If you’ve ever picked up a woodwind instrument, you know how simple and beautiful these instruments are. They produce noise when the user blows air into the reed, which causes air within the resonator to vibrate. Traditionally, woodwinds were made of wood, but today, these musical devices can be made from plastic or metal as well. Despite their construction, woodwinds are simplistic in nature and brought to life through seasoned musicians who have an appreciation for these instruments.
Types of Woodwind Instruments
Flutes – There are two types of flutes: open and closed. Open flutes are generally made from high-grade metal alloys that contain nickel, silver and copper. They require that the player places their lips on the reed of the flute to deliver the air. Examples of open flutes include transverse flutes and end-blown flutes. Closed flutes have a channel that forms and directs the air stream over the edge. Examples of closed flutes include whistles and musical recorders.
Reeds – There are many types of reeds, including bagpipes, single and double reeds and free reed aerophone instruments. Reed instruments use a reed that forces air from the player’s lips between the reed and the mouthpiece. The reed vibrates and the sound is created. Examples of reed instruments include clarinets, saxophones and bassoons.
How Woodwind Instruments Work
With single reed instruments, the player blows air against the mouthpiece and the sound vibrates. There are fingerholes that vary pitch of the sound as well. Double reeds work similarly, expect that two reeds are tied together to make the noise. The sound can be somewhat nasaly and difficult to maintain, which is why many players that use double reeds build their own.
With double reeds, users can play for longer phrases in one breath, which is a huge advantage. There are other types of woodwind instruments besides the common single and double reeds, such as flutes and whistles, which require their own system. With flutes, the player blows air across the holes; a whistle requires that the user blows air into the end.
If you want to learn more about playing woodwind instruments or need help selecting the perfect one for your taste, let Catfish Music help. With plenty of gently used instruments and professional lessons to follow, you can count on our team to help you become a master woodwind musician.
Playing Different Notes
One of the beautiful components to woodwinds is their ability to play different notes. The user simply shortens or lengthens the air column inside the instrument when placing their fingers on the holes. Not only is this brilliantly designed system ingenious, it allows musicians to reach their creative peak.
Image c/o: en.wikipedia.org