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 Flat c’’
Author: A. 
Date:   2018-03-21 22:16

Hello All,
I have the Yamaha 841 with the lining in the upper joint, which I’ve been very happy with, but I seem to very frequently get water stuck in a keyhole when I play c’’. At least, I think that’s what’s happening...

What I experience is the note c’’ coming out very flat, and then seeming to clear and stabilize after a couple seconds. When it clears I feel what seems like a slight tap coming from underneath the key I hold down with my right index finger when playing c’’. It’s very odd, and it only happens with c’’ (well, and c’’’).

As I said, it usually seems to clear on its own, or giving the oboe a quick swab does the trick, but it happens quite frequently and it never used to happen with my old MCW. Any ideas what might be causing this? Or is there anything I can do to prevent it other than what I’m doing?

Many thanks for any expert advice!

A.

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 Re: Flat c’’
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-22 03:02

It sounds like you could have a sticking pad or weak spring on the top joint C key (the small pad cup between LH 1 and 2 with the spatula soldered to it). That will explain the delayed action and feeling the light tapping when you play a C.

Blot the pad and tonehole with cigarette paper and see if that reduces it sticking. if it still does, then take it to an oboe specialist and have them check it. If the pad is sticking and it's a skin pad, have it changed for cork pads on both Bb and C keys on the top joint.

As you're playing conservatoire system, the Bb and C pads remain closed until you hold down RH1, so that's not helping matters. You can leave a piece of cigarette paper under the closed pads for a few hours or so, but don't leave it there overnight or if you happen to not be playing for longer than a day as the paper can stick to the pad or tonehole and cause a leak.

Another thing you can do is gently wedge the lower end of the long bar on the side of the top joint (the 'con bar') open with a cork wedge, being careful you don't bend the bar as that will cause your Bb and C not to open fully and sound stuffy. You can wedge it and leave it there for as long as you like, but best to do this when you're not playing to give the top joint Bb and C toneholes and pads a chance to dry out.

This isn't an issue with anyone playing thumbplate or dual system oboes as the thumbplate or thumbplate mechanism keeps these toneholes open even when the oboe isn't being played or in its case.

Chris.

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 Re: Flat c’’
Author: A. 
Date:   2018-03-24 02:16

Thanks very much for your input, Chris: I will give it a try. I notice that the key you mention does not seem to rise up off the hole as much as the other keys—not sure if this confirms your theory or not.

Best,

A.

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