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Where are all the Oboists..

A resurrection thread

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#1 A.U.K

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 21:17

I used to be a very active member of this forum, but as time and tide stands still for no man or woman and life kind of got in the way I lapsed from posting completely. I hope this new thread will reinvigorate the Oboe community and we can once again, chat, natter away, advise and if needs be offer a shoulder when things are not going so well.

 

That said I am sad to see that the Oboists who used to post here seem to have drifted off and our little community seems to have disappeared. Lets be honest here, who else can ever hope to understand the trials and tribulations we Oboists go through most days just to get the wretched things to play, if its not the Instrument being downright awkward its the reeds which as we all know can be diabolical. One step forward and two steps back is something all musicians can relate to but Oboists can relate to it very intensely.

 

 

Musically I have just started working on the Gillet Studies which are monumental in their demands (and frankly nigh on impossible in some cases), I am only on the easiest ones which given the requirements makes the word "Easiest" redundant. I am still experimenting with reeds and scrape and have, says he rather proudly, become rather deft at altering and adjusting reeds to suit me..that said last night they were all total "bathbuns" (forum acceptable language)  and a simple scale of Gmaj over the entire range of the Instrument, ie 3rd Octave G to lowest B natural and back up to the tonic was frightful, chromatics  were the same..today not so bad. Pieces I am currently working on some Debussy and revisiting Haydn, plus I have some new music coming from Germany which is very exciting, pricey but exciting.

 

I have taken a break from playing in Orchestras, the time demands were just too great and I needed to work on technique rather than just play..I was and still am weak technically and an appalling sight reader so I shall spend the next couple of years working on basic technique, articulation and sound production..I have a friend, a pro player, my very first teacher who is trying to get me circular breathing (I don't hold out much hope but I'll give it a go)..I might do some music societies concerts if I am up to scratch but I'm keeping a very open mind as at the moment I am simply not good enough but lets see what some good solid work does.

 

So please, Oboists, Cor Anglais-ists and even Oboe D'amore-ists please jump right in..share your thoughts, your joys, your woes..the dark and the lighter moments..What are you playing at the moment, what is challenging you, what is improving, what are you finding difficult, what is going well..

 

Whatever it is, discuss and lets bring some double reed life back to this forum.

 

Viva Woodwind, Viva Oboe..

 

Regards

 

Andrew


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#2 dorfmouse

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 07:26

You can come and join me in the empty chambers of the harp forum if you're feeling lonely!
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#3 Roseau

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:35

I have still been reading the posts fairly regularly but life has been complicated recently and I haven't had time to post.

In recent weeks, sadly, I haven't even had time to play the oboe  :crying:

I hope I will be back eventually.


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#4 A.U.K

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:21

You can come and join me in the empty chambers of the harp forum if you're feeling lonely!

 Oh my word, I had no idea Harps were so badly represented here, I can only imagine that the Harp being one of the rare instruments that you find yourself in such solitary company. I am sure there must be forums for Harpists, in fact having just checked online there is the UKHA and they have a forum which maybe of use to you..You may have already found this group but if not here you go..

 

http://www.ukharp.net/

 

I note that you do have to be a member to use the forum but you could inquire and find out but in the meantime so you don't feel so lonesome here is a little something for you. Debussy's Reverie arranged for Oboe and Harp.

 


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#5 A.U.K

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:27

I have still been reading the posts fairly regularly but life has been complicated recently and I haven't had time to post.

In recent weeks, sadly, I haven't even had time to play the oboe  :crying:

I hope I will be back eventually.

 

Hello Roseau,

 

rather like you I have been dipping in and out of the forum reading posts which seem to have been dwindling over the past couple of years. Maybe we can inject a new life into this forums section and pick things up again. I am hopeful that Lizbun and Kate will still be about and some names that sadly evade me at the moment.

 

Get your Oboe out and start playing, even if its only for a short period of time each day and you will soon find it all coming back to you, sometimes a break is good and you will be able to do some things far easier than they were before.

 

Andrew


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#6 dorfmouse

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:50

Aw, thanks AUK, that was lovely! I played that in an arrangement for flute and piano last summer for the flute class recital, in a lovely echoey chamber with birds singing outside!

Thanks for the link, I will certainly look it up. Have found another one called harpcolumn but am resisting registering as I already spend far too much time reading them instead of practising! Also resisting temptation to buy mounds of music that I won't be able to play for, ahem, quite some time!

I have a feeling that nearly all the forums are less visited than they used to be, perhaps it's just an impression.
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#7 A.U.K

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:44

Aw, thanks AUK, that was lovely! I played that in an arrangement for flute and piano last summer for the flute class recital, in a lovely echoey chamber with birds singing outside!

