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Where are all the Oboists..

A resurrection thread

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#31 dumdidum

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:29

Hi all

In my lesson yesterday I was still struggling with getting a good wind through my reeds. They feel very closed to me. Of course when my teacher has a go with the same reed in my oboe, she sounds ace!  :glare: So we have decided the reed is fine and my embouchure is just too tight. I have to try and relax my lips ....oh and take less reed in the mouth.

 

Wish me luck on my journey to sound nice(ish)

 


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#32 Wai Kit Leung

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 13:23

Maximum pressure from the abdomen and minimal pressure from the embouchure. That has worked for me. Hope you will get over the hump soon!

Hi all
In my lesson yesterday I was still struggling with getting a good wind through my reeds. They feel very closed to me. Of course when my teacher has a go with the same reed in my oboe, she sounds ace! :glare: So we have decided the reed is fine and my embouchure is just too tight. I have to try and relax my lips ....oh and take less reed in the mouth.

Wish me luck on my journey to sound nice(ish)


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#33 dumdidum

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 14:25

Thanks Wai Kit - I will give it a go and report back.

Personal question for oboists here as I am too embarrassed to ask my teacher this - do you clench your bottom when you play? I think I clench all over stomach/b um/pelvic floor etc as I am afraid in case anything ahem leaks ..... or is this just an irrational fear I have?!   :blush:  :ph34r:


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#34 fsharpminor

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 14:40

Thanks Wai Kit - I will give it a go and report back.

Personal question for oboists here as I am too embarrassed to ask my teacher this - do you clench your bottom when you play? I think I clench all over stomach/b um/pelvic floor etc as I am afraid in case anything ahem leaks ..... or is this just an irrational fear I have?!   :blush:  :ph34r:

Depends what you've eaten ! :unsure:


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#35 Wai Kit Leung

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 16:19

Personally I have never had to do that and nothing ever leaked ^_^

Thanks Wai Kit - I will give it a go and report back.
Personal question for oboists here as I am too embarrassed to ask my teacher this - do you clench your bottom when you play? I think I clench all over stomach/b um/pelvic floor etc as I am afraid in case anything ahem leaks ..... or is this just an irrational fear I have?! :blush: :ph34r:


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#36 A.U.K

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 21:33

Hi Andrew,

Sorry to hear about your father - and that you felt you had to resign from the Orchestra.  Though it can be no fun if you are not enjoying the repertoire they are playing.  I was fortunate that my orchestra kept my seat open for me when I took a break to look after my partner before he died.  I had a summer and autumn term off but then found it very helpful to go back - not least for being a night out of the house to see people without being expected to actually talk to them!

 

Congratulations on your new oboe - what make/ model have you bought?  I am sure a new oboe will help the incentive to practice. 

 

I had a good lesson last night - beginning to think about a potential programme for doing ARSM.  I've just ordered some new music - Hurd -  Concerto da Camera, Ranki - Don Quixote and Dulcinea and the Gregson Sonata.  I listened to the Hurd and Ranki on Youtube and they both seem nice. I'll let you know how I get on.

 

All the best

 

Hello Flobiano,

 

Thank you for your kind words regarding my father, he was a remarkable man with a gentile soul, I aspire to be a fraction of the Gentleman that he was. For me, leaving the orchestra was a decision I could not avoid, I never missed rehearsals, I was always there and I just knew that the call was going to come and that I would have to up and run which to me didn't seem fair on the Orchestra, being Principal I had a lot of responsibilities to them so it was best I stepped aside in case the call came just before a concert and I could not get a dep.

 

The programming also concerned me, there were all sorts of aspirational ideas being put forward which required near virtuosic playing, especially in the strings and frankly the woodwind were pretty demanding as well and I could almost sense disaster looming. Far better to play a more manageable program well than stumble through a Monumental work badly..That said they did push on and have made great strides under their new conductor and have produced some memorable concerts but I still feel I was right to step down and move on. I have a lot of technical issues to deal with and my time is best spent dealing with technique and studies, I hope in time that I will return and be a much better player and better served to fill the principals chair. I'm not a second Oboe, it's just not my bag and I would be a weak second..it would not be strong point.

