Posts Tagged ‘breath support’

Intermediate Oboe Students, Step Four- Breathing through the Oboe

Step Four-Breathing through the oboe

It is important to think about your breathing when playing the oboe.  The first sound and the last sound on the oboe is called the attack and the release of the sound.  When you are ready to sound your first note place your reed in your mouth, inhale through your mouth (not your nose), set your embouchure on the sweet spot of the reed (where the reed sounds a low G), and finally exhale directing your air upward like you are spray painting the ceiling above you.

The source of your air is the bottom of your lungs.  You want to breathe from the bottom of your lungs (near your belt line) not from the top of your lungs.  If you look in a mirror when you breathe you should not see your shoulders and chest moving up and down.  You should see your diaphragm muscle below your lungs moving in and out.  When you lie down, your diaphragm muscle moves automatically, but often when we sit up or stand up we tend to take very shallow breaths from the top of our lungs.

Everyone has a low, middle, and high (falsetto) voice for speaking and singing.  When exhaling your air into your reed, you want the air to move upward like you were singing in your high (falsetto) voice.

As you exhale your air upward, you want to move the air at a high rate of speed to control  the pitch and sound quality of your oboe.  If you move the air to slowly the pitch will sag and sound too low or flat.  This is a very sad sound.  However, by simply increasing the air speed and directing it upward the sound will be full of life and very focused in its projection.
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