Friday, September 7, 2018

Five Minute Reedmaker: Tone

OMG the Five Minute Reedmaker is Back!

Here’s what I’ve been up to:  I have a few videos ready to drop - I think I’ll put them out on Fridays.  I don’t know if Season Two can take us all the way to the end of the year, as Season One did before.  There may not be that many more topics to consider.  But I love you guys so I’ll try.

The playlist is still up on Youtube, but I’ve ALSO curated Season One onto my own website.  I never can figure out the best way to organize things in a Youtube playlist and this way you can see all of the videos really easily on one screen.  I think this will be helpful.  Perhaps you will let me know if you like it.

Now onto today's video...

I say this all the time - DON’T choose a reed for its tone.  DON’T keep scraping for sound, scrape for function.  Get the reed to work.  The sound will follow. 

But the sound is not UNIMPORTANT, right? 

Tyler wrote to me:  Your videos are great! (Thank you, Tyler! ) Do you think you could do one on tone and how scraping different sections of the reed affects it? I know it's a loaded, complicated topic, but anything you give will help a lot.

This is a loaded topic, first of all because a good tone means different things to different people, and secondly because different people might play the same reed differently.  The shape of your mouth is a factor, how far in on the reed you like to have your lips be, how mouthy you choose to be on the reed.  But I think we can agree on some elements that go into a good tone - core, stability, and flexibility.  Focus.  Sweetness.  Diffuseness. 

That’s a lot of elements, actually.  As I started writing them down I started thinking of more and more.  And this is why the question is complicated. 

But in this video I look at the most COMMON cause of a bad tone and work through two manifestations of it.





Here's the YouTube playlist with all of my other Five Minute Reedmaker videos.  You could subscribe right there if you wanted to - I'm dropping a video each week until I run out of ideas, at which point Season Two will end.



Saturday, September 1, 2018

Never Trust an Oboe, Part 2


(Part One HERE)
(Similar story HERE)

Mercifully, THIS one didn't happen to me.  But my poor student was playing an audition for his orchestra, and reached up with his right hand to turn the page of his music.  And heard a "plink".  And when, a split second later, he returned his hand to his oboe to continue playing, he found that his entire thumb rest had fallen off onto the floor, leaving only the post it had been mounted to.

With his hand now contorted uncomfortably, he finished the audition - ably, I am sure - and tracked down the crucial little piece of metal.  Evidently the screw that secures the adjustable thumb rest into its most optimal position had come out - never to be found again - so the thumb rest itself now can escape at will.

He devised a workaround - teflon tape to keep the thing in - but let this be a lesson to all of us.




Seriously, the oboe is not your friend.  It's like a cat trying to slip out the door - it's just WAITING for an opportunity to betray you.  Don't get complacent.


Never trust an oboe.