Fifteenth anniversary

assorted colors paper cutouts closeup photo

Today is fifteen years since I started the blog. Thanks for all the comments, social media shares, emails, donations, and other connections. I hope you will continue to read and engage.

A few weeks ago I put out a request for questions from my readers. Here are a couple of posts with some answers:

At the 15-year mark: ask me anything

To my own amazement, this blog is rapidly approaching its 15-year anniversary later this month, May 24th. (Some of the content is dated at even older than 15 years, because I wrote it before starting the blog and retroactively turned it into blog posts.) If you like, send me question(s) about whatever you want, about … Read more

Do I really need…

crop man getting dollars from wallet

For woodwind doublers and lots of other musicians, the shopping list can go on and on. Do I need a clarinet in A? In E-flat? Do I need an alto flute? A contrabassoon? A bass saxophone? Clearly there’s no one-size-fits all answer, but here are some things to consider. It’s hard to predict which instrument … Read more

Principles for teaching woodwind methods

a flutist checking her musical instrument

If you are teaching a woodwind methods course, you might be interested in my book. I teach a woodwind methods course at my university. This class (sometimes known as “woodwind techniques” or “class woodwinds”) is for music education majors. It’s a kind of crash course in the woodwind instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone) … Read more

Favorite blog posts, March 2023

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, March 2023 edition.

Experiments with electric woodwinds

I’ve been having fun with woodwinds enhanced with pickups or microphones. (If you’re interested in natively-electronic instruments like wind controllers, I’ve written about those elsewhere.) I still have a lot to learn about working with electronics. But here are a few observations in case anyone finds them helpful. Which instrument(s) to use? I find lower-pitched … Read more

Switching between clarinets: tone production

Switching to bass clarinet

Switching between any two instruments, even two closely-related ones, is a challenging prospect. You must practice for many hours to do it well. But often people switching between clarinets (such as between B-flat clarinet and bass clarinet) are making larger changes than necessary. The fundamental concepts in clarinet tone production are breath support, voicing, and … Read more

Clarinet glissando

There are few more coveted clarinet techniques than the smooth glissando, as heard in the famous opening to Rhapsody in Blue. But the technique isn’t intuitive, and lots of questions persist about how to do it. (Incidentally: the Rhapsody in Blue score doesn’t call for a smooth portamento-type effect, but a scale with discrete notes. … Read more