Warming up in cold weather

Dear Guests, Welcome to Oboe Brilliance blogs, written to support the love and joy of life long oboe playing.

Today's blog focuses on the important art of warming up the oboe in cold weather. Doing so can add enjoyment of playing because a warmed up oboe plays, feels and sounds better. Warming up properly can avoid problems ranging from minor inconveniences such as water in keys,  to serious problems such as a badly cracked oboe!

Here are some helpful steps:
1) While soaking the reed,  put together oboe and nestle the top joint, under your arm pit to warm it up somewhat before playing.
2) Blow hot air through the oboe while reed is soaking and before playing any notes.
3) Play long tones in the lower register by gradually increasing length of notes and giving yourself some rest in between each note. (This is a good way to warm up the embouchure properly as well.)
4) Play ascending and descending building scales and/or chromatic scales in the lowest octave before playing anything with octave key.

5) Suggestion: get yourself a sonic drone of a tonic and dominant to sound while improvising in a scales or mode with that tonic and dominant while making sure that you keep your register low.

Helpful hint to teachers: If your student travels to you on cold days and their oboe needs more time to warm up, tonal improvising limited in the lowest register is helpful. Have your student play over and over again a low tonic note which you then use as tonic for your improvising. Take turns supplying tonic drones and improvising.

Happy oboe playing!
Kathryn