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 B flat to B trill, "S" key?
Author: Jim22 
Date:   2019-02-10 22:18

I was taught to use the "S" key, between the half hole het and the hinge tube, to play a B flat to B trill. Maybe I didn't understand correctly. Is this the correct name of the key? It sounds terrible, is that not the way to play that trill? If not, what is that key used for? TIA!

Jim C.

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 Re: B flat to B trill, "S" key?
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2019-02-11 01:15

The old-school way that I learned on my Loree oboe in the 1970's was to slide your L1 finger down while fingering Bb so that the "spatula" key attached to the C vent is covered, and trill L2. That way, the C vent stays closed and the trill note is a somewhat sharp B natural. Maybe that's what is meant by the "S key" you mentioned...the same as what I learned as the "spatula" key.

The other way I currently do that trill is to hold down the left G#key while fingering Bb, then trill L2. My oboe has an armature that holds down the L2 plateau key, which makes a very nice and in-tune B natural. If your oboe does not have such an armature, then the trilled note is unacceptably sharp.

When playing that trill in music, sometimes after the trill will be written two grace notes (often referred to as "nachschläge")and then the trill resolves to a B natural. If the first of the nachschläge is A natural, then method one above (old school) seems to be most convenient to use. If the first of the nachschläge is G#, then the 2nd method using the G# key seems to work best.

nachschläge definition here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nachschlag

Bay Area, California

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 Re: B flat to B trill, "S" key?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-02-12 05:10

If you're doing an A#-B trill, use the regular (conservatoire system) fingering for Bb but hold down LH1 and the small spatula key together to make sure the C key remains closed, then trill with LH2 (marked +).


It's much easier in the upper register - play the upper A#/Bb as normal and trill with RH finger 2.

8ve2 xxo|x+o - the B natural played in this manner is a 3rd harmonic of low E.

On thumbplate systems, play Bb with the thumbplate fingering but hold downt eh spatula key with LH1. In the upper register, play Bb with the regular thumbplate fingering and trill with both RH fingers 1 and 2 together for the B natural.

It's a shame the upper register trill fingering doesn't work in the lower register as on oboes, the A#-B trill has to be the most annoying by woodwind standards - it's one of the easiest trills on flutes, Boehm system clarinets and saxes simply done by playing long Bb and trilling with RH finger 1.

The spatula key is also useful when playing in keys of D, A, E, B and F# as it prevents accidental C blips and intervals from any RH note to B, such as a D-B slur. On full German spec oboes they have an extra spatula key for LH finger 2 to hold down to prevent accidental Bb blips when playing intervals from any RH note to A


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