Help Playing the Oboe

by Dyvo

Help Playing the Oboe

The oboe is one of the four woodwind instruments regularly
found in the orchestra. It is also widely used in chamber
music, concert bands and as a solo instrument. Playing the
oboe, therefore, does open up a range of playing
opportunities for anyone prepared to put in the necessary
work to master the instrument.

The oboe has a reputation of being one of the more difficult
instruments to learn. It is also much less well known than
the other woodwind instruments such as the flute, the
clarinet and the saxophone. Mainly because of these two
issues, there are far fewer oboists around than there are
flutists, clarinetist or saxophonists. The big advantage
here is that, whereas the players of the aforementioned
instruments are fighting over a few available playing
opportunities, the oboist is in great demand and can often
take his or her pick of whatever playing is going. This is a
very big plus and makes playing the oboe a particularly


rewarding skill.

With regard to its reputation as being difficult, this is a
bit of a myth. It is certainly strenuous for a beginner but
it is simply a question of learning, understanding and
applying the correct playing techniques and it is no more
difficult than any other instrument. Every musical
instrument has its own particular problems. It is through
good technique that we learn to overcome those problems. In
this respect, playing the oboe is no different from any

Within the woodwind family the oboe comes in between the
flute and the clarinet and can be found there on the page of
an orchestral score. The flute can play higher notes than the
oboe and the clarinet can play lower notes but the three
instruments share a significant range of notes. The Bassoon,
the fourth member of the orchestral woodwind section, is the
lowest instrument of the family.

Once you reach a good level of oboe playing, you may well
find yourself playing the Cor Anglais, which is a tenor
oboe. Apart from its angled crook and its egg-shaped bell,
it is fingered exactly the same as the oboe with key
extensions to make the finger spread the same on both

The fundamental technique on any wind instrument is correct
use of the diaphragm for breathing. This is especially true
when playing the oboe. Breathing technique is something
which must be worked on from the very earliest stages of
learning as all the other sound production techniques rely
on it. If you can’t breathe properly you will never master
the instrument. Poor breathing will lead to a tight
embouchure (lip formation) which in turn will make high and
low notes difficult. Playing will inevitably be all at one
dynamic level (volume) and the player will find the
instrument very hard work. So, lesson one on the oboe is to
learn to breathe correctly; – then everything else will fall
into place.

Mr DMS  is well known and highly qualified author and has been writing on a variety subjects for some very well know companies for many years now.

For more great information you can visit his blogUrban News Ninja – You can also find this author on SquidooThis author gives you permission to use his work on your web pages.

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