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What are your doubles?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RCNELSON, May 17, 2008.

  1. We see a lot of "What is you setup" threads for the instruments themselves, so here is one for us multi-woodwind folks: What are your doubles? And as an extension, which combination do you use most often?

    Here's mine
    Flute, piccolo, Bb Clarinet, soprano, alto and tenor saxes. Have played bass clarinet a year ago for MAME but on a borrowed horn.

    Alto, flute and clarinet historically wins for me but all the combinations keep me busy. I'm using the soprano more and more lately.
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I have at various times, played the following horns on gigs:

    Alto Flute
    Bass Flute
    Eb Flute
    Eb Clarinet
    Bb/A Clarinet
    Alto Clarinet
    Bass Clarinet
    EEb Contrabass Clarinet
    BBb Contrabass Clarinet
    English Horn
    Sopranino Sax
    Soprano Sax
    Alto Sax
    C Melody Sax
    Tenor Sax
    Baritone Sax
    Bass Sax
    Sopranino Recorder
    Soprano Recorder
    Alto Recorder
    Tenor Recorder
    Bass Recorder
    Penny Whistles in F, Eb, D, C, Bb, G, low D
    Pan Flute

    I do own most of those.
  3. Groovekiller

    Groovekiller Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I like to think of myself as a tenor sax/baritone sax player. I wouldn't survive in this business without my doubles, however.

    As a baritone sax player, I play clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute a lot. In my gig with the Palm Beach Pops orchestra, I play mostly bass clarinet and jazz tenor sax, doubling anything they throw at me. When they needed bass flute, I was surprised that I was the only one prepared to play the instrument, because the flute players were excellent.

    As a tenor player, the usual doubles are flute and clarinet. No surprise there.

    I'm not a great piccolo player, especially compared to several picc players with whom I often work. I own a piccolo but try to avoid the instrument. Sometimes I fail (!)

    I double on bass sax whenever possible. That's pretty rare because the cultural climate of Florida resembles that of an iceberg off Greenland.

    I guess Tubax and Soprillo are pretty much off the radar.
  4. Sax (alto, tenor)
    Flute - No piccolo !
    Baritone (Euphonium)
    Keyboards (I'm not skilled enough to say piano)
  5. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Sax -SATB
    Clarinet - Eb, Bb, A, Bass
    Percussion - Snare, drum set, timpani, bells, xylophone, marimba...
    Strings - Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Mandolin

    (Red letters indicates the instrument is owned)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  6. my main is flute

    i double on picc and alto
    i also borrow my friends clarinet sometimes.
  7. bpimentel

    bpimentel Broadway Doubler List Owner Distinguished Member

    Flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, saxophones. A growing list of folk and ethnic instruments, including various bamboo flutes (transverse and endblown), wooden flutes, recorders, whistles, ocarinas, panflutes, duduk...

    My "main" instrument is still saxophone (got a bachelor's degree in it), and I find that's still usually my best way of getting my foot in the door for getting gigs. But once they know me, I usually end up getting called back to play double reeds.

    Taking up oboe/EH was the best thing I ever did for my employability--I started getting gig offers almost immediately, despite my almost total lack of skill (improved somewhat now). Double reed players are just so hard to find. I think it not that there aren't any out there, it's just that they don't get connected to the gig network the way saxophonists do for jazz and rock/pop gigs.

  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I think SOTSDO mentioned this on another thread: I don't think of myself as a "doubler", per se, because, in a lot of people's minds, that implies you're a jack of all trades and a master of none.

    My "main" axe has been baritone saxophone since the mid-1980's. However, both before and after that, I played a capable Bb clarinet. Much after the 1980's, I developed into a pretty darn decent vocalist (bass, baritone or tenor II -- tenor one, if someone kicks me).

    I also played, for a longish while, Bb tenor sax, Bb bass clarinet and Bb contrabass clarinet as my main horns. And not at the same time.

    So, what's my definition of "doubling"?

    How 'bout, "Being asked to play multiple instruments that you normally don't, but have a bit of facility on them that doesn't quite match your main instruments." If that's the case, I've doubled on Bb soprano sax, Eb alto and Bb bass sax. And singing tenor II. Hey, I used to be able to sing even some soprano II parts, in falsetto.