 

My change of Oboe is quite dramatic, would you all expect anything else from me..I moved from a Loree 125 to a Ludwig Frank Model 12 Brilliant which he made for me. I was finding the Loree, though lovely, not quite working for me, I also felt it didn't really like the European scrape reeds and was more suited to the Long W scrape favoured by the Americans which I didn't really get on with. Loree have cornered the market in America so I can understand why they gear everything to that market and school of playing..So I decided after lengthy consideration to commission Ludwig Frank to make an Oboe for me which he did, it did take the best part of 6 months but it was well worth the wait..If my reeds are behaving, I can simply breathe into it and it plays, it is effortless. The tuning is extraordinary and the sound is a much fuller, more German sound, it plays well FFF or PPP and is a doddle anywhere inbetween, you can play freely, and really give it some air then back off and it is utterly consistent. I am struggling to alter my finger position, especially when playing in Ab major, the placement of the keys is slightly different to that on my Loree, not a huge difference but enough to cause me problems..The scale of Ab major is fine, all the way up from low Bb to top F but when I start jumping around playing studies or a piece in Ab I get in trouble so its a case of very slow practice in front of a mirror, (not something I recommend, it's not pretty) and consciously watching my finger placement..It's going to take time, and how I haven't set fire to my pieces in Ab and studies will remain one of lifes unanswered questions..mercifully I have the patience of a saint and just keep working away at it..it won't beat me. I suppose if push comes to shove I will go to Berlin and see Ludiwg and ask him to alter the keywork a fraction. All that aside I am delighted with my new Oboe, it is a thing of immense beauty both in sound and appearance and I am very happy I made the decision to change..I still have my Loree Royal 125 and won't be selling it just yet but I suspect give me another year and I will part with it and then get a second Oboe from Ludwig. The man truly is a master maker and his Oboes are sublime, he has been incredibly nice to me, very generous with his time if I had any questions and given his client list I consider myself very lucky to be part of that elevated group. (I didn't make the website as a noted player but I'm working on it...lol)

 

I shall be very interested to hear what you think of your new music..I love getting new music..strangely I have a new work coming from Germany which I noticed starts off in Ab Major..Curses,,,

 

Keep on posting..it's nice to have some of the old team back

 

Regards

 

Andrew

Thank you fsharpminor for your totally undeserved kind words!!! Thank you AUK for a much-needed boost to the thread!! I have missed you too, roseau, flobiano, hardying. ..

I've been checking in very sporadically but life has got in the way, as for other people.

Got to rush right now (last minute practice before oboe lesson - ver naughty! :() but I PROMISE to come back on here within a couple of days, read the new posts properly and report in.
:)

Ahhhh there she is, hello Kate..nice to see you back..I am glad to see you are still playing and working away at the Oboe..I felt it was best to re start this thread and see who turned up..

 

Keep us posted on how things are going and what you are playing

 

Regards

 

Andrew


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#37 A.U.K

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 21:45

Thanks Wai Kit - I will give it a go and report back.

Personal question for oboists here as I am too embarrassed to ask my teacher this - do you clench your bottom when you play? I think I clench all over stomach/b um/pelvic floor etc as I am afraid in case anything ahem leaks ..... or is this just an irrational fear I have?!   :blush:  :ph34r:

 

No I don't clench my buttocks when playing, they are far too big to clench anyway..it sounds to me as if you need to relax more and stop clenching everything from your buttocks to your embouchure..relax and let your air flow through your reeds..lets be plain here, you are not going to break wind while playing the Oboe anymore than when you are doing anything else..I think this overall tension you are describing is holding you back so try to consciously relax and just play a scale, actively don't clench up anything and just relax your embouchure and play.. and yes it's a totally irrational fear..even if it does happen once in a blue moon it's not the end of the world, you'll laugh, have a giggle and then move forward...

