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 Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: Cath 
Date:   2017-02-18 22:47

I am playing the clarinet again after a long break , but have always wanted to learn the oboe and I have learnt that I can rent one to see if it suits me ..Buf I don't know how different the embouchure is and whether it would interfere with my clarinet playing. Anyone out there who plays both?

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-02-18 23:05

Hi Cath. I play Flute / Oboe / Clarinet, and have no problem with the different types embouchure. However it all takes time. Before you get involved in the finer art of Oboe playing however here is an excellent article to read. It's a PDF file ( www.asboa.org/Resources/GozaOboe_Article.pdf )


Post Edited (2017-03-05 00:25)

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-02-19 02:30

The most significant thing you'll notice is how much your top lip will hurt after playing oboe if you play clarinet with a single lip embouchure. Also the oboe embouchure isn't doing much to stabilise the instrument as is having your teeth on the mouthpiece on clarinet.

Don't use mega hard reeds on oboe - use the strength reed that will allow full control when starting and playing the low notes and a reed strength that will allow you to diminuendo right down to ppp without packing up before you get there. And not so soft the top notes will suffer, so find a good balance and adjust your reeds to suit.

Are you playing oboe with the American posture or European posture? To me, the American posture with the oboe held very much downwards, elbows held in and curved wrists looks like the posture of a praying mantis. European posture has the oboe held up high, elbows out and the wrists bent and hands held upwards.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2017-02-19 02:57

When I did play oboe many years back I found that moving from clarinet to oboe was not too bad (I have always palyed clarinet double lip) but trying to pick up the clarinet immediately after playing the oboe was more of a problem.

I certainly don't think it's an easy double.

Bassoon however works much better for me as the embouchure tensions are quite similar.

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: Cath 
Date:   2017-02-19 06:29

Thanks . I have no idea what a double lip embouchure is! At this stage I'm just enquiring about an oboe to see if I can learn it as it's always been my favourite instrument , but I've read and heard that it's very hard to play .. Still, if I can find a teacher - which again isn't easy - I'm going to give it a shot .

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: Joseph Brenner, Jr. 
Date:   2017-02-19 07:33

In a double lip embouchure, the top lip conforms to the bottom lip's configuration when you play the clarinet or saxophone; with oboe both lips partially curl over the reed. The oboe, like the English horn and oboe d'amore, is a double reed instrument--a curved reed opposite another curved reed bound together at the end. Aside from its sound, the other attributes are its lightness compared to the clarinet and its being in the key of c. Unlike the clarinet, its register key jumps the player up one octave. With the clarinet, you must take in new air more frequently than with the oboe. With the oboe, you need to dissipate air, so you'll have to adjust your breathing with the oboe. I'd say that you should be able to make a decent sound in short order, but mastery of the oboe (like mastery of the clarinet) takes a long time. Most of the keys are plateau, not open hole, so you'll save a little time adjusting. Best wishes--and no you need not worry at all that playing the oboe will compromise your competence on the clarinet. Does anybody worry that learning a second language requires you to give up the language you've spoken since birth?

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: BflatNH 
Date:   2017-02-22 07:56

I think oboe helps my clarinet embouchure (I play single lip).
The surprise to me was the need to exhale (and planning when),
and that after exhaling you can play another 2 measures.
And the other half of oboe playing is the reed...

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2017-02-22 17:55

I think that the best approach when learning any other instrument is thinking of it as a different instrument. That ensures that you don't try to apply non-basic musical elements of playing to that instrument and allows you to "flip a switch" to each instrument (which is how I think of it). You then learn the correct fingerings instead of thinking "it's like an F on clarinet..." and things like embouchure are usually left unaffected.

I play and teach both clarinet and oboe (along with flute, sax, bassoon, violin and viola) professionally and have never had an issue switching between clarinet and oboe. The embouchure shapes are actually very similar, just on a different scale of size (oboe reed vs clarinet mouthpiece/reed).

Come on over to the dark side and see what you're missing!

Ron Ford
Woodwind Specialist

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: Cath 
Date:   2017-02-23 19:45

Thanks for all your replies.
At our band practice the other day, I spoke to the oboe player, who, it. Turns out, has a student Howarth ? Wooden oboe that she said she would loan to me, if I paid for the initial servicing . I ask found a company WWR in the UK who rent out oboes for £18 pm fir a student basic make or £45 pm for a better quality model .Im thinking of going with the loan offer- do you think that's the best plan? Assuming it doesn't need too much work- she said one or two of the keys were a bit loose ....

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: richard smith 
Date:   2017-03-04 18:23

I played clarinet and oboe. Since I was to play for only a semester or two on oboe, I used an oboe mouth piece and reeds. It worked ok for the college orchestra . Anyone else ever used an oboe mouthpiece ?? (It was a Chedivile mp; but not certain. This was 1947 . )

Post Edited (2017-03-04 18:28)

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 Re: Clarinet to oboe embouchure
Author: ClarinettyBetty 
Date:   2017-03-05 04:49

I feel that the oboe embouchure makes my clarinet embouchure stronger. I play double lip, but I think it would help single lip too--endurance wise.

It's like using a medicine ball--after you toss around that heavy ball (oboe), the basketball (clarinet) feels so much easier!

Eb: 1972 Buffet BC20
Bb: Selmer Paris Presence
A: Selmer Paris Presence
Bass: 1977 LeBlanc


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