I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital.
- Kessler & Sons Music (David Kessler): A Selmer C* is a C* is a C* – or is it? [saxophone mouthpieces]
- DoctorFlute (Angela McBrearty): Experiment with Your Tone
- oboealli (Alli Gessner): Do you know how to use the half-hole on the oboe?
- The Vintage Clarinet Doctor – Blog (Jeremy Soule): Why Buy Vintage Clarinets?
- International Clarinet Association (Di Xiaoyan and Zhai Xingxing): International Spotlight: How to Play “Pitch Bending Tones” on the Clarinet (English Version)
- Jennet Ingle | Oboist: Adding Punctuation
- The Flute Examiner (Jessica Dunnavant): Tune In, Tune Out
- Rachel Taylor Geier (flute): Earning Your Keep – 100 Ways to Make Money as a Flutist
- The Flute View (Morgan Pappas): The Importance of Having an Electronic Press Kit
- DoctorFlute (Angela McBrearty): You Can’t Have a Good High Register Without Having a Really Good Low Register
- oboealli (Alli Gessner): A new perspective on teaching oboists to play softly
- The Flute Examiner (Keith Hanlon): Getting in Shape When You’re Out of Shape
- Meerenai Shim (flute): How to choose a good recording engineer/studio
- International Clarinet Association (Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr and Jean Raines): Reprints from the Early Years: Music for Clarinet by Women
- HeaneyMusings – Joshua Heaney (saxophone): More than a Rough Draft: Debussy’s Rapsodie Pour Orchestre et Saxophone
- The Babel Flute (Lea Pearson): Myth-Conceptions about Breathing
- Nadina Mackie (bassoon): Talent Drills for Orchestral Excerpts
- Julie A. Linder (clarinet): Clarinet basics: pinkies
- The Flute View (Lindsey McChord): Making a Headjoint – A Fusion of Science and Art
- oboealli (Alli Gessner): Do you know the 3 elements of fast articulation?
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 instruments to be more fun, since they can provide convincing bass lines. Electronics can pitch a high instrument down, of course, but I haven’t had the success I would like making this sound good. So far I’ve installed pickups into a bassoon bocal, a bass clarinet neck, and an English horn bocal. I’ve used microphones for other instruments.
Which gadgets to use? I’m personally using the Little-Jake pickups, a looper, and a multi-effects unit. When I started getting into effects pedals, I found it alarmingly easy to accumulate quite a few. This was a good and inexpensive way to get started. But I quickly discovered that it was becoming unwieldy to try use use more than a few in performance (I literally had to walk back and forth across the stage to get to them all). A multi-effects unit turned out to be much more practical, with a few foot switches I can configure to operate a large number of effects. (I’m currently using one by Boss.) It takes a little more advance setup than individual pedals, but greatly simplifies the onstage footwork. And I was pretty easily able to sell off the individual pedals to fund the purchase.
Which effects to use? I think the best-known guitar-type effects are distortion, delay/echo, and reverb. Those are fun to play with, but I’ve become more interested in ones I can use to give my instruments new capabilities, rather than just give their sounds a little grittiness or echo. For example, smart harmonizers (which add harmony lines based on a selected key) and pitch shifters (which add harmony lines based on selected intervals) make my instruments polyphonic, a significant upgrade for a woodwind player. And a looper, or even a cleverly-used delay, can create counterpoint.
Here are a few examples of my experiments:
- International Clarinet Association: Clarinet Chronicles: Repertoire as Representation (Hailey Cornell, Eric Schultz); Reprints from Early Years of The Clarinet: Bass Clarinet (Edward S. Palanker, Josef Horák, Norman Heim, Harry Sparnaay, et al)
- DoctorFlute (Angela McBrearty): Evening Out Your Registers
- Khara Wolf: Getting back in shape on the oboe; Synthetic Oboe Reed Review
- Best. Saxophone. Website. Ever. (Doron Orenstein): How to Use Breath Support to Fatten Your Sound and Fix Intonation
- Cornelius Boots – Bamboo Shakuhachi Master & Composer – Zen, New Music and Bold Creativity.: Grandmaster Boots: Shakuhachi Renegade or Champion? Dai Shihan Certification
- Joffe Woodwinds (Ed Joffe): Tribute to Gene Cipriano
- Jenny Maclay (clarinet): Clarinetists’ New Year Refresh
- The Bis Key Chronicles (Jim Glass): Wood or Metal Clarinet Prediction – 1920
- DoctorFlute (Angela McBrearty): How to NOT Go Flat at the End of Notes
- Jenny Maclay (clarinet): Repertoire Recommendations Based on Standard Repertoire
- oboeinsight (Patty Mitchell): Advice from an Old Musician
- DoctorFlute (Angela McBrearty): Bending Pitch to Work on Intonation
- Khara Wolf (oboe/flute): Is an embouchure injury possible?
- Meerenai Shim (flute): 3rd octave contrabass flute fingering ideas
- Hodge Products, Inc.: Latest News (oboe/bassoon, Tim Hodge): Are Synthetic Reeds Better than Cane? [disclaimer: could be construed as a commercially-motivated post, but contains good information]