08. October 2006 · Comments Off on Say Goodbye To Cigarette Paper! · Categories: imported, Ramble

We oboe players often use cigarette paper to remove water from keys. I used to go to our local drug supply store to buy ungummed papers. It was a crummy place to have to visit—at least for someone who isn’t interested in doing drugs. But it was the nearest place, and the markup wasn’t as high as some of the double reed shops. For the past few years, though, I’ve not used that paper at all. I only remembered today that I’ve never blogged about what I do use.

End papers are the answer.

What are end papers? Go to your beauty supply shop and ask. They’ll fill you in, I’ll bet. End papers are used when permanents are given to women (and, I suppose, men). At least I think that’s what they are for. I don’t really care! They are sturdy. They work perfectly. And they come in boxes that may even last you a lifetime! Try ’em. Really.

08. October 2006 · Comments Off on Hah! · Categories: imported, Ramble

I used to collect fortunes and various sayings I’d find and stick them on an old reed making box I had. One, “Hope for the best but expect the worst” was specifically aimed at my reed making attempts. I’m optimistic that way. I’m not sure where all those little pieces of paper went to, as I dumped that bright orange reed making box a long while ago (it didn’t look very good on stage!). But I was just cleaning the kitchen and saw a bottle top that has a little message in it. Ready?

No sense being pessimistic.
It wouldn’t work anyway.

Now that is just too great!

I was just watching the Cardinals v Padres game. The Cardinals are now celebrating. They all ran out on to the field and are jumping up and down. The crowd is cheering. And the champagne is now flowing.

Wouldn’t it be great fun if, when we nail a solo, we could express at least some sort of delight or joy … or even relief? Man, I’d just love to be able to do that sometimes. Instead we sit in our seats and we don’t even get to throw a fist up in the air. We sit. We say nothing. We do nothing. Believe me, in my head I’m saying “Yes, yes, yes!” when I do a good job and I’m feeling good about it. But heaven forbid I show that. Right?

I think we should have a “baseball concert” … and I know I’ve mentioned this in the past. Just think, we could celebrate good solos. We could be thrown out if we blow it, and a replacement could be sent in. We might even argue with the conductor, if we decide he’s the acting ump. Hi Fives? You bet. We could leave out the spitting, and we don’t chew gum on stage. (Well, most of us don’t!) So waddya think? Wouldn’t that be a kick?

We’d even start the show with the Star Spangled Banner and let someone yell out “Play Ball!”

Okay. I can dream, can’t I?

08. October 2006 · Comments Off on And That’s How It Goes · Categories: imported, Ramble

Tomorrow I’m supposed to be meeting with a colleague (and friend), and a player who would like us to read through the Beethoven trios (for two oboes and English horn). I was planning on doing some practicing today. Alas, a headache decided that that wasn’t to happen.

Of course musicians have their excuse bag, and double reed players are the best at this! I was sick and I’m out of shape now. My reeds are horrible. I think my oboe is out of adjustment. My chops feel off today. Those are just a few. I could go on and on, believe me!

Aw heck. Let’s see if I can manage to not make a single excuse tomorrow! I’ll let you know if I’m able to avoid them.

Excuses. Complaining. Both get mighty boring (as do so many blogs!), don’t you think? And yet musicians excel in these areas. Go figure.