 

Best of luck... keep at it

 

Regards

 

Andrew


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#38 katica

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:57

Well, it would be fun if this does become a ¨hotter¨ thread. Does that mean we get some lurid oboe jokes??? I could do with a bit of humour...

 

Glad to see that dumdidum is still battling away (a newcomer to you AUK - joined while you were away with ¨other cats to whip¨, as they say here - apologies to cat lovers!).

 

Offline I´m in touch with Roseau and Hardying, who is also having quite a challenging time, and very occasionally catch a bit of flobiano´s adventures on FB. I´m not sure what arundodonuts is up to... about to start the Morris season, I should think.

 

In general the Forums do seem to have calmed down a lot.  There don´t seem to be quite so many face-to-face events either, though sbhoa is stalwart in keeping Stalybridge going (I couldn´t make it last year but I really enjoyed playing with fsharpminor the year before - can´t believe I was brave enough to attempt Marcello!), katyjay continues with Egham (I´ve never been) and there have been a couple of new events in Bristol (I VERY rashly attempted Schumann Romance No.2, wedged in among rather impressive playing by a bunch of very competent pianists).

 

I have continued with oboe lessons, though for one reason or another they quite often get cancelled (last Tuesday´s was - and probably just as well). My nerves problem has got worse and worse so I have yet again put off doing my elementary recital (i.e. about Grade 5ish - and I'm really supposed to be doing the Intermediary one this year). I´m not sure how I´m being allowed to get away with it. I also get nerves when I have to do a band/orchestral solo, even in rehearsal (actually, rehearsals are usually worse than the actual concert). It´s really stupid because they´re really not that difficult. I have come to the conclusion that anxiety is pretty well at the bottom of all my oboe playing problems - tight embouchure, inadequate breathing, heavy fingers, etc, etc. I fear this will be a lifelong battle. In general, my oboe mojo is not in great shape at the moment. Sometimes I feel like I have made no progress in the last three years and maybe even gone backwards.

 

At the moment my oboe focus is pretty well reduced to improving technique (still abysmally slow-fingered, no vibrato to speak of or it´s not very well controlled, breathing needs work, etc etc) and stamina, which collapses if I´m off the horn for more than a couple of days. I always say that the main difference between youth and maturity on the oboe is the same as going to the gym - when you´re in your teens you can take two weeks off and it takes two days to get back into form when you start again but when you´re older you take two days off and you need two weeks to get back into form!

 

I´m not particularly working on interesting pieces at the moment, though I do have the pleasure of a fellow oboe student - much younger than me - who is now making faster progress to the point that we are now overlapping our lessons so that we can play a Vivaldi double concerto together (RV 535 in D minor). 

 

Your new Ludwig Frank sounds lovely, AUK! My teacher wanted one a while back, having tried out Washington Barella´s (Brazilian oboist based in Germany). Too expensive, I think, which is unfortunate because I think he would sound lovely with a bit of German power behind his reed. He has stuck to Lorée for now but is always very complementary about my XL, which he´d buy from me in a split second if he could. Which just makes me feel that I really don´t deserve it with my lousy playing these days.

 

Is anyone off to any interesting music events this summer with their oboes? I know that Andrew Knight´s oboe course at Benslow must be coming up soon...

 

I don´t expect I´ll be back in the UK this year but I plan to be back for around 6 months next year, so I hope (funds allowing) to be able to attend more musical events. With my parents getting older, the plan is to spend more time in the UK so I´ve already begun to look at possible places to live (house prices are so frightening though!!!!). Until I decide where to settle, I expect I will hop between my parents as I did in 2015 - I hope the New Forest Orchestra (near my Dad) will take me back as 2nd oboe (I really enjoyed playing with them) and I´ve enquired with an orchestra in Monmouth (nearest orchestra to my Mum) and they said they´d be happy to have a 2nd oboe. Not very challenging repertoire, I think, but quite OK for me.

