QUOTE(Isi @ Mar 24 2010, 11:04 AM)
QUOTE(pikkoloflautist @ Mar 24 2010, 07:22 AM)
If I may, can I ask what reed you're playing on?
I'm using the Howarth Academy reed they gave me - which I know you said was rubbish!
I have ordered a couple of Fortay ones after seeing a recommendation on another thread on this site but they won't arrive for another month or so.
I would like to get another to use in the meantime, but thought I should wait until I find a teacher as they might be able to steer me in the right direction rather than me spending £s on random reeds on the internet!
Do you think I would notice a difference using a different reed?
Fortays are very nice. Will you notice a difference? Well 2 reeds of the same type from the same batch will feel and sound different. That's one of the delights of the oboe.
Back to square one.
I'm guessing that as a flautist your breathing is pretty good and you breath properly into the bottom of your lungs and use your diaphragm to support the airflow. Pay attention to this, the oboe is very physical and if you don't use enough air the tone will be poor and the pitch will sag. I heard a teacher say "all oboe blowing is fortissimo blowing".
Have you done any reed exercises without the oboe? You need to get a reed ready to play. Soak the tip of the reed in water for about a minute before you use it. Blow out the surplus water. Now stick it in your mouth up to the binding and close your lips loosely around it. Blow hard. It should "crow" (make a sort of squeaky 2 tone sound). Repeat until it does. Then put it in your mouth as if to play (do you know how to make an oboe embouchure?) and blow hard. It should now give a fairly monotone squeak around C. Once it's crowing and squeaking nicely stick it back on the oboe. It should be a little easier to blow now.
Use your tuner to try and blow long notes holding the pitch steady. I know some misguided fools think the oboe gives the pitch to the orchestra because it always plays in tune, but no. It is EASY to be a semitone out and you will have a long journey to play reliably at pitch. Do not bite down, that will send your pitch shooting to the stratosphere. Your mouth should be open, teeth apart and lips firmly around the reed (think an O shape - especially when playing E).
So, lots of long notes. Try bottom D up to 2nd 8ve G for starters. Lower and higher notes will feel hard work right now. A to C will probably sound horrible, don't worry. Then try slurring two notes and staying in tune and maintaining the same timbre without adjusting your embouchure. Then some scales - D, F and G for starters I would say.
Don't do too much to start with. 10 minutes a day will probably be all you can manage for a while. Build it up gradually. Your cheeks will ache and your head may sometimes spin. It does pass.
Oh, something I only started doing fairly recently (after a couple of years). Make sure you rotate your reeds. As I said above, all reeds feel and sound different and you will always have a favourite. Make sure you also use the not so good ones. It will get you used to coping on a less than perfect reed - something you will have to put up with using bought reeds. Rotating 3 reeds your should get 3 or 4 months use from a batch.