There is something about the sound of a woodwind instrument that just seems to evoke happiness. Maybe it’s the way the melody flows smoothly, or the way the sound fills up a room and creates an instant atmosphere of joy. Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that woodwind instruments are some of the most fun instruments to play.
Woodwind instruments come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny piccolos to huge bassoons. They can be played solo or in ensembles, and are used in a variety of music styles, from classical to jazz to pop. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about playing woodwind instruments-from how they work to what type of music they are typically used for.
How They Work
Woodwind instruments have a mouthpiece at one end, and a tube with holes along it that you blow into. The tube is called the bore, and you cover the holes with your fingers to play different notes (similar to how with brass instruments, you use your finger to block off part of the metal tubes). When you press down on the keys with your fingers inside the instrument’s body, air will flow through and make sound come out of the other end.
Double Reed Instruments
To create most woodwind sounds, both reeds must vibrate against each other as if they were kissing. If either reed stops vibrating against its counterpart (or if there isn’t any), then no sound will happen.
Woodwind instruments use double reeds, which are two pieces of cane that look like straws stuck together with a little hole in between them (this is where the air escapes and creates sound). The tips of most double reeds are covered with either nickel or silver plating to make them smoother and easier to play. For some double-reed instruments, such as the clarinet and saxophone, you also need an external ‘ligature’ (the metal piece with screws on it) around the reed to hold it in place (on other wind instruments like flutes and recorders, this isn’t necessary since there’s no need for any pressure on the reed itself).
Single Reed Instruments
There are also instruments that use single reeds (like clarinets), where there’s only one piece of cane instead of two pieces stuck together. Single reeds work very similarly to double reeds-you blow into them and they hit against each other to create vibrations that result in sounds. Since single reeds are just one piece of cane, they don’t need any kind of ligature to hold them into place on the mouthpiece.
The Six Most Common Woodwind Instruments:
Flutes are some of the most popular woodwind instruments out there, and for good reason. One look at a flute will reveal just how beautiful they are – the slender body, the curves all over it, and those delicate keys…it’s enough to make anyone fall in love with this instrument! And once you hear someone playing the flute for yourself, it will be hard not to get enchanted by its enchanting sounds. The sound is so light and airy that it feels like it’s floating right above your head.
The clarinet is a great instrument for beginners, as it doesn’t require you to press your fingers down so hard on the keys. If you’re a beginner it would be best to find the easiest wind instrument to learn, and then work your way up from there. Not having to press as hard on a clarinet makes it quite different from other woodwind instruments such as flutes and saxophones, where you need to apply enough pressure to cover the holes (and if you don’t, no sound will happen).
The saxophone is a type of woodwind instrument that’s also known as a “member of the clarinet family”. With a straight tube body and its classic look, this instrument is one of the coolest things to play. It has a unique sound all its own, as well as being lightweight and easy to manage- and it’s a fun instrument to learn.
4) Alto Saxophone
The alto saxophone is another member of the clarinet family, but this one has a smaller body than any other clarinets or saxophones out there. It also plays in the key of E flat (the same as flutes, many trumpets, and a few other instruments).
The oboe is another type of woodwind instrument that plays using double reeds. The sound from the oboe can seem very sharp at first, but you’ll get used to it as you practice. One unique thing about playing the oboe is that your hands will be used a lot more often, and for things other than simply pressing keys.
The bassoon is the only woodwind instrument that uses a single reed instead of two pieces glued together like most double reeds. It’s also has a very unique look to it – with its long tube body and wide bell at the end. Bassoons are very different from instruments such as flutes and clarinets in that they require you to blow harder in order to create vibrations.
Music for Woodwind Instruments
In addition to being beautiful-looking instruments, most woodwind instruments can also play a wide variety of music. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, the music choice is totally up to you. And because woodwind instruments are so versatile, you can play anything from fast-paced classical music to slow and romantic pieces. The freedom that comes with playing a woodwind instrument is just one of the many reasons why they’re such popular instruments to learn.
Woodwind instruments are a lot of fun to play and with the right instruction, anyone can learn how to play them. This guide will teach you the basics about woodwind instruments-how they work, which are easiest to learn, what type of music they’re typically used for, and some of the best ways to learn how to play them. One thing that makes playing these instruments so special is their versatility-you can explore any genre from classical pieces all the way up through jazz without ever feeling limited by your instrument choice!