Recommended reading from the woodwind blogs in March:
“Komuso Lady” at A Shakuhachi Journey blogs about tsu meri difficulties. Even for players of “modern” Western woodwinds, there are good thoughts here on getting to know your instrument and its tendencies intimately.
Oboist Patty Mitchell reminds us that playing with a pianist means needing to know your own part and his or hers.
Helen Bledsoe weighs in on the debate about how register changes are made on the flute. I don’t entirely agree with her, but she makes some interesting points, as do the flutists in the videos she shares. (For more on this, see my previous post and accompanying PDF cataloging some of the, er, hot air surrounding this topic.)
Bassoonist Christin Schillinger shares some ideas about ongoing development as a musician, plus some metronome games.
Woodwind doubler Josh Johnson does a review of the Ridenour Lyrique bass clarinet. I’m sharing this one because I think it’s a well-written and thoughtful review, and because I think high-quality instruments made from alternative materials are a welcome next wave in woodwind manufacture. As a side note, I recently purchased one of these basses for my university clarinet studio and have spent some time playing it, and my experience with the instrument basically matches Josh’s.
Barrick Stees is the assistant principal bassoonist in the Cleveland Orchestra, and a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Akron. His blog is fairly new (started earlier this year) but is already full of good stuff. Professor Stees shares some insights on playing excerpts at a level suitable to one of the great American orchestras: