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 Dynamics for a Beginner
Author: oboelove 
Date:   2017-06-02 08:49

I have been playing for about 5 months and I'm currently trying to learn dynamics. While my embouchure as it stands right now works pretty well for playing Bb3-D6 reasonably in tune at a constant mezzoforte, attempting to play with variation of dynamics has raised the question of whether I am on the right path.

It is decently easy for me to play fortissimo because, in my experience, it involves opening up and relaxing my embouchure until it is pretty much absent from the picture, so the reed and the instrument (and my air) end up doing all the work.

But pianissimo has so far eluded me. I have been able to achieve using two different methods (both not very reliable right now). The first is to form my lips in an O shape and exert a lot of embouchure pressure all around the reed. The second is to take in a lot more lower lip, stretch it over the teeth and sort of dampen the reed on that lip. In this case, I am also pulling the lower lip down to push it against the reed as well as pushing in with the corners of the mouth.

I have been playing pp-ff-pp single note long tones to practice. What I've found is that it's easier to get from pp to ff, but going back from ff to pp is almost impossible to achieve without biting. I've noticed that in the process of opening my embouchure for the ff, my lips often "unroll", after which it is difficult to get back to the position for pp, hence the biting.

When I see most oboists play, I don't notice a lot of embouchure change or jaw movement, so I feel like I might be doing something wrong. Is it wrong to open my jaw to play fortissimo? Should I feel more back pressure when I play pp or less? How different should the embouchure be for different dynamic levels?

I apologize for so many questions, but I'm really confused at this point. Any input is appreciated!

EDIT: To clarify, I am playing on American scrape reeds.

Post Edited (2017-06-03 06:55)

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 Topics Author  Date
 Dynamics for a Beginner  new
oboelove 2017-06-02 08:49 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
SarahC 2017-06-02 09:57 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
EaubeauHorn 2017-06-02 19:37 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
oboelove 2017-06-03 03:35 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
oboist2 2017-06-03 05:13 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
oboelove 2017-06-03 06:53 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
oboist2 2017-06-04 03:05 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
oboist2 2017-06-03 05:23 
 Re: Dynamics for a Beginner  new
SarahC 2017-06-03 15:10 

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