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What Should I Know before I Buy an Oboe?

Patti Kate
Patti Kate

Before you buy an oboe, you should familiarize yourself with the various types that are available. There are oboes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players, so choose one that fits your level of experience. Choose the correct size that feels most comfortable in your hand. This woodwind instrument may be constructed of wood or resin, each with advantages and disadvantages, so it's best to weigh the pros and cons before deciding. Before you buy an oboe, you should also compare prices from different sources.

If you are not certain what to look for when you buy an oboe, speak with a qualified representative at a music store. He will show you various models and suggest one that is most appropriate for your needs. Do not let the sales associate talk you into buying something extravagant if the oboe is for a child or a beginner. Young children and students will not need anything more than a basic instrument made for beginners. Consider a model with simplified keys for an inexperienced player.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Understand that if you choose a wood oboe over a plastic resin model, it will require more maintenance to keep it in optimal condition. A wood oboe might not endure environmental conditions as well as one constructed of high quality resin. The major advantage of choosing a wood oboe is the rich sound it is capable of producing. A resin model will generally last longer than most wood oboes and is not as likely to become damaged from environmental factors or everyday use.

Before you buy an oboe, you must also decide whether you'd prefer a new or used instrument. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, and do not make your decision based on cost alone. While you might get a decent deal on a used oboe, you should be absolutely certain it is in playable condition before you buy it. Also, check for damage to the exterior, as this could require expensive repairs. If a used oboe does require repairs, consider the final cost over buying a brand new instrument.

You must also consider providing a case to protect your oboe. Your oboe is an investment, and the instrument can easily become damaged as you transport it. This is why you need to provide adequate protection, preferably a hard-shell case with interior padding. Some cases are equipped with extra storage for necessary accessories, which can be a convenient feature.

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