We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Piano Sheet Music Octave Key Use on the Oboe

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Octave Key Use on the Oboe

All wind instruments except the flute have a key to play the higher note. Saxophones and bassoons have thumb keys, and clarinets have thumb keys. When playing the oboe, you’ll find variations on these systems, as the oboe can have three octave keys. The use of these keys depends on the configuration of these keys for the model of oboe being played.

The choices a player faces when playing high notes on the oboe are as follows

Separate octave keys: This is the system most beginners struggle with when playing the oboe. Their instrument has two octave keys, one on the back of the left thumb joint and the other on the side of the left index finger. The back button is used to play the notes E to G# in the second octave, and the side button is used to play the notes A to C above it. The most important thing to remember about separate octave keys is that you can’t hold both at the same time. If you hold them together, both the tuning and the tone of the notes will be ruined.

There are always techniques to help you make clean transitions between two keys. Instead of thinking “side key on – back key off” (or vice versa), think of the change as one movement. To achieve this, turn your left thumb and turn your wrist. If you are switching the side octave key from the back key, this movement will have the effect of bringing the side of the index finger into contact with the side key while releasing the back key. To switch down, rotate your wrist in the opposite direction. So both buttons work in one action. Once you get the hang of it, it will make quick passages where you often switch octave keys much easier.

SEMI-AUTO Octave Keys: This is probably the most common system and, in my experience, the system used by the majority of professional players in the UK. The two-button layout is the same as the separate system described above, but with an additional link button that allows you to lay down the side button and press the rear octave button. The mechanism does the rest. Obviously, this makes the transition a little easier and smoother. However, it should be remembered that this does not work the other way around. When playing the lower octave key (E – G#), keep it on the side key to sharpen the notes.

FULLY AUTOMATIC Octave Keys: This system sometimes has the same key placement as other systems, but the mechanism allows the player to place one or both keys at any time. On many fully automatic oboes, the octave key system works with only one thumb key (giving the entire side key). This is the system that Adolphe Sax used to create the saxophone. Although this system sounds very attractive in many ways, it has one major drawback; – harmonic finger cannot be used on fully automatic wallpaper. Harmonics are a fairly advanced technique for playing the oboe, but they are very useful in certain situations.

THIRD OCTAVE KEY: When playing in the third register (very high notes) on the top E and above, we add a back octave key. The latest development is the addition of a third octave key that helps you play the highest notes. In a conservatory system, this key is above the thumb octave key and is usually located next to the thumbboard on the thumbboard. Personally, I have never used the third octave key. I’ve always found that I can get the highest notes by just using the thumb octave keys.

Using octave keys on the oboe is one of the fundamental techniques you must understand, apply, and master if you are going to truly master your instrument. As you can see from the article above, it is very important to know what system you have and how to use it properly. Failure to do this will affect the fine tuning of the high notes on the oboe and playability. The name Oboe comes from the French word “Haut Bois” meaning “tall wood”. Given the term, shame on you if your high notes were bad. If you’re doing things right, high notes on the oboe aren’t a problem.

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