 

I really can´t bear the idea of leaving Costa Rica, though, so the plan is to flee the UK in the winter as long as finances permit.

 

By the way, a date for your diaries: 28 August to 1 September 2018. The IDRS conference will be in Granada, Spain - the first in Europe since 2009 in Birmingham. I didn´t manage to make Tokyo and I hope to be in Europe then (yes, for me the UK is Europe!!!!) so this one´s definitely in my diary... I´m hoping that there´ll be more Latin Americans this time since it´ll be only the second time they hold the conference in a Spanish-speaking country (the first was Argentina).


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#39 A.U.K

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 16:07

Hello Kate, what a wonderful post..

 

You seem to be incredibly busy with all that you have going on..I quite understand and I am sure many people can relate to the "Nerves" issue, it hit me like a ton of bricks when I had large-ish Orchestra solos looming..would I get through it ? would I hit all the notes ? (and in tune) would my fingers behave ?, would my Reeds behave ? the list goes on and on..it's like a Bungee jump every time..Honestly, preparation is the key, if we are well rehearsed and practiced that will help reduce the nerves which can run away with us all and help remove the feeling of a "Suicide" leap of the cliff face..I played Beethovens 6th Symphony awhile back which was utterly nail biting from the very first entry which though subtle is a tricky one to navigate, you just have to come in "dead right" and on the money..the 2nd movement wasn't so bad, the 12/8 is rather lovely to play, the only hairy moment is the little bird call at the end of the movement when the Oboe comes in on the 11th beat of the bar follwed by the clarinet and the flute so you can't muck it up or they are wrecked so expert counting was essential..then the mother of all solos the 3rd movement with the peasants rejoicing in the fields..the well known BIG solo with the Oboe playing off the beat which is all well and good provided the orchestra is tight and stays "on the beat" if they don't one is doomed..I can tell you I lost a few pound sweating that day. I can entirely relate to what you say about the nerves and all I can say is the more you do it the easier it gets..I also think it's because we care that we worry, we place very high expectations on ourselves and of course the Oboe does rather stand out so any slips are noticed..I can't tell you how many times I have been glared at during rehearsals by the conductor while everyone else seems to get away with murder..Hey ho I learned to not take it to heart and " Paly Out and Play On"..I would say play your recitals when you are ready, it will probably go far better than you expect and you will look back and wonder what you were worrying about..that is until the next time..Oh the Joy..

 

I think you are very wise to focus on technique, the niggles, the details that make us all better players..There is so much more than just blowing the Oboe, there are all sorts of subtle nuances that we can use which in turn enhances the end result.. I am a huge fan of scales, all sorts of scales, they are my staple practice every day and they are so useful and ones fingers do start to get quicker there is no denying it. I find articulation challenging especially in fast passages and making my tongue work at speed ( I can't double tongue for the life of me) so I stick with single tonguing and aim to speed it up notch by notch..Its a slow process but I am optimistic..

 

I am not attending any courses of masterclasses this year but I am planning to going to Berlin early next year to attend a couple (only to listen not to play, I wouldn't dare) plus it will give me chance to take my LF Oboe back to Ludwig and let him service and regulate the keywork which should have well and truly settled in..Yes Andrew Knights course at Benslow is imminent but I am not going, I went when I first started and he was very nice to everyone but I think he found me a bit below standard and a bit of a handfull..lol. He is a lovely person and highly accomplished both as a player and a teacher but I suspect I wouldn't be his first choice of candidates for a masterclass..I must learn to become more "Low Key" and not stand out like a beacon in full light, which is more of a challenge than double tonguing ..I won't be heading to Spain either for the IDRS, I hate flying so I won't be going. I went when it came to the UK but was taken very poorly when I was there and spent 10 days in hospital in Birmingham so I only got to be there on the first day..it was a disaster and to be honest it is so geared to the American players as is the IDRS in general it seemed like we Europeans didn't matter one bit so I think I'll pass.  

