Text Box: a mirror and playing while standing with one’s back against a wall will show immediate improvement. Assuming the oboe is in good adjustment, little pressure is required to close or open the keys. To combat tension in the fingers, keep fingers close to the keys and imagine slowly squeezing a tube of toothpaste when practicing.
Text Box: Humming while playing the oboe is generally agreed as an effective remedy to tension in the throat, even if the terms “open” and “closed” are disputed. It is important to remember the oboe only requires a small amount of air but a large amount of breath control.
Being thoughtful and observant will prevent these bad habits from dominating your playing.
Text Box: support and embouchure is to rotate the reed 45 degrees in the oboe and play without adjusting the position of the head or hands. It is almost impossible to bite on a reed with this technique. You can regulate the angle of rotation to return gradually to the normal horizontal plane as a fuller sound and un-pinched tone develops.
Tension often shows up in elevated shoulders, a closed throat and wild fingers. Maintaining good posture by using Text Box: At some point all oboists experience embouchure fatigue while playing, regardless of  whether they are a beginner or professional. However some performers seem to be able to play endlessly with little effort, while others tire after only a few long-tones. Naturally, credit for increased endurance goes to the person who  practices regularly and for a significant duration each session. Even so, there are things an oboist can do to increase the time before embouchure fatigue sets in. 
Increasing the strength of the embouchure through regular practice and playing on reeds stiffer than normal, be they new and not yet broken-in or just heavier, will strengthen your chops. This method however has limitations because the facial muscles are extremely thin and are not able to be developed in the same way as the biceps or quadriceps. Therefore, Text Box: other methods of increasing endurance must be used.
Playing on the very tip of the reed allows the oboist to control the intonation and tone more easily than if the embouchure surrounds the reed further back where the cane is thicker. One method of practicing this is to attach a neck strap to your oboe and adjust the length to the point where, when the strap is pulled gently taut, your embouchure can only but play at the tip of the reed. You’ll find, with time, your embouchure will be what Jay Light calls “an outward pucker”. With the correct breath control and acclimatization to this new position, you’ll find your tone, projection and endurance will all improve.
Another impediment to good embouchure endurance is an unstable or inefficient reed. While you might have a reed that Text Box: blows as light and easy as a flute, it might very well lack stability causing you to overly control the pitch; often ending up sharp! An inefficient reed is one that yields very little sound or volume compared to the amount of wind or effort put into it. This is easily checked by gently blowing into the reed and slowly increasing the air until it begins to sound; first the initial “C” then the second and third “C’s”. Be mindful of how much air and force you must use before all three pitches will sound. If you’re  getting red in the face before the second “C” the reed is too inefficient. Scraping in the right place or two will allow more vibrations to sound earlier and allow you to lessen your effort. 
With these tips, you’ll soon be playing all three Schumann Romances on your next recital.
Text Box: Concertino by Bernhard Molique
Reinecke, Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano
Ponchielli, Capriccio or Piccolo concertino 
Garimond, Fantasia on Norma (Bellini) 
Garimond, Fantasia on “I puritani” (Bellini)
Gariboldi, Fantasy on Traviata (Verdi) 
Donizetti, Sonata or Solo in f minor 
Many classical sheet music stores carry these pieces or can special order them for you. Links to publishers can be found at www.reedmaster.com
Text Box: Looking for pieces for Oboe from the Romantic Era that won’t fatigue your embouchure? Here are some popular and less strenuous works which will complement any program.
Saint-Saens, Sonata 
Kalliwoda, Morceau de Salon 
Variations on Don Pasquale arr Verroust
Amédée Méreaux, Villanelle for Oboe & Piano, Op. 64  (It’s not too taxing on the soloist and includes a ravishing lullaby in the middle.)

Page 2

Text Box: Bad Habits 
Text Box: Embouchure Endurance
Text Box: Romantic Period Oboe Compositions

A Good Reed

Text Box: From page 1