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Suggested Reading

1. Rehearsal Rooms

Struggling to improve the acoustics in your band room? Check out how the Medan Band did it.

2. Concerned about playing swing music properly?

Check out my guidelines

3. Ear training exercises for bands

Unlike piano players, ear training is essential for wind band performers. But how many band directors bother to give their bands suitable exercises?

4. Intonation problems

While tuning is simple act of adjusting a length of tubing on a wind instrument (often by reference to a single note), intonation is an ongoing process in which a player strives to match the pitch of others in the ensemble during performance. 

5. “Blowing” a wind instrument

A common misconception among wind players is to believe that the air moves through the instrument in order to produce the sound. This is simply not true. 

6. Conducting – suggestions for home practice

The best way for a conductor to improve is in front of a live ensemble. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this is not always possible. Aspiring conductors therefore have little choice but to find other ways of honing their skills.

 

Introduction


 

 

Woodwind instruments do not have as much in common with each other as brass instruments do.  In fact, there is so much design variation that it is even difficult to come up with an acceptable definition of what woodwind instruments actually are.  Virtually every common denominator has an important exception.  As a result, it is not easy to make generalizations about such matters as embouchure formation, intonation problems or technical difficulties that are relevant for all woodwind instruments.  Fortunately, there are some natural subcategories (single versus double reed instruments, for example) around which the bulk of the discussion can be organized.  At this level at least, common characteristics can be more easily identified and potential problems addressed. 

This, then, is the approach I have taken here.  As in the case of the section on brass fundamentals, the emphasis is on basic principles and design issues, and how these affect the way woodwind players actually make music.

 

 

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