- Bassoonist William Short explains his method for evaluating reeds honestly.
- Cleonide, an interesting new blog on musical acoustics, offers some insight on response issues in the saxophone’s low register. (Somewhat technical/mathematical.)
- Ed Joffe pays tribute to Al Block, a distinguished woodwind doubler who passed away recently.
- Cate Hummel discusses a timeline for teaching flute dynamics. (I agree wholeheartedly about waiting to teach dynamics, for all woodwinds, but respectfully disagree about how dynamic changes are produced.) In another post, she discusses teaching students how to practice.
- Flutist Rena Urso-Trapani shares her experience with a recent orchestral audition, and offers some tips.
- Clarinetist Jenny Maclay offers some ways to improve your playing from outside the practice room.
- Jennet Ingle teaches a young oboist a new fingering. (Great minds think alike.)
- Clarinetist Michael Dean examines some resources available for better-informed preparation of the Cyrille Rose “40” and “32” études.
- David Erato compiles some piccolo tips by some top working flutists and doublers (and also me).
- Saxophonist David Freeman shares some settings for the kinds of electronic filter sounds used by Michael Brecker and Jeff Coffin.
- Josh Johnson shares in exhaustive detail the flutes he tried out at the NFA conference. For gear junkies only.
- Heather Roche demonstrates some extended techniques specific to the “paperclip”-style contrabass clarinet.
- Saxophonist Bill Plake discusses some benefits of practicing with a drone.
- The unnamed mom at How About Oboe? gets her 10-year-old oboist to practice difficult things for just two minutes at a time.
- Cate Hummel brings things back to Earth about the flute and the so-called lip “teardrop.” (I also hinted at that topic in a recent post.)
Good stuff from the woodwind blogs in May:
- Cate Hummel offers tips on diagnosing flute tone issues.
- Felix from The Saxophone Corner takes a closer look at the mythology of the Selmer Mark VI.
- Oboist Jennet Ingle uses powerful breath support.
- Saxophonist Bill Plake suggests four questions to ask yourself while practicing.
- Bassoonist William Short shares an infographic on practicing.
- Saxophonist Sam Newsome discusses confident performance in a couple of posts.
Fine woodwind bloggery from the past month:
- Mark Catoe shares a nicely-organized sequence for teaching beginning saxophonists the major scales.
- Cate Hummel provides a checklist for improving third-octave playing on the flute.
- Oboist Jennet Ingle ponders upon the process of changing playing habits, and works in some important reed concepts, too.
- Bassoonist Christin Schillinger gives some down-to-earth advice on dealing with performance anxiety.
- Trent Jacobs shares some bassoon “extended low register” (multiphonic) fingerings.
That wraps up the first quarter of 2015 with no clarinet posts featured yet. Clarinet bloggers, let me know you’re out there. Also, all of this month’s featured bloggers are repeats, some several times over. If you have a woodwind blog that you think I may not be following yet, send me a link!
I’m running a little behind, but here are some of my favorite woodwind blog posts from last month:
- Jean-Francois Charles provides a roundup of some interesting music using saxophone with electronics in various ways.
- Bassoonist William Short (of the Metropolitan Opera) focuses on fundamentals, but just for a few minutes.
- Saxophonist Sam Newsome discusses mouthpiece obsession.
- Cate Hummel shares a few thoughts on the flute’s low register.
- Patty Mitchell deals with oboe reeds and attitudes.
- Lynne Krayer-Luke of Flying Flutistas discusses inclusive attention in practicing and performance [update: link dead].
Interesting and useful woodwindy blog posts from January:
- Saxophonist Connie Frigo discusses fearless performance, and also teaching outside the studio [update: link dead]. (This one is technically from the very end of December.)
- Flutist Rachel Taylor Geier shares a thorough, holistic approach to New Year’s resolutions for musicians (it’s not too late).
- Jennet Ingle bravely shares an experience with forgetting her oboe reeds, and because of this experience questions her usual pre-performance rituals.
- Saxophonist Bill Plake discusses how we sit and stand when we play, and how we could do it better.
- Cate Hummel shares some nice fingering tips for the third octave.
- Woodwind doubler David Erato reminds us to keep our instruments well maintained.
- Flutist Naomi Seidman discusses ways to improve breathing (on the Powell Teach Flute blog).
- Jeff Cunningham gives advice to beginning saxophonists (or other musicians) who are struggling with motivation to practice.
Some highlights from the woodwind blogosphere in December:
- Cate Hummel discusses the qualities of a good beginner-level flute. Good advice for those willing to do their homework; not a glib list of models to buy (which would just go out of date quickly anyway).
- Bassoonist Cayla Bellamy finds inspiration to attempt the impossible.
- Saxophonist Bill Plake prefers a good teacher (or good self-teaching) over a rigid “method.”
- Doubler “ericdano” shares a list of favorite blogs (sort of jazz-saxophone-oriented) from the past year. Thanks for the mention!
- The always-insightful Barry Stees shares a tip for diagnosing and fixing (cheaply and easily!) a common bassoon defect.
- Sherman Friedland discusses the first three notes of the Debussy clarinet rhapsody (and more).
- “Komuso Lady” from A Shakuhachi Journey muses on intonation.
Here’s good stuff from the woodwind blogs in November. The flutists and bassoonists were especially busy this month.
- Barry Stees offers some suggestions on cleaning up bassoon articulation.
- Tammy Evans Yonce gives a brief review/introduction of the cool “Glissando Headjoint.”
- Meerenai Shim offers some do-it-yourself ergonomic flute customizations.
- Betsy Sturdevant learns something about bassoon reeds from Elvis. (Sort of.)
- Cate Hummel makes a suggestion on what to do with flute embouchure “corners.”
- The Flute Journal blog is rerunning some of Chris Vadala’s woodwind doubling columns from Saxophone Journal. This one’s title says “extended” flute techniques, but it’s really more of a basic flute articulation lesson for doublers.
- Trent Jacobs shares a proposal for amplifying the bassoon while maintaining its natural tone.
- Clarinetist Sherman Friedland shares some thoughts on testing instruments.
- Oboist Jennet Ingle finds a silver lining in a bad gig.
- The Powell Flutes Flute Builder blog gives us a peek at the engraving process.
Lots of very fine woodwind-related blog posts this month.
- Barry Stees exposes a common bassoon technique weakness (even for players at the highest level) and begins to explore solutions (promising more to come).
- Oboist Susan Laney Spector explains some of the difficulties musicians face in the highly-competitive world of orchestral auditions.
- Jennet Ingle has a breakthrough with an oboe student just by teaching some vocabulary.
- Saxophonist Bob Reynolds does some YouTube archaeology and shows the difference a couple of decades can make in musical maturity, even for a very accomplished player.
- Anna Norris and Nicolasa Kuster each share their experiences auditioning for the Chicago Symphony principal bassoon vacancy.
- Cate Hummel advises against the “kiss and roll” method of teaching flute.
- Oboist Patty Mitchell comments on practicing quantity vs. quality.
- Jennifer Cluff shares a methodical flute warmup.
- Flutist Katherine Emeneth shares a roundup of tips for “potent practicing.”
- Saxophonist Bill Plake explains how to approach technique a little less, well, technically.
- David Pierce rounds up some editions and recordings of the Mozart bassoon concerto.
- “The Phantom Clarinet” at the Adventures in Woodwindland blog explores the extended low register of the bassoon [update: link dead].
- Saxophonist Ben Britton reviews a new weird gadget that, to my surprise, seems to be getting a number of positive reviews. (I haven’t tried it.)
- On Powell Flutes’s Flute Builder blog: how a wooden headjoint is cut.