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 Most difficult double
Author: rcnelson 
Date:   2007-03-28 15:38

This forum has been sleeping for a while, so here's one to stir the pot. What is your most difficult double, meaning what combination of instruments in which you have little time to make the switch. I'll start: for me, going from anything to flute, IF the flute has been sitting on its peg for any length of time is hard, albeit getting easier. Another is switching to the small Bb clarinet mouthpiece after having played a lot of bass clarinet.

How about all of you?

Ron
Selmer Mark VI tenor (1957), Selmer Mark VII alto (1975)
Buescher True Tone soprano (1924), Selmer CL210 Bb Clarinet, Gemeinhardt 3SHB Flute, Pearl PFP105 Piccolo


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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Bret Pimentel 
Date:   2007-03-28 17:41

The obvious extension of your "anything to flute:" anything to piccolo! Yikes.

Bret

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: kfrank1 
Date:   2007-03-28 22:15

Based on my extensive experieince of one musical where I played bass clarinet, clarinet, flute and alto sax, the hardest switch for me was to alto sax.

Whenever it was in the stand, I only had enough time to pick it up and rest it on the seat without attaching it to the neck strap. I'm glad I didn't have to play tenor!

I guess the only way to make a fast swtich to tenor is to hang it around your neck during the previous number. Uggh!



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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Merlin 
Date:   2007-03-29 11:18

Anything to piccolo, though bari sax to picc seems especially bad for me.



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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2007-03-29 11:46

Ever tried to [lip-] whistle a tune after clarinetting for an hour or so?

--
Ben

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: johnnymo0829 
Date:   2007-03-29 17:17

oh man trying to whistle is a pain. I play a marching band gig where after we play the col. bogey march they want us to try to whistle. It's near impossible by the end of a parade.
The pic to bari sax seems like a super tough one to me though. The one I always had a big problem with though is clarinet to flute.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Loralie 
Date:   2007-03-29 18:09

I find that switching from flute or saxophone to clarinet is a difficult thing to do, but that could be because I've been playing flute and sax longer than I have been playing clarinet.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: GBK 
Date:   2007-03-29 18:24

Piccolo to alto flute, or the reverse.

If you can't do it successfully, you'll have a hard time playing "Once On This Island." ...GBK

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2007-04-02 03:26

Piccolo to flute is tough, because the embochure is the same but different.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: stevesklar 
Date:   2007-04-03 22:06

I just picked up cello. Not only is there nothing in common with clarinet, but it's in bass clef too

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: davyd 
Date:   2007-06-13 03:40

As a non-flautist, my most difficult switches have been anything involving bari, either to or from it.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: blazian 
Date:   2007-12-08 22:14

due to the lack of people in my school band I get to go from eefer to contralto and back.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Taryn 
Date:   2007-12-09 14:58

Anything to oboe. It has the hardest embochure for me to make. Although in high school I did the clarinet to trombone all the time.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Mike S. 
Date:   2007-12-24 21:23

I'd have to say for me that oboe to flute is pretty difficult. And of course anything to picc. or the reverse is also pretty crazy.

-Mike
Recorders(SSAT), piccolo/flute/alto flute, oboe, clarinets(Eb/Bb/bass), saxophones(SATB)

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2007-12-25 13:09

I do not have as much trouble with embouchures between doubles as much as with the huge physical challenge of just getting to and from the instruments.

For Chicago recently, the major instruments for Reed III were bari, bass clarinet, and sop sax (plus tenor and clarinet). I finally settled on the bari on the close right so if I could just lean out for a few notes if I had to but could pull it close for more extended periods.

BC on the left and I always hooked up to the shorter neck strap (the white one) with sop sax close left but a little forward. Tenor and clarinet, back right and the tenor then hooked to the black strap after being lifted over the top.

And then the conductor was at 80 degree to the right and if Reed II leaned forward...

All of this took a little thought and a couple of rehearsals to work out. Maybe I need a CAD program? For Gypsy in the spring, fewer doubles as far as I know.



Post Edited (2007-12-26 01:12)

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: boggled429 
Date:   2008-02-02 01:32

This is extremely unrelated, but I play clarinet and piano, and I was wondering how hard it would be for me to learn French Horn. I know brass is completely different from reeds, and I know bass clef, (from piano), but will anything at all be similar?

