September 19, 2017

Preventing accidents with pencil marks

Why spend practice hours trying to remember a flat here or a trill key there when I can solve the problem permanently and in a matter of seconds with a quick marking? Why risk getting momentarily distracted and missing an entrance when a few judicious cue notes can provide a helpful reminder?

September 7, 2017

Jazz recital videos, August 2017

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. ...

September 6, 2017

Naming the low E-flat (contrabass? contra-alto?) clarinet

Every so often I hear from people about what I call the E-flat contrabass clarinet (or “contrabass clarinet in E-flat), such as in my woodwind doubling in musicals list or in my woodwind methods book. Some prefer the term “contra-alto” or even “contralto,” but I find “contrabass” to be the most accurate and useful description ...

August 31, 2017

Favorite blog posts, August 2017

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, August 2017 edition.

August 15, 2017

Please lose the music binder

For some reason a high percentage of my incoming students each year like to make a 3-ring binder for their sheet music and lesson materials. I don't know why.

August 8, 2017

Homemade EWI stand

There are a few stands commercially available for the Akai EWI, and lots of folks have made their own or repurposed other items. I wanted one that was inexpensive and compatible with the Hercules stands I mostly use these days, and decided to try the DIY route. I came up with something workable but not ...

August 3, 2017

Endorsement deals

photo, Sebastien WiertzFirst, let’s be clear about this: in an endorsement deal, the artist endorses the product or brand. The product or brand doesn’t endorse the artist. If an artist claims to be “endorsed by” a company, that is incorrect word usage. An endorsement deal means that an artist agrees to be publicly associated with ...

July 31, 2017

Favorite blog posts, July 2017

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, July 2017 edition.

July 20, 2017

Aspects of articulation

photo, Zachary SumnersThe concept of “articulation” in woodwind playing is really a bunch of concepts mashed together. Suppose one of my students comes in for a lesson and I tell them their “articulation” needs work. Do I mean they should:

July 12, 2017

Recording your practicing

photo, James Cridland“Record yourself when you practice” is common advice, and good advice. I frequently recommend it to my students, but few of them do it. I think it can seem overwhelming. Recording seems like a big production: getting the material to performance level, using complicated and expensive equipment, playing beginning to end, doing cruelly ...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!