Thursday, June 02, 2005

Notes from my lesson on Tuesday

I had a productive lesson on Tuesday. Perhaps it was because I went in determined to talk less and play more. I think that because my teacher is the only other oboist I know in person I go in there wanting to chat away about oboe stuff. It's embarassing because I think at times I've irritated him by talking too much. Part of it is also nerves. I get nervous about playing for him so I start talking nervously too. Anyway, I had been working hard on the Handel and I wanted him to hear it so that he could give me pointers.

As suspected what I need to work most now right now is sound. I had figured that after my adventures with the recording last week. He had me think of my embouchure as circular. When I get caught up in the notes I think I fall back to my sax days and tend to bite and lean too heavily on the lower lip. This is not helping my sound plus I also need to cushion more with the lower lip. As I get tired my lower lip starts coming out a bit. I'm also not always attacking the notes clearly.

He felt that I had made good progress with the actual technique of the piece since I couldn't play it at all the last time and now I can play the whole thing through albeit at about half speed (the Allegro). He wants me to not speed it up more until I can clean up sound stuff and of course half hole stuff. I could have sworn they were clean at home but at the lesson they were very sloppy. My teacher noticed I'm moving my wrist and even shoulders to do it. I need to focus on just rocking the finger.

He said that my pitch is good so I should stop obsessing over pitch only and focus on other sound qualities. For example if I have a big interval (from a fourth or fifth up) I know that all I am thinking about is the higher note being in tune. So sometimes what happens is that it will sound very different in character from the lower pitch. It's supposed to sound more like it's materializing from the lower one. So I will work on that too.

I feel kind of silly now for wasting his time in earlier lessons. He lent me good insights on Tuesday by me letting him listen to me play. I will try to do that from now on. I feel that now I am at the point where I am ready for more serious, intense lessons like this. They will help me advance more. Before things were so new that I had a ton of questions.

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