Technique and Control

Research response to 1997 survey published in “Selected Pedagogical Practices of College Instructors of Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone”:

Unfortunately, the survey did not reveal titles of technique/method materials designed specifically for woodwind doubling. Although this conclusion may seem disappointing, it provides evidence that there is a need and market for these materials and perhaps may motivate woodwind specialists to design practice materials.


Additional research, experiential observations and suggestions:

-an established practice routine of scales and arpeggios in essential for all instruments:


Wye - Practice Books
Moyse - De La Sonorite’
Moyse - Exercises Journaliers
Taffanel and Gaubert - 17 Daily Exercises


Baermann/Hite - Foundation Studies, Op. 63
Burke - Clarinet Warm-ups Klose - Celebrated Method
Klose - Celebrated Method and Daily Studies                
Kroepsch - 416 Progressive Daily Studies
Stark - Daily Studies (Scales, Intervals, & Arpeggios)                                      


Teal - The Saxophonist’s Workbook
Teal - Daily Studies for the Improvement of the Saxophone Technique
Karg-Elert -24 Studies for Saxophone
Ferling - Etudes for Saxophone

Advanced Studies for Multiple Woodwind Instruments:

Vadala - Improve Your Doubling: Advanced Studies for Doublers


-numerous etude books, from beginning, to intermediate and advanced, as well as jazz are available for all woodwind instruments, many are included in the bibliography section

-Clarinetists are required to master more alternate fingerings and to utilize a more relaxed fingering technique with less finger pressure to close tone holes

-although the first Bb fingering learned on Flute is usually I + I in each hand, the LH Thumb Bb fingering should be used just as frequently and when in the keys of one or more flats that involve passages without B natural or third register F# fingerings; additionally, Fork Bb should be learned and used in chromatic runs/passages

-on Saxophone, both the side Bb and Bis Bb fingerings should be utilized with about the same frequency (Bis Bb when in the keys of one or more flats that involve passages without B natural)

-on Alto and Tenor Saxophones, the weight of the instrument should be completely supported by the neck strap and the neck strap should be positioned so that the mouthpiece touches the middle of the lower lip

-on Soprano Saxophone, it is acceptable to balance the instrument on top of the legs when in a seated position

-I prefer holding the Alto Saxophone in the middle, not to the side of the right leg, since gravity helps hold the instrument in place and the players arm and hand positions are in more natural positions

-the use of a harness and/or saxophone stand, rather than a simple neck strap, is beneficial to Baritone Saxophone performance and will help relieve neck and back pain due to the heavier weight of the instrument

-middle register D and Eb are commonly mis-fingered on Flute (LH first finger should be up) since Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone fingerings for D and Eb are similar

-the primary F# fingering on Flute involves the RH ring finger, whereas on Clarinet and Saxophone, the primary F# fingering involves the RH middle finger