Circle of Confidence

Get truly familiar with your instruments and their quirks. Be ready to hit those notes immediately.

The goal of the exercise is being able to effortlessly switch between instruments. It prepares you for quick and unusual switches between instruments.

The inspiration for this exercise came from working in theater productions where speed and accuracy is important. Switching from a rock n roll tenor solo to classical clarinet with the saxophone still on your neck is nothing special. To be able to switch proficiently and do it every show with the quality expected of you by the audience and your fellow musicians is not easy. So it is good to put yourself in this situation without the pressure of other people and just be alone with your own internal critic. That is enough pressure for most of us ;).

Training our ear to hear the note and character(timbre) of the instrument we’re about to play.

Let’s get started!

Grab a chair and unpack all of your instruments. Put them on their stands in front of you, forming a (half) circle with some imagination :). [PLAATJE VAN MIJ]

Before we start playing, we pick up the instrument. Press the keys of the note we’re about to play. I would recommend to pick the same note each time per instrument. For example on soprano sax i have the middle b as a reference tone in my head.

Example: B on all saxophones. E on clarinets. B on flute/piccolo. No transposing.

Imagine the sound of the note, sing it in your head or out loud. Whatever your preference, i know mine…

Focus on:

  • Sound
    • What should it sound like
  • Color
    • Dark/airy/clean etc…
  • Resistance
    • Try to imagine the amount of resistence from the instrument.
  • Embouchure
    • What does it feel like to play the note


Play a melody starting on one instrument and switch instruments constantly keeping the same tonality. evil….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *