I play flute. What is an instrument that I can switch to for jazz band?

I really want to play in jazz band and I want to play more instruments, or at least one. I’m wondering which instrument will be easiest to switch to for jazz band.

9 thoughts on “I play flute. What is an instrument that I can switch to for jazz band?

  1. CF in VA

    You hold it differently, but still need finger skills and breath skills.

    My little sis took up both flute and clarinet – played in both regular and jazz bands in high school.

    Good luck!

  2. St Petersburg native

    I’ll suggest the alto saxophone; it is fairly close to the flute in range (the soprano is closer, but isn’t practical for more than one reason) and the fingerings will be more similar than those of clarinet to those of flute. In a purely notational sense the written range of the saxophone is virtually identical to that of flute (on clarinet one must read more ledger lines below the staff).
    Traditionally speaking, the starter woodwind is the clarinet; then one moved on to the saxophone, which then was followed by either flute or oboe. Unfortunately in a school jazz band (also known by names such as lab band, stage band, or big band) the reed books are typically two alto saxophones, two tenors, and a baritone, with clarinet parts an absolute rarity (in some books your flute skills would definitely come in handy). If you want to play immediately in the jazz band, take up a saxophone; in the long run, if you want to be a better saxophonist, consider taking up the clarinet first.

  3. Supulekillacapacop

    switch to alto sax it’s easy to learn and fun to play and eventually you can upgrade to tenor or baritone sax

  4. Nathan

    Alto Saxophone is the closest fingering to the flute. There are only a few different fingerings to learn and you have to get used to the position and embouchure.

  5. da bass playa

    Everybody says sax…I say bass! I’m a flute player and I play the bass guitar for jazz band. I picked it up really quickly and I’m doing pretty well now as my high school jazz band’s only bassist. It’s really not that hard unless you don’t know bass clef then its a little bit tougher because you have to learn it.
    Good Luck!

  6. Kljh H

    DEFINITELY ALTO SAX!!! I’ve been playin it in Jazz band an I love it. it’s allot easier than clarinet ( I played that to)

  7. j w

    OMG!!! Don’t put down your flute! Please google Lori Bell. She is a phenomenal jazz flutist that you MUST hear. I bet you’ll appreciate what your flute is capable of then! She has a new CD out on Resonance records? or Resonance recordings. It’s a relatively new Label. the CD is awesome! If you can work on your skills…you will REALLY have something special with that flute!

    I went to see her live last week and I am such a fan! Bought the CD and she is just as warm and personable as she is talented.

  8. saxy4d

    Learn Piano. Im a saxophonist who doubles on flute and clarinet. I have been playing for years! I recommend piano. Once you learn piano, all areas of your musicality will greatly improve. Jazz band is fun, but if you really wanna learn some stuff, learn piano. you will have to learn how to read, improvise, comp, sooooooo many things. then when it comes time to learn saxophone, clarinet, oboe, etc… you can apply all of your music theory to these instruments.

    otherwise, saxophone is the easiest to learn, hardest to master.


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