Questions tagged [woodwinds]

A group of wind instruments that includes flutes and all reed instruments (saxophone, bassoon, etc).

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Can I start playing on this clarinet?

Me: no money at all and no experience with wind instruments. Goal: learn how to play clarinet and to read music. Found this "French-styled clarinet from URSS" for 40 dollars. Is it ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why are end-blown flutes shorter than their ideal length?

A flute is an open cylinder air column instrument. This means that an idealised flute, the fundamental pitch of the flute should have a wavelength of twice the length of the flute. This isn't exactly ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Is it difficult to transition from German fingering to Baroque fingering?

Just for fun, I am looking into learning how to play the recorder. I might be able to get a soprano recorder from a friend who doesn't play it anymore, but it seems like it requires German fingering. ...
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4 votes
5 answers
198 views

How can I find out which woodwind instruments have the same (or almost the same) fingering so it makes transitioning between those instruments easier?

Just for fun, I want to begin learning woodwind instruments. Unfortunately, I have to put some financial constraints on that project. Therefore, I am looking into learning how to play the recorder, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
88 views

Do nickel-free bassoons exist?

I am allergic to nickel. I come up in itchy bumps after contact. I would like to try playing bassoon but all the ones I have looked at have nickel silver keys, which isn't silver at all but is nickel. ...
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4 votes
5 answers
519 views

Slurs for flute

In writing for the flute when the composer does not play the instrument himself, how does he know where to put the slurs? To my understanding slur markings for woodwind indicate to play with a certain ...
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  • 223
4 votes
2 answers
104 views

Lilypond: modifying woodwind diagrams

Regarding woodwind diagram in LilyPond as: \markup { \center-column { \override #'(size . 0.7) { \woodwind-diagram #'flute #'((cc . (oneF two three four five six)) (lh . (...
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  • 385
6 votes
1 answer
112 views

Tin whistle material

What are the principle differences between tin whistles constructed of brass vs. nickel, other than price. They would be used by beginners. Does either instrument possess a more desirable timbre ...
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4 votes
1 answer
142 views

The interaction between strings and woodwinds in an orchestral setting

I have only worked with relatively small orchestras, and in that time, one of the biggest problems is the combination of strings and woodwinds, especially in contrapuntal writing where the main voice ...
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  • 41
2 votes
2 answers
63 views

wind instrument tone - good practice routine?

I understand that to get a good tone the best exercise is to play long tones. There are tons of variations of long tone exercises: a) starting pianissimo and ending fortissimo for as long as you can ...
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5 votes
5 answers
352 views

Influence of room acoustics on practicing (woodwind) instruments

While practicing flute I noticed I find it much easier to have a good tone when I practice in my living room then when I practice in my normal (music)room. I was thinking that this could be because of ...
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  • 5,060
6 votes
1 answer
270 views

Not-quite-beginner beginner alto sax, how to select an instrument?

TL;DR: I need some guidelines for choosing a decent instrument for an amateur, at home, that isn't a complete piece of crap. I'm 44. 30 years ago, I was first chair alto saxophone in a marching bad. ...
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  • 163
6 votes
2 answers
126 views

Instrument Switching Question: B flat to Bass Clarinet

I'm writing for a classical style orchestra: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, timpani, strings — two parts each, except timpani and strings. There is one spot where I think a ...
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8 votes
1 answer
950 views

What is up with the bell on the English Horn?

What is the story behind the shape of the bell on an English Horn? But first, a quick look at the clarinet family for a comparison. The standard clarinet (in Bb or A) has normal looking "bell-...
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7 votes
2 answers
242 views

Circular breathing technique on "mouthpieced" woodwind instruments (clarinet, recorder, saxophone and so on)

I'm trying to learn circular breathing to extend my range of "advanced" techniques. I had asked my teacher for advice, but he said he was a "natural" at circular breathing (meaning ...
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5 votes
2 answers
293 views

How much air comes out of the tone holes in a woodwind or brass instrument

When a woodwind or brass instrument is played, how much air, if any, comes out of the tone holes? Or does the air go into the tone holes due to the Bernoulli / venturi effect?
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14 votes
1 answer
855 views

Wind instruments: why is the left hand on top?

