immediate delivery, but it’s also available in paperback from Amazon.
I owe a special thanks to readers of this blog over the past 9 years. The 500+ posts I’ve written here, plus your comments and other responses, have done a lot to shape my ideas about woodwind playing and teaching. So, if you will send me an email, I’ll be happy to send you a coupon code worth a few bucks toward the PDF version. Let me know who you are and why you’re interested in the book. Offer good through June 2017.
The Fingering Diagram Builder didn’t get any new features or improvements this year, but I have a new version in progress with some improvements I hope you will like. No promises at this point about release date. These days I’m seeing FDB diagrams pop up in virtually every issue of some of the major woodwind organization journals, plus I’m hearing at least a few times a month from people working on books, articles, dissertations, and other things. I love to hear from anybody who is finding the FDB useful (and of course I expect people working on for-profit projects to touch base). I did write a blog post about using created diagrams: Creating fingering charts with diagrams from the Fingering Diagram Builder.
The big list of woodwind doubling in musicals continues to be a cool way for me to connect with woodwind players from all over the world. The list grows larger and more accurate on nearly a weekly basis. Thanks to all contributors, and I hope to hear from you some more in 2017.
I did another 12 months’ worth of my favorite posts from other blogs. I welcome tips on other woodwind-related blogs I should be following, including yours.
It has long been an ambition of mine for the things I write on this blog to crystalize into a book on woodwind playing. I’m pleased to report that I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on that project, and am 85% on track to release it in the first half of 2017. It’s something that I am hoping will be useful for college woodwind methods classes, for school band directors and private teachers, and for woodwind players (especially doublers). If you’re interested, consider joining this mailing list so I can let you know when it’s available. Or make sure you’re following my blog posts on Twitter and/or Facebook for that eventual announcement, plus of course all my latest blog posts.
Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing, and otherwise connecting in 2016. See you next year!