Intermediate Oboe Students, Step Five- Touching the Oboe Keys

Step Five-Touching (squeezing) the oboe keys

The oboe, like all other musical instruments, has the proper way to touch the keys with the proper hand position for the best results.  It is important for the oboist to squeeze each key by keeping the fingers on each key at all times when depressing and releasing each key onto the body of the oboe.  Fingers should not be flying like flags above the oboe keys at any time.  Your fingers should be “glued” to the keys at all times.  Your fingers are never slapping the keys.  This allows you to move your fingers more quickly and connect the sound between the notes without silence.

As the oboist moves from Book I to Book II and II, the fingering patterns will move from one finger movement two multiple finger movement.  The rhythms will become faster and more complex as will the speed or tempo of selected pieces of music.  Keeping your fingers close to the keys at all times will help make this transition smooth and uncomplicated.

Keeping all your fingers curved at all times is very important.  Practice performing right hand Db to left hand Eb to forked F and back.  If your ring finger on your left hand is not curved correctly your little finger on your left hand cannot reach the left hand Eb key.  Much of the band literature in high school is in the key of Ab and demands that you play this finger pattern at fast tempos.

Deciding on which “F” fingering to use is also important.  If you are performing in keys that are two or more flats you are going to use forked F or left hand F (if your oboe has a left F).  When play in the keys of C and F, you should be playing the regular F fingering.

For notes above the staff starting with high A to high C oboists need to use the second octave key.

There are many trills and musical ornaments to perform at the advanced level in high school.  You are always trilling to the note above the  note being trilled within the key signature.  It is important to practice trilling above each of the notes of all the scales you are presently performing.  As intermediate students are preparing for high school level (advanced)  performances, playing trills correctly will be expected and will be apart of many compositions.  Keeping your fingers very relaxed and close to the keys is the key to excellent trilling technique on the oboe.
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