What is a woodwind instrument?

The woodwind family members of instruments is a subset of the an ext general group of wind instruments. In ~ the woodwind family, there are two main varieties of instruments: reed instruments and flutes. The reason reed woodwind tools are identified as “woodwind” is based upon the way they create their sound which is by dividing the player’s air stream top top a sharp edge, such as a reed. Many world are puzzled by the surname woodwind, thinking that these tools should be made solely from wood. However, they can be make of any kind of material such as wood, brass, cane, silver, yellow or platinum.

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Woodwind tools are exceptionally popular v beginner and professional players and also hobbyists. Countless young tape students start their music careers on a woodwind instrument and will go on to play numerous within the family.

You deserve to hear woodwind instruments featured in all species of music, native classical and also orchestral pieces to jazz come blues to absent & roll and almost everything in between. 

Examples of woodwind instruments

The woodwind family members of instruments has these 6 major instruments:

Flutes and also piccolos Saxophones Clarinets Oboes Bassoons English horns

Also had in this group are recorders and modern electronic wind instruments, to add dozens of accessories for woodwind players.

Shopping because that woodwind instruments

The woodwind family members of tools is vast and contains thousands that models from hundreds of manufacturers. If she shopping for a woodwind instrument, be sure to carry out your research and understand your playing level and also style. You’ll additionally need to understand your budget, as the price range for these tools is wide. Here’s a general overview that the major types of woodwind instruments with part tips for buying.


Flutes are the earliest of all instruments that create pitched sounds rather than just rhythm. Initially made native wood, clay or reeds, lock are now usually do of silver, yellow or platinum. Flutes are played by hold the instrument sideways through both hands and also blowing across a hole in the mouthpiece, lot like blowing across the optimal of a bottle. The player’s finger open and also close the keys, which transforms the pitch. Flutes normally play melodic parts of a composition. Learn more about buying a flute.

Piccolos are like flutes, yet about fifty percent the size. They room played in the exact same manner and flute players often learn both instruments. Piccolos have the highest range of any type of of the woodwinds and the high piping sound deserve to be heard in marching bands or drum corps and in part orchestral pieces.

Single-reed Instruments

Clarinets are well-known as single-reed instruments, since they use one reed, attached come the horn by a ligature, to create sound. Clarinets come in a variety of different sizes, and also the standard Bb clarinet is just over 2 feet long. Clarinets can play both melodies and harmonies, expressing a dark, well-off sound in their lower notes, while the upper component of the clarinet's selection is bright and resonant. The clarinet is played by holding the upright, blowing with the mouthpiece and reed, and also using the hand to change the pitches by opening and closing the keys with your fingers. Watch our clarinet buying guide for an ext details.

Saxophones, additionally single-reed instruments, are fairly new, created just 150 year ago. Lock are crucial instruments because that jazz and also blues formats of music, but likewise have been incorporated into timeless works. Saxophones can selection in size and also pitch indigenous soprano come contrabass. Alto and also tenor space the most popular types, but if you find out to pat one, you can quickly learn come play every one of them. The saxophone is play in the exact same manner as the clarinet. Learn how to to buy the best saxophone for you.

Double-reed Instruments

Double-reed instruments encompass oboes, bassoons and English horns. Double-reed tools use two exactly cut, small pieces that cane bound with each other at the base. The finished, bound reed is inserted into the instrument and vibrates as air is forced in between the two pieces (causing the air in ~ the instrument to vibrate as well).

Oboes look similar to clarinets and also are played the very same way. The tones developed by the oboe are just below those that the flute. They develop a wide selection of pitches, native haunting sound

s to warm, velvety smooth notes, which do the sound of the oboe memorable. The tool is an essential member that orchestral woodwind sections and also is regularly featured in solos. Learn much more about to buy an oboe. 

Bassoons are the largest member of the woodwind family and also with the lowest pitch, comparable to that of the cello. The bassoon is a long pipe, double in half, make of wood, with many keys. The bending in the pipe renders it possible for musician to play it comfortably. If it to be straight, the bassoon would be around 8 feet long! Bassoons most often play harmony, but occasionally deserve to be heard in melodies. Examine out our bassoon buying overview for help selecting a bassoon.

English Horns are not English and are no horns! This instrument, very closely related to the oboe, also uses a dual reed, and is played in the very same manner. It's much longer than one oboe and also its tube is a little wider. In ~ the bottom end of the English horn it opens out right into a rounded bell shape, which offers it a warmer, fuller sound. Because it's larger, the English horn also has a lower pitch range than one oboe. One oboe player will frequently play English horn if the is needed.

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Buying native Woodwind & Brasswind

No issue what type of woodwind instrument you’re spring for, Woodwind & Brasswind has actually been meeting the demands of students and also professionals because that over 40 years. Each acquisition is backed by Woodwind & Brasswind's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, offering you 45 job to decision if the tool is appropriate for you. Contact us if you require any aid buying a woodwind instrument.