Posts in category “Product reviews”

March 9, 2017

Review: D’Addario Select Jazz tenor saxophone mouthpieces

I’ve already done thorough reviews of the D’Addario clarinet mouthpieces (twice) and alto saxophone jazz mouthpieces, both of which immediately replaced the competing Vandoren products I was previously using. So, naturally I’ve been very anxious for the release of the hard rubber tenor saxophone jazz mouthpiece, and I got my hands on some samples earlier ...

February 8, 2017

Review: “So You Want to Play in Shows…?” by Paul Saunders

I got a review copy of So You Want to Play in Shows…?, a new woodwind doubling etude book. The author, Paul Saunders, is a woodwind player in London’s West End. The book includes seven studies for doubler playing flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone. It also includes a piano accompaniment book, with piano part recordings available ...

January 24, 2017

Low reed stand showdown: K&M vs. Hercules

Overall, I guess I lean toward the Hercules a little for bass clarinet, mostly because I could add, say, pegs for B-flat and E-flat clarinets and be ready for a utility clarinet gig. And I like the K&M slightly better for bassoon because its larger, softer cup makes a better target during a quick instrument switch.

September 19, 2016

A few thoughts on the new Roland Aerophone AE-10

Don't get me wrong: it's great to see another company get into this space, and I hope they will seek to innovate further in wind controllers and push other companies to do the same. But Roland's new Aerophone AE-10 seems like a misstep.

August 7, 2015

Review: Duos for Doublers by Gene Kaplan

I was pleased to hear from woodwind player and composer Gene Kaplan, who sent me a copy of his new duets books, Duos for Doublers. These, as far as I know, are a one-of-a-kind set of duets for two woodwind doublers.

June 8, 2015

Review: D’Addario Select Jazz alto saxophone mouthpieces

I like mouthpieces that are easy to play, especially in terms of response and tuning. But I also really like something easy to replace; I don’t like the idea of a mouthpiece that is so expensive, variable, or rare that if I drop it I can’t just order a new one, have it in a ...

October 6, 2014

Review: ReedGeek “Universal” reed tool

I’m a little late to the party on this, as the ReedGeek has been around for a number of years now and has been widely reviewed, but I finally picked one up (at ClarinetFest) after a long conversation/demonstration with inventor Mauro Di Gioia.  I have been using mine for a few months now and wanted ...

June 3, 2014

Review: Ben Britton’s A Complete Approach to Overtones

A review of Ben Britton's book A Complete Approach to Overtones: Vivid Tone and Extended Range, a broad-based approach to improving every aspect of saxophone tone production (particularly tone, intonation, and response).

January 7, 2014

Required recordings, spring 2014

Here are the recordings I’m requiring my university students to add to their collections this semester (depending on which instrument they play). All are available on CD or for download from Amazon or iTunes. Allan Vogel: Oboe Obsession Amazon (CD) | Amazon (download) Repertoire: Saint-Saëns Sonata, Poulenc Sonata, Britten 6 Metamorphoses after Ovid, Schumann Three Romances, W. F. Bach Duet, Shinohara Obsession.

December 17, 2013

Anatomy of a bad bamboo flute

Bamboo flutes and other “world”-type woodwinds of true musician quality can be difficult to find, and if you’re not experienced with them it can be nearly impossible to tell if an online seller’s wares are genuinely playable or more like souvenir items. I’m going to share an experience of mine in which I gambled and ...