Is it normal for my lip muscles to feel sore? I played for a little over 2 hours today! WOOT! My reeds were not cooperating at all. The one that usually sounds flat, but played very much in tune on Wednesday, is back to being flat. I swear the thing is a hygrometer. As long as we're under 40% humidity it plays fine. The only reed that was responding easily is the one that tends to play sharp. I only did a few long notes because I don't like doing too many of those unless I can tune them up well. I practiced scales for a bit even though the three lowest notes tend to not respond on that reed. At that point I took a break. Then I went back and reviewed my scales (C, G, D, A, F, B-flat, and E-flat - just major today). After that I decided I wanted to just play stuff that I liked but is still too hard for me. I did that for over an hour.
The first thing I tinkered with was Brahms' Third Symphony. I purchased the second oboe score the other day just for kicks. Right now this is my favorite symphony so I wanted to be able to play along with it. Figuring that even if I ever do make it to an (amateur) orchestra I'll probably not be principal I thought it safer to purchase the second oboe part. Gosh it's hard to follow along. You have to read perfectly. It was difficult to follow even when the passages weren't technically challenging. For the third movement I peeked at my mini score because I really wanted to play the solo there; it's simple yet hauntingly beautiful. I really like the counter melody (downward arpeggios) that the first flute and oboe play near the very end when the strings take up the theme. The tutti at the very end is fun too. Brahms is da' bomb!
After that I ventured into the territory of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante (the wind one). I actually did better with this one that the Brahms. Since it's sort of like a concerto the oboe parts stand out and I've memorized what they sound like so the sheet music is easier to read. I was playing a bit sharp because of the silly reed but I was surprised to be able to follow it a bit more than the last time I attempted it some months ago. That's excluding the third movement which has some pretty mean variations.
I probably should have stuck to my exercises but I just felt that I needed a break to remind myself why it is that I'm doing this in the first place.
I MUST finish the two reeds I'm working on tomorrow!! MUST MUST MUST!