Oboe/Oboe mouth help

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Question
Hi!

I have for quite a while now experienced a sort of 'whoop' feeling at the back of y mouth after playing specifically long/high noting oboe pieces (such as Gabriel's Oboe). I persevered through this but now it is really bothering me and hurts something around the uvula/palatine tonsil region. I have to stop playing...and it really hinders my practicing time (I can only practice 15min at a time). The problem is it only occurs in particularly high or slow pieces - which is why I have managed to progress to Grade 8 + with this issue - but now it is really annoying so I want to resolve it. I sometimes experience a sort of dry throat feeling when this occurs, which makes me assume it is some problem to do with actual oboe blowing technique?

Any help?

Answer
Daniel,  I have to say, this is a new one on me. I'm not sure what "quite a while" means in actual time or "whoop feeling".  Were you OK before?  If so, have you changed anything with your embouchure, or playing technique?  Is your throat constricted in anyway when you're playing?  What about your posture: are you slumping over or sitting tall as you should be?  Have you changed your reeds any - perhaps they're too stiff and you're blowing harder than your used to.  There is an exercise you can try to relax your throat: play long tones and hum at the same time.  It will sound horrible, but will relax the throat.  A final thought and one that should be considered seriously: is it possible that this is a physical/medical problem?  If nothing has been changed in terms of your playing techniques prior to the onset of this issue, then there's a good chance that there is something wrong physically and you should have a physician check things out to make sure that you're OK.  Joel  

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Joel Simon

Expertise

Reed making, oboe technique, oboe adjustments. PLEASE NOTE, NO QUESTIONS ABOUT OBOE VINTAGE OR VALUE. THAT INCLUDES SERIAL NUMBERS, AGE OF INSTRUMENTS, AND HOW MUCH THEY MIGHT BE WORTH; AND THAT INCLUDES WHERE YOU MIGHT FIND SUCH INFORMATION. THESE QUESTIONS WILL BE REJECTED.

Experience

I've played oboe for over 40 years. During that time I've played and performed in many ensembles including full orchestras, chamber orchestras, and wind quintets. I've played as both an amateur and professionally. Out of necessity, I've learned how to care for the oboe, make adjustments and repair when necessary.

Education/Credentials
I studied with Robert Sprenkle at Eastman School of Music preparatory department and 3 years privately with Lois Wann. I've also studied with Robert Eliscu.

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