    The most instruments I've played in a gig are Bb soprano clarinet, Bb bass clarinet, Eb alto sax and Bb bass clarinet -- I transposed some alto flute parts to clarinet and alto sax, too.
  9. Hmmm...I wonder if an old late-40 something guy like me could handle one more? I don't know anybody in the community theater circuit that I'm involved in that plays oboe. We usually play the oboe parts on clarinet,flute or soprano sax OR simply leave them out. Hmmm????
  10. GET on it!


    go buy an oboe and learn

    it cant hurt
    well it can:p
  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Indeed, in my case it would hurt a lot of people. :emoji_rage:
  12. Went to a college jazz ensemble - salted with top-notch pro's - concert last Monday night and heard for the first time the 2nd alto player featured on English horn. She pulled it off and I found the piece very entertaining.

    The lead alto, one of the pro's - Benny Golbin - played a piece featuring him on EWI and he wow'd the audience. That's a doubling "instrument" I've not seen mentioned here.
  13. In score order:

    Alto Recorder
    Alto Flute*
    E flat Clarinet
    B flat Clarinet
    A Clarinet*
    Bass Clarinet
    Soprano Saxophone
    Alto Saxophone
    Tenor Saxophone
    Baritone Saxophone
    Bass Saxophone*

    *Instruments I have gigged on, but do not own.

    I own an oboe, but have not gigged on it....and probably never will. That's probably best for everyone.
  14. OK, now you've got me thinking. And since I'm thinking (which can be dangerous in and of itself), if I take this plunge, what make should I try/buy? I know about Loree, but my budget won't take that right now. I would want to start with the best of the least expensive brands.
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Go buy a Fox Renard 330. If you've got a bit extra change to spare, get a Fox Model 300.
  16. bpimentel

    bpimentel Broadway Doubler List Owner Distinguished Member

    Agreed, Fox is the way to go. Be warned that they are more expensive than most "student" model oboes.

    I think the only real "student" level oboes that are marginally playable are the lower-level Fox Renards and the Yamaha, but an experienced woodwind player will immediately begin to discover the limitations of these instruments (missing keys!). The Fox 330 is a good, reliable, nice-sounding intermediate-level instrument with complete enough keywork to play gigs.

    The 300 is marginally nicer than the 330, but, in my opinion, not nicer enough to justify the price. Get a 330, and, if someday you want a better instrument, it will be time to bite the bullet and get a true professional model.

  17. Unfortunately, I don't really have any true doubles. :cry:

    I'm pretty much a sax player even though I did buy a clarinet a few years ago and had intentions to play it in the big band I was playing in at the time. It proved to be a torture stick and I haven't put in the dedicated time that's needed to feel adequate enough to play it in public.

    I don't think a wind synth counts as a double but I do dabble with a Yamaha WX5 and have played it in public before.
  18. Dave Dolson

    Dave Dolson Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Glen: Years ago, I bought a clarinet and taught myself to play it, so now I consider clarinet as a double for me. No, I don't play it with the confidence I have on sop and alto, but I can play it on certain tunes - and I do.

    Two things that really helped me play clarinet with some confidence was 1) finding a suitable open mouthpiece and reed combo for MY embouchure (not anyone else's embouchure); and 2) finding the proper length tuning barrel to allow me to play up to pitch without struggling with it. Once I put those factors into the equation (along with a wonderful clarinet, a Buffet RC Prestige), I enjoy the black-stick-of-death. DAVE
  19. I play a lot of Tenor ....


    Bass Clarinet
    Contrabass Clarinet

    Not a huge list yet, but I've only been doubling for 2 years so I think it's going well ;o)
  20. I play:
    Fife(in Bb)
    Pennywhistle(in D)
    Alto saxophone
    Tenor saxophone
    ^^I own these^^^

    I've also played(or am currently playing), but don't own:
    Alto Flute(for Once on This Island the musical)
    Soprano Saxophone(also for OoTI)
    Bass Clarinet(for school)
    Bassoon(for school and church)
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