As a newbie myself (this is my second season of really pursuing waterfowl, and my first of actually seeing results), reading this has been helpful to me as well as (I'm sure) the OP.
One question I do have for the "learn a single before trying a double" guys, though:
I started last year with two double reeds because whatever I read last year suggested that they were easier to pick up and blow, whereas singles took more technique/practice, but were more versatile.
Over the course of last season, through the offseason, and into this season, I've since added a few single reeds (all have been cheapies until recently adding a daisy cutter)..and, from *my own newbie experience*, I can't for the life of me figure out the draw of double reeds.
Maybe I've developed bad form or something, but even before getting the DC, I've sounded way better (to my own ears), and could do more with any single compared to a double. The only benefit I found was that in January, my singles seemed to freeze and stick more easily than the doubles...but aside from that, the singles held all of the advantages. Perhaps the biggest advantage being that all of my doubles seem to have more of a 'buzzing' quality to the sound, whereas the singles don't do that, and if anything have more of a 'clacking' sound...which to my ears sounds a lot more like a duck.
Is this typical, or am I doing something wrong with the doubles?