Thanks for the link, I will certainly look it up. Have found another one called harpcolumn but am resisting registering as I already spend far too much time reading them instead of practising! Also resisting temptation to buy mounds of music that I won't be able to play for, ahem, quite some time!

I have a feeling that nearly all the forums are less visited than they used to be, perhaps it's just an impression.

 

You are welcome, it's a piece I have played but only with Piano that said it is rather lovely, I would imagine that Flute and Harp must make a lovely combination, I am sure the flute lends itself very nicely to the floating melody.

 

I couldn't agree more that internet takes more time away from practicing and we have to gird our loins and get down to the work we have to do but I do love a bit of "Forum-ing" each day whenever possible to see what folks are up to.

 

Oh and don't fret about buying music that may take some time to get round to playing..I have a cupboard filled to bursting with some extraordinary stuff, plus if we wait until we are ready to play it the prices will have risen so not only is it an economy it could be considered an essential purchase. I have had my Gillet Studies book for over ten years and only just been allowed anywhere near it..Published by a French House, Ludec I think, the French prices are always high but damn it they cottoned on and lowered the price recently to a good £10.00 less than I paid for it but at the time I bought it it showed no sign of ever going down in price so I paid my money and took my chance..

 

I had noticed that the forums were not as well supported as they once were and many old names have vanished which is a shame, maybe if they are still lurking they might pop in and say hello..time will tell.

 

best to you

 

Andrew 


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#8 dorfmouse

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 12:32



 
......... not only is it an economy it could be considered an essential purchase.
 
best to you
 
Andrew
[/quote]

One of the best comments ever! Advice that must be acted upon!
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#9 A.U.K

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:32

Well this thread has had over 700 views so we are at least getting looked in upon but sadly things are slow here but that may be because it's a Bank Holiday weekend and people are away or doing other things. I am possibly just talking to myself here but I'll give it a shot and see what happens.

 

Speaking personally I am about to start my practice, having had a very lazy weekend and being stuffed full of chocolate, so Gillet beckons and I must sort my reeds out come ###### or high water..it must be done..I've got some beauties but one or two which are a little stuffy and need a tweak, (don't we all from time to time), so I shall get my Gregson Knives out and get whittling, they are wonderful knives but I miss my Graf Knives which were amazing..I will be replacing them when the wallet permits but like all things " Oboe" it is always expensive..Oooooo and I am going to sort my music cupboard out, I think in styles of music, ie. Period, Baroque, classical, so on and so forth..I have a feeling that the Baroque shelf will be fairly full. I must confess to having something of a "thing" about sheet music and books, I love books, I love the feel of the actual tome in my hands, E-books fill me with horror as does downloading music online to store in "The Cloud" I like the CD or book in my actual hands and on my shelves, I must be getting old, I am certainly getting creaky.

 

I do love the Easter weekend, it's the best holiday of the year as far as I am concerned, Good Friday then the Saturday and Sunday' followed by a bank holiday monday..its the one weekend of the year which seems enforced, the phone seems to miraculously stop ringing, my email account doesn't get bung full of spam from every supermarket and online shopping which I understand why I get it, but rather confusingly and strangely a fair few from Russian ladies wanting romance, talk about "barking up the wrong tree".

 

So there you go, lucky readers, thats my BHW in all its glory, probably not the most riveting way to spend it but there it is.

 

Hope you are all having fun, whatever you are doing...Now step away from the chocolate..

 

 

Andrew 


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#10 dumdidum

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 14:12

Thanks for re-booting!
When I first joined the forum I spent hours catching up on all the oboe threads and following everyone's oboe journies. I longed to join in and so started lessons as an adult from scratch in 2013. I upgraded to a Howarth S40 after my grade 3 and have been waiting ....and waiting.... to start sounding better than a quacking duck.... Sigh still waiting! A bit disappointed if I am honest - I thought the upgrade would be really noticeable but not sure it is. I have changed teacher as original one couldn't commit to a regular lesson. New teacher lovely and we play some nice duets together but still struggling to get a consistently pleasant sound (well any nice sound to be honest).

