powerful long tones

Hello and welcome to Oboe Brilliance blogs, devoted to life long oboe playing enjoyment.The more powerful your long tones, the greater the beauty and pleasure you are able to achieve while oboe playing.

Here are ways to develop more powerful long tones.

While being to sure to concentrate on and employing superb posture, breathing and embouchure technique:

1) Break up your practice session:
with time yourself long tones. for example, before playing another etude or repertoire piece, or sight reading piece, play the tonic of it, or your note of choice if it isn't tonal, for as long as you can. Or pick from the choices below in between moving from one practice aspect to another.

2) Octaves:
Play the lowest note of a certain pitch for as long as you can.
Play the same pitch up and octave " "

3) Mono dynamic control:
Play a note mono dynamic for as long as you can. rest and repeat 3 x
Play the same note at a different dynamic level " "
rest and repeat

4) Varying dynamic control:
Start mp < mf slowly smoothly for 30 seconds
Start mf > mp ""
Start pp < ff slowly smoothly for 45 seconds
Start ff > pp " "
Start pp < ff > pp for 50 seconds
Start mp < mf > mp " "
Start ppp < fff > ppp " "

5) Build up time - without using circular breathing
Play one note for 10 seconds, rest for 5, play for 20 seconds, rest for 10, play 30, rest for 15, etc.  up to 90. While it is possible to play longer than 90 seconds, I do not advocate doing so for reasons of health and time management. It just isn't necessary in my opinion and I suspect could be counter productive for some. Use your judgement. Beyond curiosity and desire to test limits, it probably isn't necessary to exceed 50 or 60 seconds, although it can be serious fun!

6) Decrease time
Start with a very long timed long tone and after resting, decrease time for each subsequent long tone.


K. Potter