 

I wish you luck with your plans for travel and I hope it all comes together for you, I know only too well the worries of elderly parents and what to do what to do..I hope you are able to find way through all the needs and requirements..and yes Property here is terrifyingly expensive.

 

Good luck and keep practicing..

 

Andrew 


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#40 Arundodonuts

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 19:08

I´m not sure what arundodonuts is up to... about to start the Morris season, I should think.

Still here!!

 

All activity was on hold for a while. Autumn last year I started having trouble with my right shoulder - pain and lack of movement. I had surgery at the beginning of this year and haven't done a lot of oboe, morris or mountain biking so far this year. I was just getting going again and I appear to have crocked my other shoulder/arm, rolling around under desks at work (don't ask!).

 

Anyway I have started playing again and trying to rebuild the embouchure strength and stamina. On the subject of new oboes, I got myself an XL last year so it's a shame I haven't been able to do as much as I might have wished. I've been messing around a bit with the Vivaldi Sonata in Cm, largely as a means of trying to improve my finger speed, the Dutilleux and revisiting some Ferling studies I struggled with years ago (according the the dates on the pages). I've eventually returned to the music centre I visit at the weekend. Current pieces on the go there include Mendlessohn Italian Symphony and a short extract from Orpheus in his underpants (yes THAT bit).

 

I was due to restart lessons but I want to sort out the other shoulder now. I've been recommended an osteopath by a music tutor, which isn't a route I've previously taken. Anyone got any experience in this respect?


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#41 Hardying

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 16:36

Thanks for resuscitating the oboe thread Andrew & for Katica for telling me it was "live" again.

I've just started playing again after 6 months off for treatment for breast cancer. I still have about a month of treatment to go, so hope to return to the oboe seriously after that.

It was great to catch up on people's news & I look forward to us all encouraging each other on our ooe journeys.

XX


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#42 A.U.K

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 21:10

Thanks for resuscitating the oboe thread Andrew & for Katica for telling me it was "live" again.

I've just started playing again after 6 months off for treatment for breast cancer. I still have about a month of treatment to go, so hope to return to the oboe seriously after that.

It was great to catch up on people's news & I look forward to us all encouraging each other on our ooe journeys.

XX

Hello Hardying..darling I am so sorry to read of your troubles and ill health and I hope you are now through the worst, Breast Cancer is a terrible thing to have to face and I am not alone, I'm sure, in wishing you a full and speedy recovery..

 

I am glad you have started to play again, keep it light and just enjoy it while you regain your Oboe stamina..It does return I promise..

 

Keep posting, I am so pleased that so many of the regulars are back in amongst us here...we were a nice group..lets hope things pick up a bit..

 

Best wishes my lovely...

 

Andrew x


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#43 A.U.K

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 21:53

 

I´m not sure what arundodonuts is up to... about to start the Morris season, I should think.

Still here!!

 

All activity was on hold for a while. Autumn last year I started having trouble with my right shoulder - pain and lack of movement. I had surgery at the beginning of this year and haven't done a lot of oboe, morris or mountain biking so far this year. I was just getting going again and I appear to have crocked my other shoulder/arm, rolling around under desks at work (don't ask!).

 

Anyway I have started playing again and trying to rebuild the embouchure strength and stamina. On the subject of new oboes, I got myself an XL last year so it's a shame I haven't been able to do as much as I might have wished. I've been messing around a bit with the Vivaldi Sonata in Cm, largely as a means of trying to improve my finger speed, the Dutilleux and revisiting some Ferling studies I struggled with years ago (according the the dates on the pages). I've eventually returned to the music centre I visit at the weekend. Current pieces on the go there include Mendlessohn Italian Symphony and a short extract from Orpheus in his underpants (yes THAT bit).

 

I was due to restart lessons but I want to sort out the other shoulder now. I've been recommended an osteopath by a music tutor, which isn't a route I've previously taken. Anyone got any experience in this respect?

