14. October 2008 · Comments Off on Rehearsal #2 · Categories: Ramble, Symphony

Ahhh, rehearsals!

#1 felt good.

#2? Not so good. There’s one spot where I’m in unison with the celli (in La Mer) and I can’t hear them a speck. I also couldn’t quite see where the beat was … I suspect my brain was just doing some sort of “pattypause™” sort of thing. I think I was also still in a bit of a weird place just knowing I’d somehow insulted someone. (Yeah, that stuff can really eat me up!)

Ah well.

But I like my EH reed at least about 93% of the time. That’s fairly good for yours truly! 😉

Tomorrow we have #3 & #4, so we’ll see if things can get back to better.

I’m fairly sure I’m saying goodbye to Facebook tomorrow. I don’t fully understand its value, and I do see some problems with it. And then today I managed to get someone angry, which is something I never like to do. It’s kind of a kick to see what people are up to, but anyone who really knows me can come here and find out how I’m wasting my time. You can leave comments here too, and fill me in on how you waste time. So I think I’ll survive. 😉

Of course I’m giving myself 24 hours to really decide. I’m wimpy that way.

I occasionally like to post about things to think about when beginning oboe. It’s not an easy instrument for many beginners. It is not cheap. If you purchase an oboe without consulting an oboist or reputable store that specializes in oboe you will probably wind up with a not-so-great instrument. Reeds are frustrating and cost a lot of money.

Sounds discouraging, doesn’t it?

I don’t like to be discouraging, and while I complain frequently about reeds, I do love the instrument, and I especially love teaching the younger students. It’s so much fun to watch them figure things out and finally get that great oboe sound!

But please, here are just a few bits of advice:

  • Find a teacher that actually plays the instrument. If your instructor isn’t ever playing for you and with you, you might be dealing with someone who doesn’t really play well. The teacher doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional musician; sometimes the top players aren’t even the best teachers (especially for beginners). But the teacher does need to be able to play the oboe. It’s rather important.
  • Get a good oboe. It doesn’t have to be a professional model. In fact, for the younger student, I recommend a resin (plastic) oboe at first. But it really should have the left F and low B flat keys. (I actually prefer that it also have the articulated C#, but I know I’m picky.) A Fox Renard 330 (better than a 333 even though the number is lower) is a good place to start. There are other good instruments as well, and I’m happy to help you with that.
  • Know that you will go through reeds quickly. Expect to spend money on reeds. Good reeds aren’t cheap, but cheap reeds aren’t good.
  • Oboe can be frustrating at times. There is a lot of back pressure and that takes some getting used to. We all have our bad days. Oboe requires patience and diligence.
  • If you are a beginner and you can practice for an hour, odds are you are doing something wrong; it takes time to build up those mouth muscles.
  • Practice regularly. (I do allow one day off each week, but I require my students to practice six days a week. They usually choose the lesson day as their day off, so they are actually playing every day.)

    I’m sure I could come up with other things, but that’s enough for now. After all, it’s nearly lunch time! 🙂

14. October 2008 · Comments Off on Patti Smith · Categories: Links, Quotes, Videos, Watch

Smith’s musical adventure continues to take her into new areas. The godmother of punk, who performs at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall tonight, has recently been asked to write an opera. As a child she dreamed of being an opera singer and as a performer says she has learnt from the art form she remains passionate about.

“I have learnt a lot about singing songs from opera,” Smith said. “I’ve learnt about making a song work from beginning to end by not losing contact with what the song is saying.”


I’ve actually heard of Patti Smith — I know I come across as clueless much (all?) of the time. But I’m not close to familiar with what she sings. So I “YouTubed” her (if we can “google” I’m assuming we can also “YouTube” … right?). This sort of sounds familiar, but maybe it just sounds like something else?:

In this next video she does mention the opera singing thing:

14. October 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

There is no compulsion to play the tables because oboe in Las Vegas is as much of a gamble.

-Stephen Caplan

Read here.