Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts
Weird question, which is my favorite kind, I had a dream last night that I found an alto flute in a pawn shop and bought it. Now I am wondering if I should learn to double on it. I play saxophones exclusively, but realize doubling can lead to more opportunities... is flute something I can realistically move to fairly easily? I know this is a tough question to answer without knowing me personally, but your experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks
Alto flute is my next favorite voice after tenor sax. The hook was set after listening to Hubert Laws "Afro Classic" album. Check out Holly Hoffman's "Low Life" or Ali Ryerson's "Alto" with Joe Beck.

"Yes!" is my vote.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts
Alto is a wonderful yet obscure record of Joe Beck's that uses his own alto-guitar tuning which sounds like a bass and a guitar playing at the same time. Thank you for mentioning it.
You're welcome! It's cool to find someone else that is familiar with it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts
OP, you mentioned "doubling opportunities".

Alto flute won't offer you these. C flute will, to some extent. Frankly, I think it's about even whether clarinet or C flute would be more called for as a double for a sax player.
The OP:

Weird question, which is my favorite kind, I had a dream last night that I found an alto flute in a pawn shop and bought it. Now I am wondering if I should learn to double on it. I play saxophones exclusively, but realize doubling can lead to more opportunities... is flute something I can realistically move to fairly easily? I know this is a tough question to answer without knowing me personally, but your experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks
Maybe we need to define "doubling opportunities" here.

If we assume it to mean "playing a second instrument in a big band", then I agree that opportunities are few - although I did use my alto flute with big band. It is actually quite good to use alto flute when the written parts are voiced so low as to not have much volume.

On the other hand, if you are the wind player in a small ensemble, you are not constrained in your selection.

Alto flute - It's the tenor sax of the flute world.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts
Well of course you can get a good C flute for less money than a good alto, but if you want to play alto not C, it's largely irrelevant.
I hear you can get an alto sax for less than a good tenor, too... :twisted:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts
In terms of doubling for sax, clarinet comes first, then flute. Clarinet is a given...flute not so much.

The alto flute is a wonderful instrument, but very few gigs (I've had one show call for it in 2 years: reed 1 on Annie). As someone said earlier, expect to pay a lot more for an alto over a c flute...and if gigging makes s really your interest, piccolo is far more important...I've had two shows this year call for piccolo, in addition to saxes and clarinet.
Your perspective is pit orchestra, yes?

The same does not hold true for all other doubling situations. For swing bands, yes, clarinet is a strong call. For contemporary big band, flute is much more common. I played alto flute on more charts than clarinet.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts
Neither big band nor pit work is relevant to the alto flute...
That seems rude and dismissive. If that is your experience, fine, but it is not mine, as I have cited in this thread.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,497 Posts
i find that I can play most phrases that a standard concert flute can play in one breath unless it's all low notes.
FWIW, that response was regarding bass flute. I, too, can play long phrases on alto flute, but never reached a similar ability on any of the bass flutes that I owned.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top