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How to play the Oud?
This page contains tips on the best and healthiest ways to get the best out of the Oud.
For those who practicing or performing on stage. Improve your skill set from these useful tips, I recommended for our students:
The perfect way to practice playing the Oud is to assume a straight sitting position on an armless chair with a straight backrest.
While playing on the Oud, be sure to use the foot stool. Do not practice for more than three hours at a stretch without using the foot stool to keep your back posture straight.
RIGHT POSITION FOR PLAYING THE OUD:
Place your left leg slightly behind the line of the heels of your right foot. You should always maintain this position while playing on stage with your right hand holding the Oud. The left hand has nothing to do with keeping the Oud straight. Rather, the Oud should be held with the right hand only.
This is a poor posture for handling the Oud. If you are seated wrongly and not straight while playing the Oud, you will feel uncomfortable and your hand will not be appropriately positioned relative to the fingerboard.
Note from the picture shown above that, the right foot is placed on a foot stool. If your right leg is not placed that way, you will lose balance while playing on the Oud.
How to hold the neck of the Oud?
You should compare holding the neck of the Oud to holding an apple with your left hand. You should hold the fingerboard in the following way.
With your thumb held straight, the tip of your fingers should play with the surface of the fingerboard, underneath the nails. It is very important to keep your left hand stretched forward on the fingerboard.
How to hold the pic of the Oud?
you should hold the pic in between your index and your thumb, the other three fingers has nothing to do with your Pic, we called it “Resha”
Hold the Resha as seen in the picture.
Practice in Front of A Mirror
Every Opera House I have been to for practice, has a mirror as a constant feature. This helps players to look at themselves in the mirror while they practice.
Practicing in front of a mirror helps you to have a glimpse of the positions of the left and right hands, how you are actually seating, and how the audience will see you during a performance. It also boosts your confidence by helping to overcome stage fright.
Parts of the Oud and what the instrument contains
• The Strings Base: This is the first part on the left side of the Oud model shown in this picture. The string base is made of wood to hold the strings from the bottom of the Oud. The strings Base is useful for holding the strings in position
• STRINGS: The conventional Ouds nowadays have 11 strings; five in unison and one a single string.
• THE BRIDGE: The second component on the left side of the Oud is the bridge. It is actually the part over which the strings pass to help vibrate the sounds vibrate the sounds by the strings or transmission to the sound box.
• SOUND HOLE: The third part is the sound hole; the sound hole of the Oud is to repress the sounds and project them out of the Oud box. This is what helps Bombay looking to produce the depth of their sounds.
• The Face of the Oud: A good Oud has a thin wooden face. By principle, the thinner the face of the Oud, the better the quality of the sound produced. The sound quality is measured by how delightful and open the sound is. Thus, it is very important for the Oud makers to be apply great care when designing the face of the Oud.
• The Neck or Fingerboard: The fingerboard is a fretless component of the Oud. As shown in the picture, there are no frets on the fingerboard. That is what makes the Oud an Oud. It is one major difference between the Oud and the Guitar. The reason for this is to enable the player produce a monochromatic range of sounds on an open frequency without any limitation.
How to tune the Oud instrument?
Egyptians, Syrians and other Arab countries tune the Oud from the top in the following order:
E – A – D – G – C – F.
The Iraqis usually tune the Oud differently from the top thus:
F – C – D – G – C – F.
The Turkish tune the Oud as follows:
C# – F# – B. – E – A – D
All students of School of Oud are taught to tune the Oud in the sequence below. It is the best sequence of tuning the Oud to cover more than 95% of the songs and compositions ever played on the Oud. This tuning is highly accurate and recommended for all regions including the Egyptian and Iraqi schools of Oud. Our students are advised to tune their Ouds using the following sequence:
F – A – D – G – C – F
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Ramy Adly starts his interview of talking about his childhood and his beloved Oud that he found at his family’s house in Assuit, Egypt. He headed to Cairo to learn more about the Oud instrument at the Arab Oud House, taught by Naseer Shamma. After Ramy’s successful graduation concert, he started his career of teaching the Oud at the world famous Alexandria Library. He has traveled studying the performing arts in Hawaii, USA and finally established his School of Oud Online based in Washington, D.C.