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For my fellow doublers (you can read my profile and see I’ve been well-versed in most wind instruments): what is the most unique doubling opportunity you’ve had?

My senior year of high school I was a doubler on bari sax and tuba, as my school only had two players for each instrument other than myself and three bands. I got to showcase this pretty interesting combo in a concert in which I played tuba, bari sax and sarrusophone parts. It’s one of the most rewarding and interesting concerts I’ve played.

So I ask you- what are some of the more unique/unusual doubling opportunities you’ve had? Or some of your favorite doubling gigs? I’m just curious what everyone here plays.
 

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I was at an event many years ago where one of the guys in the small band providing music was doubling trumpet and flute. That's one of the most unusual I've seen. Lots of the guys here double other woodwinds of course and many also play guitar, bass, and/or keys. When I was in high school we had lots of folks who would play much different instruments for marching and concert season. Our whole tuba (sousaphone) line during marching season my senior year was girls and they all played woodwinds during concert season.
 

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An interesting double would be the left handed sewer flute and the swinette.

Thru most of the 70's and 80's I played in a four piece band. Three of us took turns singing lead and we had 3 part vocal harmonies when needed. We had two part horn section. Two of us played keyboards. Three of us played bass. One guitar, and one drumset, one trumpet, three saxophones, one flute, one harmonica, one melodica ... and a partridge in a pear tree.

So we switched around depending on whether the song needed more keyboards or if it needed guitar (either one of the keyboardists switched to bass guitar or the guitarist would play bass if guitar wasn't needed in that song) I played the keyboards, saxes, and flute and harmonica and melodica and bass and vocals (by keyboards - in the 70's that meant Hammond organ/leslie - Fender Rhodes - clavinet - minimoog - string machine). The other keyboard player also played trumpet and bass. The guitarist also played bass and sang. The drummer also sang.

If you want to see a super talented group that doubles on instruments - check out some live YouTube videos of Gentle Giant. Everyone in the band is switching around between instruments.
 

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saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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Clarinet, baritone sax, flute and guitar for a musical stage show. The guys in the band also had to sing background parts and act.
 

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Not too unusual...I did a show gig with a nucleus of N.Y. players who travelled with the show, (How to Succeed In Business...). Two reed players each covered clar. flute, oboe and sax. One had so many quick changes, he had the ring from a tuba soldered on to his alto, where the thumb hook was, so he didn't need to use his neck strap.
 

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I've done live shows with guitars and woodwinds - the 2011 Stratford Festival production of Twelfth Night, I played 6 & 12 string electric guitars, 5 string electric bass, alto sax, baritone sax and alto flute live on stage. In addition, the backing tracks used in the production also had me on those instruments plus acoustic guitar, contrabass clarinet, tenor sax, flute, clarinet and a few other toys.
 

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I've kind of turned my life into a never-ending "doubling opportunity," I suppose... I'm a multi-instrumentalist for a living, and in the past couple decades I've recorded on alto/tenor/soprano sax, clarinet, flute, keyboards (piano, Rhodes, Wurli, Hammond organ, and countless synths), bass, guitar, and percussion. I'm mainly "known" (to the extent that I am) as a saxophonist in the jazz world, but some of my biggest recording credits are on keyboards, and I make most of my living these days teaching college piano and composition.

The music world is weird and challenging, but it's rewarding for the eternally curious. The more aspects of music you can get into and enjoy, the better, I think – for both your professional success and your happiness.
 

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Best opportunity: Playing bass and Bb clarinet and tenor with an ensemble conducted by John Adams. I got to play all the clarinet solos in two Ellington suites.
 

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In december 2019 I premiered my quintupler-concerto "Pentathlon" with strings orchestra (with me on soprano/tenor sax, bassoon, clarinet and flute). There were some concerts of the version with organ in the pipeline which have been canceled due to covid. I take some lessons on oboe now - which could replace soprano in the future.
Here's a video of the performance:
 

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I played flute, harmonica and jaws harp for a community theater production of Shenandoah.

Most challenging was playing Stars and Strips on piccolo at the end of a 1.5 hr big band gig on bari sax. Bottom lip usually got a little swollen and threw my picc embouchure off.
 

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I have frequently with my street band gone from screaming lead trumpet parts to bass sax with stops all over in between in a single gig. Once did a performance run of the musical Cabarret where we had limited musicians, I played both the stage tenor book and the pit trumpet book.
 
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