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 ...

February 28, 2018

Favorite blog posts, February 2018

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

February 19, 2018

Interview: bassoonist and inventor Trent Jacobs

Last summer I finally got myself a Little-Jake setup so I could experiment with some electric bassoon playing. The inventor of the Little-Jake, Trent Jacobs, is a performer, educator, and reedmaker, and I’ve linked to his blog posts on a number of occasions. Trent was kind enough to answer a few questions about himself and ...

February 13, 2018

“Problems” vs. solutions

I often see this kind of thing in woodwind pedagogical books, workshop handouts, and lecture notes: Common clarinet problems embouchure too loose chin not flat fingers not curved enough This bothers me because it’s really not clear that these are “problems.” Would you have a student tighten a “too loose” embouchure if they sound great ...

February 7, 2018

Stale air

The “stale air” phenomenon afflicts oboists (sometimes clarinetists and others). It can be hard to relate to if you haven’t experienced it. Here’s how it happens. (The “math” and “science” here are very simplified for clarity.) The oboist breathes in a lungful of air. The air is about 20% oxygen and 80% other gases. The ...

January 31, 2018

Favorite blog posts, January 2018

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

January 27, 2018

Prepping the dumb guy

In the practice room, I'm smart, organized, and focused. But sometimes the smart guy from the practice room fails to show up, and instead a much dumber version of me ends up on the stage.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!