I'm currently in the transition of finding a new oboe teacher since my teacher left the city. I was wondering if I could get someones help in the mean time. When I play in the low register, the notes start to tremelo or vibrato and I can prevent it. It starts out slow then speeds up. Can someone tell me how I can prevent it?
There might be a couple of reasons why this is happening....
I think it might be your lack of support, i.e. forcing of air. I've had this problem as well on my low C.
The trick that helped me get better support technique was having the sensation of holding back the breath more so then the feeling of blowing out air.
I've noticed the lower you go on the Oboe, the more air you need. This actually applies the other way around as well.
So I tried to blow more air....BUT I forgot my support. What happened next is that I forced out more air then I needed to and ran out of enough air needed to create a steady and focused airstream. I ended up having a choppy air current trying to use the air that I had left which was the source of my tremelo. So the solution was kind of simple (though the process wasn't xD), retrain myself to use proper support. Here is a very very brief explanation of it:
After some serious long tone practice, I got the hang of the energy needed for each note and the tremelo (FINALLY!!!!) disappeared.
One trick to seeing if you're using incorrect support.
1. Blow up a balloon: Notice how when you blow with support that you can keep blowing for a long while. Meanwhile, when you don't, you can only blow in short bursts with little effect even though it feels like you're using a lot of air.
And again, good old long tones help tons and can reveal your progress!!!
If you are getting "waves" in your sound esp. in the lower register you may have a leaky key. Try a suction test to see if your bottom joint is leaking. Take just your bottom joint, plug the bottom with your hand and suck all the air out. If you hear air rushing in you've got a leak. Do you have a Forked F vent on your oboe? It's usually the key that comes out of adjustment and causes leaks.
It may be a leaky key but I'm not entirely sure. I find that it sometimes happens and sometimes not. It also changes with different types of reeds. I'm not entirely sure if it's my support, I have a feeling it's to do with a physical error in the oboe or the reed.
Thanks everyone for helping. I'm still trying to figure out the problem. Any other suggestions would be great
If it changes with different types of reeds then maybe it is the reeds...Are they handmade? Even if they are maybe the maker is not very consistent...Also some Oboes can be very reed temperamental and need a very good reed to play even decently.
If your Oboe is a cheapo model it might be like Canadian/Contra said and that there are keys leaking or the mechanism isn't working properly.
I'm also very quick to blame myself or other outside sources (too cold air conditioning for example) before I blame my instrument or reed. Is why I suggested the support thing.
Idk just throwing ideas at ya.
PS: The link didn't work properly the last time I posted. Here it is again:
I have one particular reed that makes me sound like that when I play middle c or lower. Try playing with a few different reeds and see if that makes a difference. If that doesn's make any difference, try taking the oboe to a repair shop to check and see if there are any leaks. It might not be a bad idea to take the instrument in anyways if it hasn't been adjusted in a while. Oboes should be adjusted at least once a year, or more if you play alot. Good luck!
All oboes - whether student or pro models - do go out of adjustment. Pads & silencer corks compress over time. Especially with cork pads only a very slight change will cause a leak - this does tend to show up first on the F vent.