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The history of doubling ?


New Member
When I started playing in 1966 all sax players - virtually without exception, to my knowledge - doubled clarinet. In fact the advice was to start on clarinet because the saxophone was so much easier to play - good advice, I still think. During the '70's I played with several "old" saxists who had originally been violinists, and still doubled it for waltzes etc.. In the '90's I sat next to (and learned a lot from) an elderly baritone (+alto/ten/clt/bassclt player) who was quite happy to read at sight off 'cello parts when we played very venerable dance arrangements. He could transpose anything at sight, from any clef, and had started as a church organist! I also played with sax, trumpet and trombone players who routinely doubled on (their first instruments) accordion, which had been extremely popular in the '30's and '40's. I have always doubled clarinet and all the saxes (apart from bass, which I can't afford), plus a bit of trumpet many years ago. I also used to be in some demand to close gigs where the audience was reluctant to go home by playing the piano - I have cleared many a room this way! Les Dawson, eat your heart out!
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