In Oboe, it is impossible to play high F and D if there is a slur using the normal high F fingering so for F note we use the high E fingering with the the left pinky to produce the same high F

I totally understand that if there is a slur

But what if there is not? is it better to use the normal high F fingering or the one with the left pinky?

For example:

enter image description here

I totally know they produce the exact same note, but I'm asking about the better way to play it



The standard F and the left F should both be considered primary fingerings. The left F is the standard way to play passages like this. Using the standard F is unnecessarily unwieldy.

In regards to Carpid's answer, the "forked" F is somewhat contentious. Many oboists will tell you that it should never be used, and it is in fact never necessary for an instrument with the left F key. However, if your instrument doesn't have a left F key (common on beginner models) then it's the only way to play a passage like this smoothly.

The reason it's not ideal is because the tone and intonation suffer. But that can be counteracted if the instrument has what's called the "forked F resonance" key. If you have that, then the fingering is viable in some situations.

In this passage, there is still a good reason to prefer left F over forked F: Transitioning from forked F to E is a "flip", where one finger is added and another removed.

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Since the same key is pressed either way I don't think it matters honestly. I prefer not to use my pinkies but I believe this is mostly for personal preference. If using the pinky works better for you then go for it.

There is also another way to produce an F on the oboe. This works for the lower octave too and never blocks your fingers in any way. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this works with all models. The sound it produces ia a little different from the normal fingering and it certainly feels different to play. You will have to practise it to get the hang of it, especially since it can be hard to get the intonation right. For me this alternative fingering seems to produce a softer sounding F. That's why I sometimes use it when I don't necessarily have to just to change the sound of the otherwise quite aggressive high F.

enter image description here

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  • Oh that's a new fingering. I really don't think it is the best idea to adopt to a new F, specially F has already many variations – William Kinaan Jun 22 '17 at 11:09
  • @WilliamKinaan - every option has its day, to nearly coin a phrase. What's wrong with knowing as many options as is possible on your instrument? – Tim Jun 22 '17 at 11:48

I don't play the oboe, but if there are no slurs, I recommend the fingering that lets you play the note that's more in tune (or easier to keep in tune). Carpid brings up intonation problems in his/her answer, and I suspect this can be a major factor in choosing fingerings (especially in live performances, where people WILL notice when you're out of tune).

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