QUOTE(katica @ Nov 20 2010, 01:16 AM)
(Zero oboe this week!
After foot issue, altitude-related headache and then severe stomach upset put paid to all practice plans in La Paz... might try for 10 mins now before I pack... end-of-term exam on Tues, if I can find transportation...
Hope you get back home safely this time
And good luck for your end of term exam. (Do you really have one at the end of every term?)
Thanks everyone for the answers to the tongue question - and you have confirmed what my teacher said.
The reason I asked is because I have always had trouble with my first notes. It doesn't matter whether they are loud or soft, short or long, high or low, they never come out properly. My teacher said that the physical reason for this is that I breath in, pause and then start playing. He put this slight pause down to a lack of confidence and an apprehension about the first note which then of course becomes a vicious circle - I think it's not going to come out so it doesn't...
Anyway, this is one of the things my teacher has decided I need to improve and he had given me precise instructions of how to practise individual notes. While I was doing these exercices at home, I suddenly realised that if I didn't tongue the note everything was so much easier - I could play any dynamic, any range and the note would start at exactly the right time without the little pause. So I turned up at my lesson last week saying that I hadn't exactly solved the problem but it was much better if I didn't tongue. At first he didn't believe me but after getting me to play random notes at random dynamics, he said that I was perfectly correct but that he was amazed because he had never met anyone who found it easier to start without the tongue (except possibly in pp passages like Katica describes) and that usually he gives pupils specific exercices to learn how to start notes without the tongue because it is a useful skill in some circumstances.
As I was leaving he said first the thumb rest, now the tongue, what are you going to come up with next that none of my pupils ever does?
So I thought I'd check on here and see if I really was the only one...
I don't know about you, Katica, but being fluent in two languages means that when my teacher says 'just say "tu"', I don't really know what exactly I am supposed to be doing. I know that the tongue is not in exactly the same place for an English "t" and a French "t" (this is one of the things I teach) and from experience that the French "u" is an impossibly difficult sound for a native English speaker to get right (particularly when you are supposed to be thinking a French "ooh" at the same time) but once you start intellectualising it, the whole thing becomes impossibly complex