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Thread: Oboe Help...

  1. #1
    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    Default Oboe Help...

    Hi Folks,

    I have been considering learning to play the oboe Everyone has said it is the most difficult instrument to play but I hear that as encouragement
    A friend who lives about 300 miles said she would be happy to offer some guidence once I have an instrument. She also will teach me how to make the reed... She has plenty of experience as she was the principal oboist for several boston orchestras.

    Last evening I was reading about baroque oboe and today I decided to build one just for fun. I actually did not make an oboe but using a piece of tapered bamboo I fashioned something that makes really horrible sounds
    I used a read from a practice bagpipe chanter. This brings me to my question. How do the reeds from bagpipe differ from oboe? The reed I used is some type of plastic.
    Are oboe reeds different dimensions, are they more stiff...?

    I actually made a reed from bamboo but broke it trying to tie it to the small hollow tube.
    If you can provide some direction with any of this thanks.

    Please not too much help though as I may get distracted from my flute making and become a oboe maker
    Peace
    Hawk

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    Member Mozart_Oboe_Beethoven's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I don't have an answer to your quetsion. I have no idea what bagpipe reeds are like

    what I can say, though, is if you want to play the oboe, and you think you can do it, go for it!
    Right before I started playing oboe, I was told it was the hardest instrument to play, but I actually don't find it all that difficult. I don't know why, but it comes naturally to me, as do piano, flute, clarinet, and saxophone (and I'm sure that if the violinists at my orchestra showed me how to play a note, then I could learn violin too), but maybe I'm just weird like that.

    I saw the hardest instrument thing as an encouragement, as well. I love challenges. Challenges are what I live for.

    If you have a friend who could help you, then she probably would be a great asset to your playing.

    I find the hardest thing about oboes is reed-making. I have to make at least one reed a week to take to my lesson, so that my teacher and I can work on finishing them, but with my schedule, I have like 1 1/2 days to do that, so I have decent time to make them. It took me all of 3 years (I mainly worked in the summer) to learn how to make reeds, but one of the teachers at camp said that she learned in 1 semester in college how to make reeds (and she dropped her volleyball scholarship).


    Again, I wish I could answer your question, but if you want to play the oboe, then it'd be a fun instrument to learn. Of course, I find every instrument fun.

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    Mozart Oboe Beethoven,
    Thanks for the encouragement in your reply!
    It was only yesterday that I actually held an oboe and today I was able to try my hand at playing.
    I really love the sound of it and after giving it a try I think it will be great fun, though challenging, learning to play.
    I think learning to make the reeds will be equally rewarding. I build wooden flutes (lot's of fine detail work) so again I think I will enjoy it.
    Peace
    Hawk

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    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
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    I suppose it is a good idea to make an instrument-focused thread grow as we have growing threads for composers. So, focusing on the oboe - I particularly love the idea of it being close to human voice. I just listened to an oboe concerto and as a "soloist" it did stand out quite nicely in accordance with the idea of a "talking woodwind". It did indeed "talk". Just as a side note, its sound is sort of reminiscent of an Indian instrument called shehnai. Even the shape is similar, although shehnai lacks the complex additions. Nonetheless, I think they sound very similar. What do you think?

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    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
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    On a funny note though:

    carrot clarinet

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    As a flutist who was "drafted" to play oboe in high school, I would say the oboe is not a very difficult instrument. The process of developing good tuning can definitely be easier if you have knowledge in similar instruments like the flute and clarinet. I'm sure you will do well since I somehow survived without an actual tutor on an old Miraphone oboe that needed constant adjustments.

    If I can remember, I'll try to post all the links that helped me to learn the oboe on my own. Here's one morsel that I constantly use because Fernand Gillet's theories on practicing are some of the most effective and clear strategies (applicable to all instruments) I've heard from any instructor:

    http://www.idrs.org/Publications/Jou...NL6/vogel.html

    I think the reeds used on bagpipes can be either single or double reeds depending on the type.

    Ciel_Rouge: You are very insightful about the shehnai. Try checking out the nadaswaram for a related Indian instrument that has a more piercing timbre. Video

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