Sunday, August 01, 2010

Day 2: Sawicki

If you're an oboist, you are likely familiar with Carl Sawicki's "Method for Adjusting the Oboe & English Horn". It's a must-have as a reference, but there is no substitute for experience and PLAY-testing in addition to the test-papers (I use ungummed cigarette papers cut into strips and attached to a wooden kabab skewer). I had a date with Sawicki today. I went through key groups 1 and 2 before I came to a place I really needed to test my oboe (low D-forked F to check that adjustment). Even going two floors down from both my sleeping babies (2-year old & almost-3-month old), I played for 30 seconds and woke up my younger son. Gack. I'd better get as much practicing in as possible while my husband is home for the summer.

The book is well-written and can be understood by anyone without an instrument repair shop, but since it's referring to the actual engineering of the oboe, I still had to read several passages over, and after 45 minutes of adjusting my instrument, my brain hurt. It's not complicated, really, but it made me realize how mushy my brain has become, not reading any college textbooks or scholarly writing for...let's say a while. Particularly this summer, caring for a newborn and reading nothing more complicated than a few vampire novels! Maybe I shouldn't admit that...

Hmm. Forgot to put my oboe away. I guess I'd better go do that and resume with "Screw #12" tomorrow. I need some time while both boys are awake and with Daddy so I can finish this and move onto reeds...then practicing!

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