May 7, 2018

Saxophone low notes

The saxophone's lowest notes can be notoriously unresponsive. For the best chance at successful low notes, here's what you will need.

May 2, 2018

At the 10-year mark: ask me anything

Send me your questions to help celebrate your favorite woodwind blog's 10-year anniversary.

April 30, 2018

Favorite blog posts, April 2018

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, April 2018 edition.

April 18, 2018

Students and gig pay

Over a year ago I wrote about responding to free or underpaid gig “offers.” A commenter asked a fair question, which has haunted me since: I was wondering how much of this still applies when taking on gigs as a student. I’ve wrestled with this a bit and I’m not sure I have a real answer, ...

April 9, 2018

Review: D’Addario Reserve alto saxophone mouthpieces

If you have read my reviews of the D’Addario clarinet and jazz alto and tenor saxophone mouthpieces, you won’t be surprised to learn that I’m a big fan of their new classical alto saxophone mouthpiece, too. (As with the last several reviews, D’Addario sent me some mouthpieces at no cost, with the possibility but not ...

April 8, 2018

ReedCast™ scientific reed forecasts on Alexa

I was hoping to announce this a week ago, on the anniversary of the ReedCast™’s debut, April 1, 2015,but things got a little delayed. Anyway, you can now get your guaranteed-accurate, highly scientific ReedCast™ on your Alexa device. Check it out! You can, of course, still get your classic ReedCast™ on the web.

March 31, 2018

Favorite blog posts, March 2018

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, March 2018 edition.

March 21, 2018

Grading student practicing

When I was a first-year undergraduate music major and not yet fully convinced of the importance of practicing several hours per day, a nudge/threat scared me into changing my ways. But the sudden "motivation" to apply myself a little better soon started paying off. It's exciting to see my students making that same transition.

March 17, 2018

Avoiding clarinet undertones: published techniques

Clarinet "undertones" or "grunts" are the unpleasant low sounds that happen usually at the beginning of tongued upper-clarion-register notes (about written G to C, above the staff). My sense is that there isn't a lot of consensus or clarity among clarinetists about how exactly to prevent this.

March 7, 2018

A minimal Little-Jake electric bassoon setup

Be sure to check out my recent interview with Trent Jacobs, the inventor of the Little-Jake bassoon/woodwind pickup. During the past year I got myself a Little-Jake to experiment with some electrified bassoon playing. I didn’t know much about using electronics in this way, and it took some research and trial-and-error to figure out exactly ...
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