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Keeping Oboe/EH at playable temperature in the pit

5927 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  wesbrow
Question for those of you who play in musicals...

Oboes are notoriously easy to crack when played cold, which is why oboe players are picky about keeping their instruments warm while not playing. During musicals however, sometimes an oboe can sit unused on a stand for an hour or more and then need to be played immediately. How do you deal with this situation?
  • Always cut out a few minutes of music beforehand to warm it up?
  • Some kind of heating device?
  • Just chance it and start playing?
  • Use synthetic oboes?

I'm picking up the oboe now and this one has me stumped. I have to make too many cold switches on my piccolo right now, and it freaks me out every time, even when I get 20 bars or so to put a little heat into it.
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If the temperature is above 65 degrees - you should have nothing to worry about (other than being in tune). That being said, a friend of mine did crack his clarinet in a cold pit once. It was a cement floor and the temperature on the floor was much colder than the room.

General rule of thumb is to ask yourself is the value of your instrument worth taking the risk. In 90% of all situations you should be in a safe situation. for the other 10% - be clear with whoever is running the show that pit temp should be something to worry about. Other than that get a small personal space heater. If the sound guys complain about the hum - then you got one more group of people trying to help you get heat n the pit.
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