• Rachel Broadbent

Time to take a breath....

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

I am lucky to get to hear many different oboists of many varying abilities each week and the one thing that I am noticing more and more regularly. There are lots of players that DO NOT take breaths before playing.

Simply, its a wind instrument, so why wouldn't you? Basically, I think there is so much to think about on the oboe that people just forget.

It is really important to take a breath before playing and I am sure you all know that! The breath will give you power, control, better tone, dynamic ability and set you up in a more positive way at the start of everything that you play.

Try to get into a routine before playing. This is my routine...

  • Think about the piece I am about to play, get an idea of tempo. character, check key signature etc.

  • Bring oboe up as if to play and rest oboe reed on my bottom lip.

  • Think again about what I am about to play, key signature, scan first bar then prepare for first note.

  • Open mouth with reed still resting on bottom lip and then breathe in time with the music.

  • Then play and enjoy.

Its as simple as that really but it is something you need to think about and do regularly so it becomes a habit. If you can build this routine into your playing you will find your first notes are much more secure with better tone and you will start to play with greater confidence.


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