Here is a question I’ve gotten a few times recently: if you’re a woodwind doubler, and need to list your instruments, in what order do you list them? Here are some options:
- Use a common “score” order, like: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone. To musically-literate folks this may be the closest thing to a sort of neutral listing, giving no special preference or ranking to the instruments. (But it can of course be misinterpreted.)
- Use a ranking, such as by which instruments you play best or prefer. If, like me, your ambition is to play your doubles equally well, and to be a hire-able professional on them all, then listing them this way may weaken that impression.
- Do a hybrid of ranking and score order, such as listing a strongest/primary instrument first, and the rest in score order. That’s my preferred approach for general cases like on my website or business cards. For me, it’s: saxophone, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon. That highlights my strongest instrument (for now, at least), and also puts it out front for jazz, rock, and blues gigs, which make up a substantial part of my freelance career.
- Tailor the list to the situation. If I’m submitting a brief biography for an appearance at, say, a clarinet conference, I’ll put the clarinet first. That hopefully helps people see me as a member of the group, rather than a visitor.
- Randomize. For something like a website, it’s relatively simple with a little coding knowledge to use a different order every time, and help prevent yourself from being pigeonholed. You could also randomize photos of yourself holding or playing various instruments, or video or audio recordings. Here’s a simple example.
To sum up, you’ll have to consider your skills and goals as a doubler, what kind of work you do or want to do, and to whom you’re presenting yourself.