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Hi, I play the fife/flute quite proficiently and was wondering how much more breath is required to play the saxophone (probably a smaller size, alto or so)? Of course the embouchure are quite different I'm certain, but the amount of actual breath required is what I'm looking for. Would the clarinet or trumpet maybe be a better choice (take less)? Could someone perhaps give me a kind of breath comparison of assorted woodwinds? If say the tinwhistle is a 1, the fife or flute a 3-4, what would some others be? Thanks very much for any help, it is difficult to find information like this on the web.
Adam
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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In my experience -- in terms of breath control, flute is a killer compared to sax. But the requirements of the breath column are very different.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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I would say that when you can play the flute, you can play a tenor too. I play fairly acceptable tenor, and I have tried flute once in a while. I get sound out of it, but I can't imagine me playing that thing for more than 5 minutes without being completely out of air. It's a complete different air-technique, as reedsplinter says too.

It also depends a lot on setup, experience etc. If I would have played my setup two years ago, I would be out of breath after about 5 minutes. Novels don't really get a sound out of it. If I play on the setup of my teacher, I play for 5 minutes max.

Bottomline : I think it's quite impossible to compare flute and sax according to amount of air. If you want to try it, go and try it.
 
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