Every wind instrument which require the two hands to press keys (saxophone, clarinet, oboe…) have the left hand of the player being the top one. This consistency makes it easier to switch from one ...
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2 votes
2 answers
83 views

What specific practice exercice would you recomend for woodwind during extreme hot days ? (There's no air !)

Practice during summer and extremely hot weather is really difficult, (for me, and may be for you as well). Would you have any specific exercise to ease the practice session ? I tend to feel like a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
72 views

Circular breathing: same technique regardless of instrument?

Is the technique of circular breathing the same across all wind instruments? For example, if I learn to circular breathe on a didgeridoo, will it be easy for me to learn how to do so on a trumpet?
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  • 709
7 votes
4 answers
4k views

Breath Marks (different symbols)

Breath marks (related to caesurae) often appear in scores for woodwind instruments where it is acceptable to take a breath of air. They are placed in a passage where the phrasing will not be ...
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4 votes
2 answers
223 views

Alto sax screw fell out

I have a Jupiter alto saxophone, and in the middle of practicing I suddenly heard something fall into the bell. It turned out to be a small screw. I scoured the sax trying to find an empty hole but ...
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2 votes
1 answer
133 views

How Do I Utilize My Practice Time So It Is Efficient (Clarinet)?

As a high school clarinetist, I have showed skill and potential. I play a Buffet E12F, with a Vandoren Black Diamond mouthpiece, and use 3 1/2 strength V12 Vandoren reeds. I made all-state this past ...
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2 votes
2 answers
103 views

Woodwind instrument key bumper material choice

Some wind instruments' keys feature bumpers at the bottom to protect material from scraping against material (and for a few other reasons). The ones on my saxophone are made from something resembling ...
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1 vote
2 answers
501 views

Washing a soft (flute) case and removing mould

I am not sure if this question is a valid question as far as the Help Centre rules go. I have recently purchased a used flute (Trevor James Cantabile) which comes with a hard case and a soft case. ...
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  • 1,470
4 votes
5 answers
795 views

What is required in a hollow "tube" to resonate?

What is required in a hollow piece of tube of any shape to resonate and generate musical stable pitches and harmonics?
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  • 263
2 votes
1 answer
503 views

Proper embouchure to leak air while playing EWI?

If you read enough beginner resources for Akai EWI players, you'll keep seeing people mention that you need to let air leak out the sides of your mouth while you play, to avoid building up ...
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  • 21
9 votes
4 answers
4k views

How similar (or not) are recorder, fife, and flute fingerings?

I don't play any of these instruments, but have at least tried them enough to play a scale. My impression is the basic holes down the pipe are tuned to a diatonic scale. The more holes covered, the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
99 views

What are the common instrument blends in classical/romantic symphonies? [closed]

The motivation of my question "What are the common instrument blends in classical/romantic symphonies?" is to learn which instrument combinations (e.g. clarinet + violin, horn + oboe + bassoon etc..), ...
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  • 1,131
1 vote
1 answer
103 views

Learning the sounding of classical orchestra instruments with Noteperformer, Sibelius Sounds 7

This question is a follow-up of: How to distinguish between different instruments in a classical orchestra? If I transcript some of my compositions (which are now written for piano) and make ...
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  • 1,131
17 votes
7 answers
5k views

How to distinguish between different instruments in a classical orchestra?

I want to train myself into distinguishing the instruments being played simultaneously in orchestral music (primarily Wagner and Bruckner, maybe Mahler). Ideally I want to be able to say at each point ...
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2 votes
5 answers
201 views

Coming from Trumpet: Which woodwind? [closed]

I've played trumpet for 3 years, and I'm thinking about picking up a simple woodwind instrument. I think personally, either clarinet or alto sax. But please, based on what I have played, price, and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
656 views

Which types of woods or materials make good reeds?

A reed is often attached to a musical instrument. They come in different quantities, such as double or triple. I wonder which type of wood and/or other material is available for making an effective ...
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5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Recommended Breathing Exercises to Play Woodwinds

Can you recommend good breathing exercises to play woodwinds such as Flute and Bansuri. Other than continual practice of these beautiful instruments, what are some breathing exercises to improve lung ...
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2 votes
2 answers
198 views

Orchestration question: Should I change which woodwinds get which lines?

