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 Advice for learning to double?
Author: Sheroom 
Date:   2014-09-27 16:43

Hi,

I am a grade 8 saxophone player (AMEB, Australia) (just got an A+ wooo!), and I am interested in learning to double with clarinet, as I have been offered the chance to play in professional productions etc, and more are available if I can double.

Is this a good idea, and what advice would you have? How long should it take for me to become competent on clarinet?

Thanks, Sheroom :).

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 Re: Advice for learning to double?
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2014-09-28 19:20

Hi Sheroom,

Welcome to the land of doubling. My advice to all doublers is to get lessons on the secondary instrument from a person who specializes in pedagogy on that instrument.

I think that the most important aspect of learning a new instrument is learning how to correctly form the embouchure. When I teach my students to double, I start them off just like a beginner that knows how to read music. They spend a few weeks on just forming a good embouchure, producing sounds with the mouthpiece alone and some embouchure tests with the instrument. This method has been what has worked for me and my students, and it should work wonders for you as well. During my doctorate, all of my professors on my secondary instruments went back and did this with me, and it was well worth it. I'm now playing just as many gigs on my secondary instruments as I do on my primary instruments (including some symphony work).

As for time, that just depends. Once your embouchure is set up correctly, the rest of the instrument should become much easier, as you have a basic concept of how woodwind instruments work.

Ron Ford
Woodwind Specialist
Performer/Teacher/Arranger
http://www.RonFordMusic.com

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 Re: Advice for learning to double?
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2014-10-03 21:02

Sheroom,

Yes, it is a great idea to learn how to double! It's a lot of fun and you'll get more playing opportunities.

The hard part, though, is fitting in the practice time and taking lessons. Ron is right that it's very important to take lessons with a real clarinet player, as opposed to someone who just plays it for fun. Although it is similar to saxophone, it's really a completely different instrument with a different embouchure and lots of alternate fingerings you'll need to know about. You don't want to become just another sax player who thinks that because the clarinet seems similar, you can teach it to yourself.

You must be a pretty good sax player if you're talking about playing in professional productions. How long will it take for you to become competent on clarinet? That's up to you--it comes down to how hard you work at it. Good luck and have fun!



Post Edited (2014-10-03 21:04)

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