Contrabass Digest

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Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 18:58:29 EDT
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

I just recently learned that I will be playeing bass oboe or heckelphone for
a band performance.  Can anyone give me tips on how to play these
instruments?  I currently play oboe...

Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 19:44:41 -0400
From: "farfl's house" <>
Subject: Re: Facts

Can we please stop all of this please? This certainly should have been a private reply.
I don't subscribe to this list to listen to anyone "blowing their own horn", even if it
is a beautiful Selmer baritone.
Let's keep this list to contrabass topics, please.
(The best damned.........just kidding.)


From: "Rick Izumi" <>
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 10:44:08 -0700

I have a question for you about oboe.  I have a sax-oboe ( an oboe with
saxophone fingerings).  How do you make your embochure to play a double
reed.  I've played single reeds all my life, but double reeds fatigue me.  I
figure I am doing something wrong or I just need practice.  Cany you suggest
something to me?

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 4:00 PM
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

>=========================I just recently learned that I will be playeing
bass oboe or heckelphone for
>a band performance.  Can anyone give me tips on how to play these
>instruments?  I currently play oboe...
>end contrabass list


From: "Drake Mabry" <>
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 20:00:12 +0200


    You have an oboe with sax fingerings? Are these rare? I would like to
hear more about these instruments. Has anyone found the reverse? A sax with
oboe fingerings? Now that would really interest me.
    Back to your question.
    Double reeds are always going to be more complicated than single reeds.
They vary more with humidity and temperature (and altitude) changes. As an
oboist I found tours always a nightmare.
    However, if you don't want to play on double reeds then maybe you should
check out the single reed mouthpieces for oboe which were mentioned here a
while ago. They can't replace the double reed sound but if you want
something somewhat original then maybe you should give them a try.
    As for embouchures, it's possible to form an embouchure that can stay
fairly relaxed but the reed has to suit it. The two work hand in hand.
    Good luck.


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 16:41:16 EDT
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

Hi Matt, I play the sax too...I play the soprano sax, but I do like to play
on the larger instruments, such as the bari and bass.  I do notice that the
larger members of the sax family are not quite as agile as the smaller
members, such as the soprano and sopranino.  I just wanted to say that you
seem to know what you are talking about when it comes to saxophones.  I have
been playing the sax for about 8 years now and in high school I made
Florida's all-state band, as well as 1st chair at the all-south honor band.
I am seriously considering buying a BBb bass sax, and I have narrowed it down
to the Julius Keilwerth bass.  It has a big, warm sound.  I believe it even
has a high F#, even though it wouldn't be used all that much.  I was
wondering what famous pieces you have studied on sax.  Some of the ones I
have studied is of course, the all-famous Concertino da Camera, which the
highest note is the altissimo F above the normal range F.  I notice that on
the larger saxes altissimo is much easier and there is more of an altissimo
range on the lower gamut of saxophones.  I find that I can play four octaves
from Eb on alto sax, but on soprano sax my range is limited to 3 octaves from
G.  Being the reed is smaller and it can only vibrate so quickly is what is
causing the impedance of range.  But on the bari I find that I can play right
around 5 octaves.  One of my friends, who is a bass clarinet player...owns a
horn with the extensions to low C and can belt out a 5 octave chromatic scale
from low C.  He also has made all-state and all-south.  But he finds that on
a regular Bb soprano clarinet that his range is somehow limited.  I wish they
would build baritone saxes with extended ranges even beyond the lower A, like
even to a G.  Matt, have you ever seen a picture of a subcontrabass
saxophone?  This horn was supposedly in BBb an octave lower than the bass,
which means its lowest note is a half step below the piano's lowest note.
That means this horn goes lower than even the contrabassoon.  Also, the BBb
contrabass sarrusophone has the same lower range.  That is an impressive
rumble if I may say so myself!!!


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