smoothness fostered and maintained

Dear Oboists,

As part of mechanical oboe maintenance, my oboe maker recommends that I oil my oboe every 4 to 8 weeks, so I do.

First I thoroughly dust the entire oboe, especially all the precious key work, with a little clean soft paint brush, then I use the synthetic key oil I bought from them which has a needle nose for application, and apply a tiny drop of oil everywhere appropriate in the key work to do so.

Next, I play building scales for over half an hour to ensure that the oil works its way thoroughly into the key work. I might add, that reviewing trill keys and practicing trilling at this time is important as well, so those rarely used keys get attended to as well.

Practicing the building scales in both directions, one octave, two, maybe three octaves is of course a magnificent way of practicing smoothness in playing as well as smoothness of key work!

No oboist ever taught me building scales - scales a plenty to be certain - but the building scale practice, I imported from my piano training.

For those of you who may be wondering how to play a building scale - or wondering what I mean by that, here is the pattern using scale degree numbers instead of note names.

1212121212321232123212321234321234321234321234321234543212345432123454321234543212345654321 etc. reverse 8787878787678767876787678765678765678765678765678 etc

I play them slurred, tongued, in patterns,….with dynamic work - you name it.
I’ve found building scale work essential and liberating for my playing.

Advice, breath as needed but only right before beginning a new round of the pattern.
Practice PERFECT form: posture, breathing, embouchure, intonation, direction, focus and diaphragmatic support - all crucial to improve all aspects of playing, while doing this.

Hope this helps, or serves as a friendly reminder.
Best wishes to you and your technical prowess to liberate your artistry and enhance a fulfilling relationship of life long music making!
August 6, 2019