 

Hello there Arundodonuts, nice to have you back with us,.the momentum is building and we are getting more and more posts which is great..

Sorry to hear about your shoulder, I won't ask about rolling around under the desks..what you do in your own time is your affair...lol

 

Glad to read you are playing again...it seems that many of us if not all have taken a break for one reason or another and have taken time to get back but once we are on the mission it seems that there is no stopping us..I find that somethings improve after a break, my finger speed returned quite well and I focused on keeping my fingers low and near the keys..that said I take everything nice and slow and build from there..somethings are easier once revisited after a break and my greatest saviour is SCALES..I love scales and play allsorts of variants of them...I can spend a good hour just working my way through a selection of them which I find remarkably centering and they are getting both quicker and smoother..I diddle about with them and find them very useful for ornamentation..So get your XL out and get playing...Love the Mendlessohn its great fun to play..

 

I just think its important to play things you enjoy at this stage then step it up a notch..My nemesis is Ab major so I have just taken delivery of a work that though it is in Cmj it opens in 5 flats which will make all my fingers work..its all about finger placement for me but I'll get it sorted in time..

 

Good luck with your shoulder..and keep posting

 

regards

 

Andrew.


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#44 Hardying

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:34

Thanks for your kind reply Andrew. Yes I'm just playing pieces I really like at the moment such as the Hummel, & have started  meeting friends for duets.

On Saturday I'm attenidng this event at the Wiltshire Music Centre - looks like fun & it's only £5!!!!!  Even if I can't play much, I'm sure it will be good.

 

OAE DOUBLE REED DAY   Book Now
  • Date:
    Saturday 6 May 2017
  • Time:
    10:00 AM

double%20reed%20day_498x475.jpg

Bring along your oboes and
bassoons and learn about
period instrument performance.
Get technical tips from
instrumentalists from the
OAE and enjoy a morning of
music-making with likeminded
musicians. The day will include
an open masterclass in the
morning, an invitation to watch
an OAE rehearsal in the afternoon
and a chance to play side by side
with members of the Orchestra
at the Tots concert (7 May).
Open to all Grade 5 standard
(or equivalent) and above

Bring along your oboes and bassoons and learn about period instrument performance. Get technical tips from instrumentalists from the OAE and enjoy a morning of music-making with likeminded musicians. The day will include an open masterclass in the morning (10am-1pm), an invitation to watch an OAE rehearsal in the afternoon and a chance to play side by side with members of the Orchestra at the Tots concert (7 May).

Open to all Grade 5 standard (or equivalent) and above


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#45 flobiano

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 14:58

That looks it will be a very interesting and enjoyable day Hardying - I hope you have a lovely time!

Hopefully you will back up to full strength and playing again soon.

 

 Arundodonuts. hope your shoulder gets sorted out soon, must be very frustrating after getting the other one fixed.

 

Katica - I am very tempted by the IDRS conf in Spain, I will keep it in my diary and see how holidays pan out next year.

 

My day of playing Haydn Symphonies on Sunday was great fun - we did Nos 6,7 and 8.  I ended up playing second as the other oboist they'd found was much better than me.  To be honest I don't think it made much difference to the parts.  I quite enjoy playing second though, it's generally much less pressured and I enjoy trying to match tone/ phrasing to someone else rather than having to stress too much about solos.

 

As A.U.K has mentioned scales I thought I'd tell you about the lovely scale exercise my teacher has given me this week.

Pick a 2 octave scale (any scale, I'm using F major), continue to play up and down the 2 octaves

Play in bars of 4/4 - one bar in crotchets, one bar in quavers, one in triplets, semiquavers,  5 notes to a beat, 6 notes to a beat. 

all that lot will take you up and down the scale 3 times.  (I hope that makes sense.)

I had to write it out to work out which note each beat started on (especially with the 5s and 6's) but it is a good exercise for subdividing the beat accurately and speeding up my fingers. It requires a bit of thought but is very satisfying when it works out!  I'm practising with a metronome at a crotchet =60  


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