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 Oboe rattles on every c sharp
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-06-21 08:41


Exam on friday..

C sharp still rattles.. Srt of a gurgling rattling sound

Tried adjusting embouchure.. Sometimes helps

Tried changing reeds.. Tried 40 different reeds... Still rattling on c sharp..

Tried cleaning oboe... Still rattles..

Tried twisting thr screw on the c sharp pad.. Didnt help..

But one of my pieces is in E major... So it is super super onbvious...

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 Re: Oboe rattles on every c sharp
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-06-21 23:39

I think there are a two possibilities:
1. You might not be closing the key holes properly. (e.g. half-hole on b key, full cover on d key)
2. You might have water stuck in a tone hole (maybe the d key?)


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 Re: Oboe rattles on every c sharp
Author: jhoyla 
Date:   2017-06-22 10:00

You may be obsessing over something that is inherent in the instrument and not over-obvious to a non-oboist listener. C# is one of those notes that never sounds brilliant.

C# is just a lousy note, generally, in all registers. Bottom register can be horribly flat (although David Webber has an expensive bell-modification for that), middle C# fizzes and top-C# is a bummer of a note with intonation and voicing issues. I wouldn't fret too much about getting it to sound like either of the adjacent notes, C or D. That said, here are a bunch of things for you to try.

Try raising your LH 1st finger instead of half-holing it (or vice versa, if you usually raise it). This may make c# a little bit sharper - you'll need to accommodate.

An alternative C# is to raise ALL your fingers apart from RH 1st finger (or without your thumb, if you are a thumbplate player). This can sound really raucus but you can decide if it sounds worse than your fizzy C#.

Hope this helps.

BTW, If you don't know what you are doing I would refrain from adjusting screws on the instrument. The two exceptions are the LH 1st finger and the screw on the RH pinkie C touch. Adjusting these screws doesn't affect much else.

To adjust the LH 1st finger; slowly close all the way, until you can't hear it tap when you tap it, then back off between 1/4 and 1/2 a turn while trying top C#, top D etc. to see when they speak easily and clearly. Ease of attack in the top-register is elusive, but achievable.

To regulate intonation of top C#, use the RH pinkie C touch screw to adjust the middle-finger key height - oxx|xooC. Do this AFTER you have adjusted LH 1st finger.

Just FYI, The hole in the LH half-hole should actually be a diamond shape vertical slit at the bottom of the well, and oboe-repair specialists have a special diamond-shaped prong that they use to adjust the opening (again, don't try this yourself!). Perhaps this has been drilled out by an over-zealous repairer?


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 Re: Oboe rattles on every c sharp
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-06-22 11:15


I just thought about it, i dont think my teacher has ever noticed it.

But when i was playing for my friend she noticed. Said it dounded like water in the keys. But we cleaned every hole with cigarette paper.

I asked richard to express post me some new reeds.. Hopefuly one of them will make the c sharp less obvious... Some reeds seem worse than others.

My last practise is tonight.

Thanks for tge informative post. I always wwondered about that diamond shape thing.

I only tried adjusting one. And that screw made the c sharp better but meant i lost my b flat. So i screwed it back!!!

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 Re: Oboe rattles on every c sharp
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-06-22 12:07

I'm purposely keeping schtum here as this sounds like something that can only be diagnosed by having the instrument in my hands so I can see exactly what's going on. Sounds like one of those things where two people are needed to locate the problem - one to play and make the problem happen for them and the other to diagnose and correct it.

While other things can be explained and adjustments made to deal with response or regulation issues, having a rattle on every C# can either be something very simple or could be a more serious issue that can only be picked up with the oboe and player present.


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 Re: Oboe rattles on every c sharp
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-06-22 13:54

Hopefully something simple... It doesnt seem to be happening tonight.. Maybe it was just a bad batch of reeds?

But yeah i was blowing the c sharp while my friend looked for rattles, or liquid or keys not quite in adjustment!

Fingers crossed it doesnt happen in the exam tomorrow.. I am now feeling a bit daft enrolling myself so early on in my playing journey...

Of course my reed will fail in the exam room, or my embouchure... Or the c sharp rattle will return!

Well i have picked my reed ready for tomorrow.. Not my nicest toned reed.. But it has great intonation. The other two arent so steady on intonation, buy have beautiful tone...

And fingers crossed i can do enough to pass! Lol. If i get above 110 i will be cheering.. Not expecting above 120...

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