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 EXTREMELY flat on oboe... possible causes?
Author: tredici 
Date:   2017-05-17 22:56

I have been playing the saxophone for about nine years, and have decided to also pick up the oboe. I do not have the money for a teacher at the moment so I am very slowly trying to learn some fundamentals myself. I'm having pretty bad tuning issue: I am extremely flat on all notes, sometimes even by half a step. I'm currently using a medium-soft reed, and even by biting down it's still flat. I've tried using medium reeds before, but I struggle to get any notes out at all with it. I'm not sure if it's something to do with my embouchure, instrument or reed. What are some possible causes for being this flat?

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 Re: EXTREMELY flat on oboe... possible causes?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-05-17 23:18

Push up with your right thumb so there's more pressure from the reed against your top lip and don't take too much reed in otherwise you'll have no control over the volume and that will also cause it to play flat.

But whenever you can, get a teacher sooner rather than later as you will need any bad habits you've developed to be undone.

Are you playing in an American or European style?

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: EXTREMELY flat on oboe... possible causes?
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-05-18 05:14

At the really early stages especially, you need a teacher to help you develop good habits and address problems such as this. A lot depends on reeds too - so if you are buying machine made shop bought reeds, you are likely to really struggle. A local teacher may teach you for nothing if you are in genuine financial hardship. I occasionally take such students on.

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 Re: EXTREMELY flat on oboe... possible causes?
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-05-22 23:50

At one point I tried a second hand oboe and it was just impossible to play in tune. It might be the instrument; worth scheduling a lesson with someone who knows what they are doing, to find out if it is actually you or the instrument.
Also, what reeds are you using and what pitch do they crow at?

Post Edited (2017-05-23 00:10)

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