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: davyd 
Date:   2008-02-04 01:45

Knowing bass clef won't be much help in learning the horn; it does appear in some parts, but not in anything you're likely to see as a beginner. If you plan on doing any orchestra playing, you'll need to learn about transposition.

The bigger problem will be going from the clarinet's 24 deterministic buttons to the horn's stochastic 3 (4 if there's a 'trigger'). "Brass is completely different from reeds" is an understatement.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2008-05-10 01:34

I just did a demo on all sorts of instruments, including single reeds, double reeds, and brass. I found that going from a double reed to a brass is extremely difficult. The double reeds--esp oboe--tax your upper lip to such a degree that it's totally fagged out for brass playing!

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: claribari 
Date:   2008-07-14 15:12

I don't play in any orchestras or anything like that (I'm only a senior in high school), but I started out on clarinet in sixth grade and in eighth grade I picked up trumpet for about two months, it completely killed my embochure going from clarinet to trumpet back to clarinet. In tenth grade (after having dropped the trumpet) I picked up the bari sax (less competition I figured) and there's not really that much of a problem going from clarinet to bari, but going from bari to clarinet is the worst for me because of the big difference in embochure. I'm one of the top clarinets in my high school band and at Jazz Band auditions I played my bari first, but the we had to switch to our clarinets and I sounded like I did back in seventh grade; it was so horrible and kind of embarassing. I still ended up with Bari 1, but one of the tenors doubled on her clarinet instead, which was just fine with me. :)

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: blazian 
Date:   2008-07-29 00:11

I have no problem with switching to or from piccolo... but another thing that kills me is brass. My lips are still buzzing trying to get a sound from a woodwind!

- Martin

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: rcnelson 
Date:   2008-07-29 13:37

I have gotten into arguments before on this, but, being as fearless as I am, those who are primarily woodwind players should NOT play brass instruments, and those who are primarily brass players should NOT play woodwinds. IMHO, reeds (and especially double reeds) must affect the embouchures of brass players in some negative way, and the buzzing of the upper lip does nothing for woodwinds, especially the flute family. I can think of nothing more damaging to a delicate flute embouchure than what a brass instrument requires. There are reasons why you never see the pros in the studios of LA and the theaters of NY play instruments from both families. If any do, I would love to hear the story.

That said, there are folks who are successful to a certain degree playing both brass and woodwinds. But I don't believe you can play to the highest level on both.

Ron
Selmer Mark VI tenor (1957), Selmer Mark VII alto (1975)
Buescher True Tone soprano (1924), Selmer CL210 Bb Clarinet, Gemeinhardt 3SHB Flute, Pearl PFP105 Piccolo


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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2009-04-14 22:51

....Necro-post...

The flute doubles, I've never had a problem with. I just had to keep reminding myself to bring my corners down, they would creep up while playing clarinet lol. The most difficult switch I've had was going back to playing my main instrument from anything else...OBOE and ENGLISH HORN. lol. It seems like when I have to play it for a show, I rarely use it, but when I do...it's some big solo, and my reed has dried out. At least on EH, I can use the wire on my reeds to help but wire on oboe reeds sounds hideous!

The oddest doubling I've ever done was a 2 man musician show of 1776...I was playing Violin and Piccolo....Covering the important woodwind parts on picc and while mostly playing violin. I had the violin resting on my shoulder many times while playing piccolo. The accompanist at my school subbed for the pianist one night, looked back at me and laughed unexpectedly.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: CharlestonDoubler 
Date:   2009-05-26 01:03

My worst double was a Gunther Schuller piano concerto that doubled BBb contrabass and Eb soprano. Unfortunately, after each horn change, the next entrance on each instrument was a solo. I had the chance to ask Gunther why he did this and he said he was on a fixed budget when he wrote the piece and had to limit the parts......At least he was honest about it. I appreciated that. It was still a bear, though!!!



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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: packrat 
Date:   2009-06-11 02:53

I'm playing in Peter and the Wolf and have a single solo song in the middle of the 1st act that requires a fast switch and I'm having difficulty keeping the reed moist enough to play the entrance cleanly. The saving grace is that it's a jazz style and if I'm not real clean on the entrance I can make it seem like I planned it that way!