I did my grade 5 last year and will probably take grade 6 before Christmas. I am preparing the Bessozi, Couvre Feu and the Mike Mower.
Trying to work on tuning with a tuning app on iPad - my ear isn't great as I can never tell if I am sharp (usually am in higher range) or not. Anyone know the accuracy of the tuning apps? For instance if the app measures I am sharp, can the ear actually detect this +/- so many hertz or whatever is being measured? I have a clock face/ dial app called insTuner. I can hear if I am several notches away from the true note but 1 or 2 'min' away I don't think I can!!
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#11 Oboedad

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 17:32

Good to see this being rebooted - I'm not a player but an interested party as I get my daughters frustrations second hand! I also get the bills to pay.......
I have enjoyed having a look in here in the past just to get confirmation that she's not the only one getting frustrated etc. Now she's a bit older I'll point her in the direction of this forum for tips, advice and reassurance that she's not alone!!!
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#12 A.U.K

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 20:01

Thanks for re-booting!
When I first joined the forum I spent hours catching up on all the oboe threads and following everyone's oboe journies. I longed to join in and so started lessons as an adult from scratch in 2013. I upgraded to a Howarth S40 after my grade 3 and have been waiting ....and waiting.... to start sounding better than a quacking duck.... Sigh still waiting! A bit disappointed if I am honest - I thought the upgrade would be really noticeable but not sure it is. I have changed teacher as original one couldn't commit to a regular lesson. New teacher lovely and we play some nice duets together but still struggling to get a consistently pleasant sound (well any nice sound to be honest).

I did my grade 5 last year and will probably take grade 6 before Christmas. I am preparing the Bessozi, Couvre Feu and the Mike Mower.
Trying to work on tuning with a tuning app on iPad - my ear isn't great as I can never tell if I am sharp (usually am in higher range) or not. Anyone know the accuracy of the tuning apps? For instance if the app measures I am sharp, can the ear actually detect this +/- so many hertz or whatever is being measured? I have a clock face/ dial app called insTuner. I can hear if I am several notches away from the true note but 1 or 2 'min' away I don't think I can!!

 

 

It sounds to me that you are doing pretty well if you have passed Grade 5 and are working towards Grade 6, well done you..

 

As for the sound development, I am going to guess here that your reeds are not suiting you, they maybe just too soft for a mature embouchure..That is not to say that you should play on harder reeds but reeds that have more to them and that are not too open. Also make sure you are not gripping your reeds but cushioning them with your lips..more OOO shaped mouth and less smiling, surely your teacher can help with this.?

 

As for tuners, well I hate the wretched things they can make one quite neurotic about the subject and force you to lip up or down dramatically if you are sharp or flat which is certain death to the embouchure if it itself is not correct, I would suggest you have a talk with your teacher and in your own time play long notes and try different tensions in your lips until you find a sound improving. Listen closely to yourself and adjust your intonation using your ears as your guide. Yes tuners have a place but you must not become enslaved to it, use your ears and your memory muscle will adjust naturally, keep your throat open and use more air to fill the sound out, more air does not mean you blow harder,, yes you use more air but you adjust your diaphragm muscle to support the sound rather than force it out  and for heavens sake don't grip the reed, keep the embouchure soft but supportive.If you are particularly sharp in the third octave start to add and or change fingers in your right hand, add the Low C key or low D, mix it up a bit, each Oboe is different. That said you will naturally tune with the Piano or Orchestra unless you have a serious tuning issue which frankly I doubt..

 

Keep at it don't lose heart..and keep posting.

 

Andrew


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#13 A.U.K

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 20:05

Good to see this being rebooted - I'm not a player but an interested party as I get my daughters frustrations second hand! I also get the bills to pay.......
I have enjoyed having a look in here in the past just to get confirmation that she's not the only one getting frustrated etc. Now she's a bit older I'll point her in the direction of this forum for tips, advice and reassurance that she's not alone!!!

 

I am glad to see some old faces turning up here, we are still Missing a few, Katica springs to mind, Lizbun who has now graduated college I think and a others who's names escape me..

 

By all means get your daughter to drop by, I am sure we can all offer something..

 

Andrew


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#14 dumdidum

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:07

Thanks Andrew ...

I am struggling with finding reeds that make my oboe sing. I have moved to Howarth Dragon reeds - I dont think they are too soft and often find they are closed up.I get tantalising snatches of the 'sweet spot' but it doesnt seem to last for long. I think I am battling against them rather than with them if you know what i mean. I am working with my teacher on the long notes and oohhs etc. She often mentions about changing embouchure for higher notes and dropping my jaw etc but I am not consciously aware that I am doing this (I dont think I am!) - I need to start practising infront of a mirror.

 

 

I have just adopted a very timid cat so have refrained from practising this week week in case I send him up the curtains!


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#15 fsharpminor

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:04

We havent heard from Katica for a while.  Lovely oboe player whom I have had the privilege to accompany.


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