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 Post subject: Uncontrollable wobble when playing quietly
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 40
After many years of playing with few problems - recently I have developed a really noticeable wobble when playing soft notes in middle register. I have just come back from a chamber orchestra tour and all the tricky stuff (Mozart Bassoon Concerto for example ) worked fine. However holding a first space F in the Bruch fiddle concerto caused a massive problem and I had to cease the note many bars early or play it at a good solid mf to steady it.

It doesn't feel like an embouchure problem - it feels like the air column is the cause of the wobble.
Some possible factors
1) I'm 56
2) a bit over weight
3) work (secondary music teacher) is a bit stressful at present (OK I hate it!!)

Does any one have any ideas as to what the problem may be?
Also has anyone any suggestions as to how to eradicate the wobble.

I am a serious amateur player and this is spoiling my enjoyment and making me want to avoid playing first.

Any suggestions no matter how bizarre welcome!

Paul G (aka HB135)


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 Post subject: Re: Uncontrollable wobble when playing quietly
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:35 am
Posts: 172
Location: Cambridgeshire
Try practising long notes BUT bend them up and down almost as far as they will allow. It doesn't matter if the notes 'burst' up to the next available note or falls off the bottom of the note. NOT with your hand in the bell but with your embouchure only.

The point is you are bending the notes up and down. You are in control of the apparent variation in pitch. You haven't 'got the wobbles' because you are in control of the variation in pitch and the speed of the 'bends' in the long bending notes

The other thing to watch out for is that the air stream is constant (it is a WIND instrument so blow the thing! Secondly be absolutely sure that the aperture in your embouchure is open all the time and maintains that 'oboe reed shape' (as mentioned by Farkas in his great book) all the time you are playing your long 'bendy' bending notes


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