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Aubstopper 
Date:   2009-06-30 08:05

Oboe to flute/pic def...my mouth sputters a bit at first...

I use hard reeds, i suppose that's probably why...but honestly, ANY instrument to flute is going to be a pain because the embouchure is so much looser.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: smed52 
Date:   2009-09-08 00:59

Probably bari sax to oboe for me. Or english horn to oboe and back.

I never really had trouble with switching to piccolo or flute.

Bassoon to bari sax was hard, but for support reasons. Having to unhook the bari sax, then put it on the stand, then hook up the bassoon, and put the reed on. It's a lot of work!

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: stacyc 
Date:   2009-09-10 00:59

back in the day it was from bass clarinet to clarinet and then to french horn after a loong stint of playing. It always seemed it took a few minutes to get that bottom lip "buzzing" just right lol. Nice to know that Im not the only one that hit a little bump in the row when switching. After being out of the public playing arena for some time now, I couldnt imagine how horrible I would be at it now.

~~Been playing clarinet 17yrs and counting, now playing with the local community orchestra and now my son has taken on the tradition and I couldn't be more proud!~~

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2010-11-01 19:45

I just did Annie and am currently doing Jekyll and Hyde. In both shows, I have switches from long passages on clarinet to flute, and have exactly one measure to change.

I've found that it takes my embouchure some time to relax from clarinet to flute. Thus my flute tone suffers in the first few notes. This is the first time I've realized that just because you can play clarinet and flute doesn't mean you can necessarily make a quick transition with grace and aplomb!

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2010-11-17 04:16

For me, going from clarinet/sax to flute/picc (or the other way around) is tough. Embouchere changes are part of it, but I think air is a bigger part. My clarinet instructor (ECMS) says it's because the flute/picc doesn't have resistance like clarinet/sax does (they 'push back' he says). I get wicked headaches and get light-headed if I play flute/picc too long. Give me my reeds! :)

(I haven't touched an oboe in at least 3 years, so I don't remember how those changes effect me).

Rachel

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: plclemo 
Date:   2010-12-13 01:00

clarinet to oboe back to clarinet then to oboe again has not been an easy switch

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: BassClarinetBaby 
Date:   2011-02-18 01:13

Doubling from any instrument written in treble clef, with an instrument in bass clef. It takes my mind a little to work itself out with this.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Mike Hopkins 
Date:   2011-03-06 21:22

Hi,
I've played for West Side Story a couple of times. The first time I was playing Baritone Sax,Oboe,Clarinet,Alto Sax,Flute and Bass Clarinet. A nightmare! Changing from Bari Sax to Oboe (with a dry reed!) is not good!

The second time, I didn't play flute as I had someone next to me with that task. I still had to alternate from Bari Sax to Oboe to Clarinet and Alto Sax!!
Still, the music is fantastic!!

mhopkins706@aol.com

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Oboelips 
Date:   2011-06-27 17:47

Alto Sax to piccolo was my toughest. My mouth was all buzzy from the sax, and the picc part was right up there. Buzzy mouth makes me feel like scratching my face!

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Merlin_Williams 
Date:   2011-07-03 20:55

I'm currently playing onstage in a production of Twelfth Night. The doubles are crazy, but the only difficult thing is playing a scene on alto flute, running underneath the stage for a quick costume change and then playing a scene change on the same instrument in the stage gutter.

The doubles (for those who might be interested!):

Alto flute
Alto sax
Bari sax
Electric guitar
12 string electric guitar
Electric bass

Jupiter Canada Artist/Clinician
Stratford Shakespeare Festival musician
Woodwind Doubling Channel Creator on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodwindDoubling

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Joseph Tomasso 
Date:   2011-11-26 14:54

I find it very hard to go between flute/picc and oboe. Of course, managing the double reeds with their wetness level can be tricky for anyone (dont want to over or under soak) but staying relaxed on the flute when i'm starting to get tired poses a huge problem in the upper register for me.

Oddly enough, I don't seem to have much of an issue if i'm going from the single reeds. I guess that means I need to spend more time practicing to strengthen those muscles.

