Learning your first instrument can be an extremely rewarding and pleasantly memorable experience. As musicians, it’s often the instruments we start off with that we continue to love the most throughout our lives. At some point though, we realize that there are other sounds, techniques, and musical experiences that can only be explored by branching out into other instruments. Though you may still love the one you’ve started with and probably always will, learning other instruments is almost always worth it for expanding the horizons of your musical abilities.
For saxophonists, one of the most useful instruments you could switch to is the flute. While you might assume it’s easiest to play instruments that are similar to one another, such as the violin and cello, there are other combinations that pair well together without seeming comparable at first glance. There are several things about playing the flute that saxophonists will find familiar, as well as things that will challenge them to develop new skills. Between the two, you can reach new peaks in performance, technique, and music comprehension.
The Benefits Of Switching From Saxophone To Flute
Deciding to learn additional instruments is an important step to developing your skills as a musician. Saxophonists will already have a pretty good idea about the role of their instrument, how it’s used in melodies and what it can add to harmonies. Other instruments like the flute share a similar role but with their own particular tones and techniques. As woodwind instruments, both the saxophone and the flute have the potential to lead a melody, but each in their own way. Learning both instruments can therefore greatly enhance your understanding and comprehension of the musical techniques they utilize.
What really brings these two instruments together is the combination of familiarity and new challenges. If you’re a saxophonist, learning the flute will be a lot simpler to get into than many other instruments, but it will also force you to develop skills you may have never practiced before. It will also open up a lot of new melodic possibilities and centuries of songwriting that you never had access to. With all that in mind, here are just a few reasons why switching from saxophone to the flute is so worthwhile.
Familiar Register & Fingering
Saxophonists will feel quite comfortable adjusting to the way a flute is played. Both the alto and soprano sax are in a nearly identical register as flutes with likewise similar fingerings. The few differences there are will be easy to learn and adjust to, giving you a huge advantage of other instruments in terms of time spent mastering the notes. Saxes and flutes both end on a low C note below the staff and go up three whole octaves. With such a similar range, it’s easy to follow along to familiar scales and other patterns. It also means you can easily learn to play the same songs you’ve already spent time mastering.
Woodwinds Without A Reed
With reed instruments, you have the advantage of letting the reed control the vibrato of your breath and the disadvantage of needing to maintain a delicate but vital wooden piece. Switching to the flute can be a nice change simply by allowing you to pick it up and play without the whole process of preparing, storing, and adjusting reeds. That said, it also means you’ll be challenged to control the vibrato of your instrument with your actual voice, something you likely wouldn’t have experienced before. With that said, going reed-less can free you from a considerable amount of time and hassle, giving you more time to jump in and play.
Learning Breath Control
Another new skill the flute can teach you is how to control and utilize your breathing. While saxes do have a slight sensitivity to the way you breathe, flutes require a much greater amount of finesse. Whereas the saxophone can cover up a lot of your mistakes, the flute will give you away even if your breath is only slightly off. Because of this, flutists are often regarded as the most advanced in breathing control among woodwind players. Being forced to learn these skills can give you a new appreciation of how important breath can be and give you a huge advantage in making the most of breath-controlled instruments.
Why Learn Other Instruments?
As you continue to learn and grow through your musical education, you’ll come to realize that there is much more to music than any one instrument can provide on its own. Not only that, but there are practical considerations as well. Learning more instruments gives you more chances to play and connect with other people. Because you’re not limited to one specific role, you have more opportunities to take part in orchestras, symphonies, bands, and other projects. For students, learning multiple instruments is a great way to increase your scholarship and college admissions potential. If you’re already part of a musical group, it’s also useful to be able to fill in on other instruments if the need arises. Combined with all the above reasons, the advantages of switching to the flute is more than just a casual change for saxophonists. It’s an enhancement to one’s musical potential in almost every respect.
Come Make The Switch With Us!
Grace Music School is an accredited educational institution offering music lessons for almost all age groups, instruments, and ability levels. Whether you’re learning your first instrument or your tenth, we’re here to help you master the skills you need to take your abilities to the next level. Our lessons are structured to be fun, innovative, and tailored to each student’s individual needs. We teach at your own pace, offering constructive feedback and carefully considered lesson planning to help you in the areas you need it most. Any saxophonists looking to make a switch in the Long Island area should get in touch as soon as possible to begin taking the next step on their musical journey. Contact us here for more details and schedule your first lesson today.