May 13, 2017

Quick flute switches and embouchure problems for woodwind doublers

photo, SheriLots of woodwind doubler horror stories have to do with quick switches to flute or piccolo. (“Twenty minutes of hard-driving R&B tenor saxophone, then two bars to switch to flute and enter pianissimo in the third octave…”) Doublers in this situation often beat themselves up about perceived deficiencies in their flute embouchures, and commit to ...

May 5, 2017

Interview: Jonathan Tunick, Broadway orchestrator and more

Jonathan Tunick is a show business legend: a composer/arranger/orchestrator/musical director for stage and screen; a collaborator with Stephen Sondheim, Placido Domingo, Barbra Streisand, and too many more to mention; and a winner of many awards. Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear from Mr. Tunick a few years ago, when he contributed some information ...

April 30, 2017

Favorite blog posts, April 2017

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

April 18, 2017

Confident entrances

It’s deceptively difficult to make a correct entrance after a rest. Here’s what I recommend for maximum confidence and security:

April 6, 2017

Being a beginner on your doubles

If I could go back and do that first lesson over again, I would ask that teacher to treat me like a beginner, since that is exactly what I was.

April 1, 2017

Reedcast™ version 2.0

A couple of years ago I introduced my Reedcast™ tool on this site, which uses my proprietary software code to predict reed quality for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone based on environmental factors: I have spent the past few months compiling and studying as much research as I could gather about environmental factors’ effects on woodwind reeds, ...

March 31, 2017

Favorite blog posts, March 2017

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

March 20, 2017

Priorities and patience

photo, Helder RibeiroStudent: I really just want to improve my sound. Beautiful tone is a nice goal, but it’s subjective, and it’s inextricable from less-sexy pursuits like consistent tone, solid intonation, and reliable response. Let’s expand your focus to your overall tone production and make sure you do lots of listening to the great players. Then you’ll be equipped ...

March 15, 2017

Advice on graduate performance study and university teaching careers

photo, John WalkerMy university students are mostly undergraduate music education majors, but many at some point inquire about graduate school, including a performance degree path and eventual university teaching. Here are some things you should know about graduate performance studies if you’re an undergraduate music major.

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 ...
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