Prior post: Brass doubling?
I don’t knock anyone for finding their niche. And Mr. Yeo is clearly a very accomplished musician—listen to some of his sound clips if there is any doubt. But I have to admit a few items from his doubling tips amused me as a woodwind doubler.
He says about the whether-to-double question, “The answer for many players is simply economic – if you play more than one instrument, when a contractor calls, you’ll be able to say ‘yes’ more often.” Even if you’re the first-call bass trumpet player and the first-call serpent player, how many gigs per year do you think that adds up to? Presumably Mr. Yeo keeps busy with his day job at the BSO.
One would think that the best way for a bass trombonist to get more gigs would be to play the more common tenor trombone. Mr. Yeo’s reason for avoiding this doubling is that it requires a mouthpiece of a different size, which he feels is destructive to his bass trombone embouchure. For tonight’s woodwind doubling gig, on the other hand, I’m playing flutes of three different sizes, plus clarinet and soprano saxophone. And this is an easy one, since there aren’t any double reeds or any of the larger single reeds.
All my respect to Mr. Yeo—what he does, he does very, very well. As for me, I’m off to destroy five different embouchures.