I started learning the oboe when I was 10, and went up to get a distinction at Grade 8 in the UK. However, my lips were nearly always sore, and I realise now that my teeth were biting in to my lip. I am now 44, and finding it very difficult to imagine/feel how my embouchure should be with a reed, regardless of reading articles. Any ideas/help greatly appreciated! Cass

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    Isn´t this a typical case for hiring a good teacher for some hours to set you on the right track? – DrSvanHay Dec 10 '18 at 19:35
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    Absolutely get a teacher. Even with a patient instructor, expect to take at least a year to retrain yourself to use a proper embouchure. – Carl Witthoft Dec 11 '18 at 13:55
  • Yes, I am seeing my daughter's oboe teacher every now and again to retrain. Thank you – Cass Dec 11 '18 at 19:24

A retraining with exercises involving the "set - relax - air - jaw-pressure" type routines might be in order. https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=4175&dataid=13286&FileName=Basic%20Bassoon%20Articulations.pdf shows a good example of training the embouchure to not need to work while as much so the jaw pressure will increase enough to stop vibrating the reed, instead of the player clamping down. Air-articulations are practiced before tongued articulations.

The following could be done to train the embouchure not to squeeze down when switching from the relaxed lips/calibrated jaw pressure "heh" syllables to the tongued "teh".

T:Exercise 1
| "heh"G "heh"G "teh"G "teh"G "teh"G4 | G/"etc"G/G/G/
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    Thank you Richard - that looks really useful! – Cass Dec 11 '18 at 19:25

The fact that you've been biting means you haven't developed the muscles in your cheeks. You'll have to start using much softer reeds, and progressively use harder reeds to build the cheek muscles up over time. If you try using too hard reeds you'll just fall back on your old technique.

Also keep in mind that since you're in your 40's now this will take more consistence, persistence and time than for a teenager, since muscle growth overall slows with age.

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