In a Facebook saxophonists’ forum, the topic of “doubling” and its importance to making a living as a saxophonist was raised. I responded by sharing a video of Eddie Daniels (below the text of this article) and adding my own comments.
Someone told me about Eddie Daniels’ philosophy on doubling many years ago, and I adopted it as my own (see video below for Daniels’ philosophy). So, I am a saxophonist. I am a clarinetist. I am a pianist/keyboardist. I am a vocalist.
I am, however, a flute owner. I consider it my only true “double.” It is the bane of my existence. But I am more proficient on the flute than many other flute “doublers” who I personally know.
My saxophone teacher in graduate school, Leo Potts, once related a story from his time at the Paris Conservatory:
Once a week, Leo attended a masterclass taught by the legendary saxophonist Marcel Mule (Leo studied privately with Daniel Deffayet). On one snowy week, Leo was the only student to show to the masterclass, so it ended up being a private lesson with Mule. Mule said to Leo, “So you’re a doubler?”
Leo responded, “That’s what we have to do in Los Angeles to survive.”
Mule replied, “In France, we only chase one rabbit . . . but we always catch him.”