Bachelor of Music, Sax/Clarinet Performance (2005, 06)
Master of Music, Multiple Woodwind Performance (2008)
Master of Music, Oboe Performance (2013)
Gainesville Chamber Orchestra (Clarinet)
University of Florida 2010-2011(Visiting Lecturer in Woodwi

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Jere 
Date:   2011-12-08 07:59

I don't play flute (though I own one and am trying to learn).. the most difficult switch I've done was in a high school rendition of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" - I was already doubling bassoon and clarinet in the concert - but since we didn't have a bass clarinet, and I had the bass clarinet run (which is a signature of the piece) cues in my bassoon music, I stubbornly decided to drag a bass clarinet on stage just to play those runs. Simply maneuvering two fairly large instruments in a small space available in a concert band setting was challenging.

So - without challenging you talented flutists:

Bassoon to bass clarinet and back again.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: mlz 
Date:   2013-03-11 03:43

clarinet to oboe is fine, oboe back to clarinet on the other hand is terrible . clarinet is my main instrument and yet it feels awful after that switch.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Loliver 
Date:   2013-04-30 23:40

I have had to do the worst one ever, due to the horrendous scheduling of pieces in a concert:

Oboe -> Eb Clarinet -> Oboe -> Cor Anglais -> Oboe -> Tenor Recorder


Incase you were wondering...

Holst's Suite in Eb for Military band: Oboe 1 movement 1, Eb Clarinet 1 AND Oboe 1 movement 2, Eb Clarinet movement 3

So screeching out high Gs on Eb Clarinet, then having to do Oboe for Tchaicovsky... then Cor Anglais to cover the lack of French Horn 2...then back to Oboe For P. Taffanel Wind Quintet, then onto Tenor Recorder for some Bach...

And considering I was given roughly 12 hours to remember how to play the recorder after 12 years of not playing it...

If anyone can beat that I'll be impressed!

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: jvsax 
Date:   2013-07-29 22:27

Any instrument to piccolo. God-forsaken whistle. :)

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: JHouse 
Date:   2013-12-30 21:10

Not a true double, but the roughest experience I've had is going from clarinet in a concert band setting to trumpet in a big band setting in the same concert. Clarinet just kills all the parts of your face that you use to form a trumpet embouchure and anything above the the staff just refuses to exist anymore. I would have been so much happier if I could have done it the other way around.

Also, whoever thought that bari, bass clarinet, bassoon, and flute was a good combination for a Reed IV book obviously never considered the crammed space that is every orchestra pit on the face of the planet. Even if you manage to find a place to prop up the larger instruments, you begin to forget where you left the flute the last time you put it down.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: super20bu6 
Date:   2014-02-02 19:18

I agree with JHouse....Reed 4 books can be a pain with Bari, Bass Clarinet Bassoon and something else. I did a show last year and the music director was well known for cutting measures. One such cut was a section for all the reed parts to switch from something to sax...so instead of 8 measures to put a bass clarinet on a stand and grab a bari sax, we had ZERO beats. Final decision was for all of us to just not play the last portion on clarinet and get the saxes ready. Unfortunately, our Reed 1 player was somewhat of an airhead.....he never made that note in his music to stop playing...and ALWAYS forgot to grab his Alto Sax...leaving a "big band sax section" without the lead part.
My issue hasn't been the embouchure change from one instrument to another....it's the physical change of instruments in a short time.

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: Toddywinds 
Date:   2014-02-26 12:56

Hi Ron,
So I am playing the international tour of West Side Story. My book requires: piccolo, flute, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax, bari sax, oboe and English horn. Yes that's correct, 8 instruments. But I love it! My most nerve racking moment is on English horn. The instrument has been sitting for about 45 minutes and the first entrance is a huge solo during the balcony scene. There is that brief moment when you are praying, please vibrate reed!!As far as having anything else sit for a long period of time,I am not terribly concerned. I will say, I do spend more time warming up on flute then any of the other horns, except perhaps oboe.
Good luck to you.

Todd

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 Re: Most difficult double
Author: wanabe 
Date:   2014-04-01 05:03

I personally don't have a double, but I have a good friend that I haven,t seen in years that doubles saxophone and banjo. Yes, he is very good on both. He has a book out on classical music that he has transposed for the banjo (three finger style).

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