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 Switching quickly between instruments
Author: Wobby8288 
Date:   2018-12-20 15:55

I will be playing clarinet, bass clarinet and alto sax in my school's musical next year. Anyone have any tips on how to quickly adjust to the embouchures of the different instruments within a few bars? (especially sax to clarinet)

Also, any tips on a good set-up to quickly pick up/put down the instruments?
Thanks :)

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 Re: Switching quickly between instruments
Author: mikeW 
Date:   2018-12-20 22:05

1. Practice doing it. Select a set of etudes for each instrument, and practice them one after the other, in different orders.

2. For a set-up with alto sax, clarinet and bass clarinet, I would use a sax stand with a clarinet peg to the right front of me, with the bass clarinet stand to the left front. In a show, I would use a neck strap for the alto and a floor peg for the bass clarinet, though for extended passages I would consider using a neck strap for the bass clarinet (in addition to the peg).

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 Re: Switching quickly between instruments
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2018-12-21 08:00

1. Practice mouthpiece exercises on each instrument (concert C on B-flat Clarinet, concert F on Bass, Concert A on alto sax). Go quickly from each to the next and ensure that you're getting the correct pitch. This is with mouthpiece alone, so the slightest bit of change in your embouchure is noticable!

2. I usually have alto sax in front to the left, bass clarinet in front on the right, and clarinet on my left. This allows me to put the bass on the stand as I'm picking up another instrument. I use a harness to play alto sax, and if the change is really quick, I'll typically play one of the clarinets with the sax still on (usually with the neck over my right shoulder).

Ron Ford
Woodwind Specialist

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 Re: Switching quickly between instruments
Author: DaneCooper 
Date:   2019-02-21 11:09

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Post Edited (2021-12-02 12:30)

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 Re: Switching quickly between instruments
Author: ArgeliaIrby 
Date:   2019-03-04 13:09

I will play clarinet, bass clarinet and alto sax in my college's melodic next yr. Anybody have any proposals rimi sen on the most proficient method to quickly change to the embouchures of the extraordinary gadgets inside various bars.

Post Edited (2019-03-22 14:31)

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 Re: Switching quickly between instruments
Author: fromsfca 2017
Date:   2019-04-09 06:29

The embouchures are one thing, and between the 3 instruments you cite are very similar. Personally, my most difficult embouchure change is oboe to flute or piccolo (piccolo is rare, flute far more common).

Stand placement is one thing: at home experiment with where you feel comfortable placing the instruments. I like to keep everything in front of me. Saxes to my right, woods and flutes to my left. The size of your pit might also dictate where you can place the instruments. You may also want to practice playing clarinet while also holding the alto, which I have to do for a fast change, to keep the horn from getting cold.

Be aware of temp changes affecting pitch. I just finished a run in a theater that was rather cold, demanding me to warm up the saxes and flute before playing. Between numbers I kept the horns close to my body, while also placing my hands along the bores and keys to keep them warm them to enter in tune.

Another consideration is keeping reeds moist. Dry climates dry out the reeds, affecting response, I had a devil of a time playing low c# on alto in a recent show because the reed dried out when it hadn’t been played for a little while. I had the same problem on some exposed clarinet parts, when the clarinet had sat unplayed for a bit. In extended dialog scenes, I’ll take the reed off, rewet and reset it, if my next entrance is a solo, or an especially difficult part.

I open a tour of Spamalot next month playing your same doubles (plus piccolo and flute) and went through the book before hand just to look for quick instrument changes and where I might be able to fudge, if needed. The weather will be warmer, but some theaters have the ac too high, affecting pitch.

I agree with bass on a peg, but that does demand some gymnastics, getting the horn on and off the stand and around the sax into playing position. Be sure to practice the logistics.

Welcome to the wonderful world of doubling.

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 Re: Switching quickly between instruments
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-09-11 06:18

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 Re: Switching quickly between instruments
Author: PhonyBlizzard 
Date:   2022-08-04 16:02

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