I have orchestrated the exposition of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and gotten several comments. Here I will concentrate on a single comment that I got, that the oboes are too high in bar 11. I got no ...
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5 votes
2 answers
98 views

L'Arlésienne Menuet — where to take a breath?

I'm learning the menuet from the L'Arlésienne suite no. 2 for the treble recorder (IMSLP). I'm having trouble getting from rehearsal mark C to D on one breath, but there don't seem to be any good ...
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3 votes
2 answers
101 views

Want to buy a wooden flute, but I don't know what the specifications entail

So I'm in a country where, when I browse flutes online, they have notes written next to the name of the flute in the syllabic form. So for instance you have a "Kaval flute" with "Si", "Sib", "Re", or "...
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3 votes
1 answer
382 views

Double and Triple Tonguing Syllables?

Brass and Woodwind players use specific syllables like ta-ka-ta for triple tonguing... I would like to know: What are the most common used syllables for double and triple tonguing? Are they ...
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  • 2,881
2 votes
1 answer
222 views

How much does an embouchure's shape affects the ability to produce a note on a flute?

I've already asked a bunch of (more theoretical) questions about the subject, but I'm trying to build a flute — a chromatic flute to be more precise. I don't play the flute or any other woodwind ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How many tone holes are there actually in different orchestral woodwind instruments?

I'm trying to make my own bamboo flute or perhaps "saxophone" of sorts, and before wasting any material I want to have the right construction plans. I've seen some examples of simple types of bamboo ...
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  • 123
0 votes
5 answers
324 views

Choosing an instrument to double on

I am a saxophonist who has been contemplating the idea of doubling on another wind instrument for a long time. My teacher recommends doubling on flute (closed tone holes), but professional-level ...
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6 votes
3 answers
336 views

Music Physics Question - Automatic Trumpet Embouchure Mouthpiece

So this might be a bit of a newbie question. I'm a working musician who mainly plays guitar and piano, and uses a lot of sampled instruments and synths as well. I don't mean this to be offensive to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
431 views

What are the mechanics behind flute keys used to play chromatic notes?

I recently listened to recordings of the bansuri, a bamboo flute used in Indian (Hindu) music, and I thought about trying to make one myself from scratch. A tutorial I found on wikiHow makes the ...
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  • 123
6 votes
4 answers
666 views

Pitch and Volume Compensations for Different Instruments

I'm curious if various instruments require that the player compensate in any way (in terms of technique, e.g., force used to bow, force used to blow, or embouchure alterations) when playing low vs. ...
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6 votes
3 answers
397 views

Do uilleann pipes have a “louder” lower D?

I’ve always loved the skirl of the uilleann pipes ever since I first heard it used in the James Horner’s Titanic OST as a kid. I don’t know much of anything about the instrument (or bagpipes generally)...
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  • 1,145
0 votes
4 answers
2k views

Trumpet playing to clarinet playing

Sorry if this has been asked here somewhere before but I haven't been able to find this question (I found the reverse situation of my question). I've been playing trumpet for several years now and ...
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5 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is divisi notation needed for brass or woodwind in an orchestra?

I'm composing for orchestra. I've read that divisions [of parts] should be notated using divisi. (or div.) above the staff. But I'm wondering whether this notation is mandatory for all instruments. ...
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  • 173
0 votes
1 answer
202 views

How do you ream a conical bore when making a woodwind instrument?

There isn't a lot of documentation on how reaming woodwind instruments works, and how you do it. Is there a specific method to making a smooth conical bore, like in that of an oboe? I've seen people ...
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1 vote
1 answer
207 views

How to interpret Bansuri Scale reading on "Swar Meter"

I downloaded "Swar Meter" and played Sa on my 23" Bansuri that says "A" scale However, "Swar Meter" consistently measures between "A" and "A#" I tried same exercise on my 24" Bansuri that says "A" ...
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  • 1,073
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

Speed of Tampura app during Bansuri practice

I understand Tampura app (I use Tampura droid) must be on during Bansuri practice so player learns to tell (by ear) whether they are in tune. Since I have A-Scale Bansuri the Tampura is on A-Scale ...
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  • 1,073
5 votes
1 answer
416 views

Disinfecting woodwind instruments

I've bought an interesting instrument recently, a zurna, which I was really excited about. The problem is the same day I first used it (without cleaning it before, yes I know, stupid) I got quite an ...
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