QUOTE(katica @ Feb 19 2011, 10:28 PM)
So, in the lesson I really only got time for some long notes to get my sound back but even that was worth it. I was just SO, SO happy to be back.
I hope you get a full lesson next week
At least you only have 7 days to wait. (Are you crossing them off on the calendar - and at least you don't have a daughter gleefully telling you that she gets to have her lesson two days before you
Some complicated rhythms but my main problem is STILL not being entirely used to the Howarth XL - still having trouble moving from some notes (eg C, C sharp) to LH E flat. Haven't managed to cure the LH hand/finger position so I all too often end up slightly uncovering the hole on the LH middle finger (A key) with disastrous results (notes won't sound properly).
A couple of weeks ago it suddenly occurred to me that I was no longer having problems with the LH E flat. (And I'm even managing LH Fs as well - my last oboe didn't have one). So rest assured the problem will disappear without you really noticing. I do have a (very boring) Gillet exercice to practise using the two E flat keys. PM me if you want a copy.
Pain in right hand is definitely due to a tense right thumb, which I am still pressing too much against the oboe (like on a recorder). I wish I had had a "light-on-the-road-to-Damascus" discovery like kerioboe but obviously it's going to take a while to cure this bad habit.
You could try asking your teacher to support your thumb while you're playing (ie, he puts his fingers under your thumb and pushes it upwards against the thumb rest). This was how my teacher helped my find the correct position and it was also when I discovered how much more comfortable it was to play when the oboe is held correctly. At one point, my teacher did suggest that I find some way of attaching my thumb to the thumb rest but I couldn't find anything that worked. Although it was an "instant" discovery, it has taken me over three months to be able to reliably (and constantly) hold it correctly. It has also had a knock on effect on what I do with my left-hand, my embouchure and even the way I stand, some of which I am still in the process of sorting out.
I note that my sound improved when I managed temporarily to reduce the tension. I am sure tension is also at the bottom of my the stamina problems too.
I'm the same and it's one of those Catch 22 situations. If you start thinking about not being tense, you become tense and when you are having a tension free moment, if you suddenly think "wow, I'm playing in such a relaxed way" you immediately tense up
My teacher assures me that this sort of tension will eventually disappear when the techinical aspects of playing becomes instinctive (I haven't dared to ask how long he thinks that might take
Does anyone know if general physical fitness helps breathing and stamina on the oboe?
Nicholas Daniel suggested lying at the bottom of a swimming pool to improve breathing and stamina. Lie on your back, let yourself sink to the bottom while emptying your lungs and stay on the bottom for as long as you can. (He did say that, when you get good at this, you need to warn the life-guard otherwise they keep jumping in to try and save you
). I don't know if it really works or not though as I haven't been to a swimming-pool since to try.
I'm sure your stamina has improved over the years without you really noticing. I was so fed up with the 1st movement of the Vivaldi yesterday (which refuses to sound like music) that I rifled through my music looking for tuneful pieces. One of the things I pulled out was Bozza's "Conte pastoral" which I bought several years ago after hearing it on a CD and had ended up putting away because it was too difficult. To my surprise I discovered that I no longer needed all the extra breath marks I'd added in.
QUOTE(pushpull @ Feb 19 2011, 11:17 PM)
QUOTE(katica @ Feb 19 2011, 09:28 PM)
I have been having a similar problem to plonkee but I hope slightly less serious (pain/tension and also stamina issue). Pain in right hand is definitely due to a tense right thumb, which I am still pressing too much against the oboe (like on a recorder).
But you shouldn't actually be pressing on a recorder should you? Shouldn't the thumb just take the weight of the instrument? If you are pressing that implies you are pushing against something more than the weight of the instrument - i.e. your fingers. Which sounds like the classic "squeezing the notes out of a toothpaste tube" issue.
With a recorder (most of which don't have thumb rests) you stop your thumb moving up or down by pushing slightly against the recorder away from your body. When I was holding the oboe like a recorder, the thumb rest wasn't resting on my thumb, I was just using it as a guide to where the thumb should be placed. However, because the oboe is so much heavier than a recorder, if the thumb rest is not resting on the thumb then you do have to push quite hard against the oboe to keep the oboe in the correct position. Try taking your thumb rest off the oboe and playing without it and you will see what I mean (my teacher tried and couldn't do it).