29. December 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

In other news, I’m now pursuing playing the oboe and harmonica (not at the same time, mind). I felt it was time to pick up something new. As soon as I have the finances, I’m going to look into picking up a bass.

When I read quotes like this I smile. It’s as if someone can decide to choose a few (rather unrelated) instruments and easily learn them. Or at least that’s the impression I get. I do hope this blogger gets a teacher for each instrument. (Well, maybe not the harmonica … does one need a teacher for that?)

I once heard from someone who wanted to teach herself English horn… because she had already taught herself French horn. Hmmm. They aren’t at all related, taking up a double reed is a rather big challenge, and it’s usually best to begin on oboe. I’ve not heard how it’s all going.

I did teach myself oboe for the first few months and I survived … but I do still fight the forked F with the E-flat key issue.

A private instructor is so necessary for a serious student. With oboe and English horn one isn’t dealing only with an instrument, but with reeds. And very fussy instruments as well. I can’t tell you how easy it is for these instruments to go out of adjustment! Turn a screw even 1/8 of a turn and you may have problems. I’ve studied my Sawicki book for a good long time and there are still things I can’t repair.

I recently heard a horror story: a student came home from a lesson and told her dad that the teacher had tightened one screw. (The teacher was only tightening one of the rod screws.) The dad, being such a helpful dad, tightened every screw on the oboe!

Ouch.

Just a few suggestions for now (I have more, but I’m feeling a bit lazy):

1) Don’t tighten screws on your oboe unless you know what you are doing!
2) If you drop your oboe (ahem … you know who you are!) assume it will need repair!
3) Have your oboe checked out once a year … and if you are using a school oboe please still do this. (I also believe you should pay for this … you are, after all, getting an oboe for free! Be responsible.)
4) Swab. (Please.)

As readers add other suggestions I’ll put them on this list (and give you credit! :-)
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