I learned recorder at school (who didn't), and transferred to a clarinet later on. I liked it, but it's a pain to play with others as it plays in b-flat, so you have to have transposed music, or transpose in your head. I was never good enough for that! I also had a tenor sax for a while... But now, I play a WX5 wind-controller! A kind of MIDI clarinet, which (with the right sound modules) can sound like woodwind, guitars, synths etc.

I have 2 VL70ms, one with the Patchman Turbo-VL chip in - highly recommended. I plan to get a Nanosynth at some point, and then I'll do a custom MIDI processor (probably with a foot pedal board) to allow me to make good use of it all.

One of the big differences of a wind controller over a conventional window instrument is that it can cover a large range of notes over several octaves. This involves the thumb in some new movements compared to the sax. In order to practise this, I designed (I can bring myself to say "composed") a piece of music to exercise my octave thumb. I used Lilypond to typeset it from a simple source file.

Download Martin's wind exercises (PDF, 173KB)

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