An oboe works with its main component – a reed, requiring one to blow into it to create sound. Even though oboes are not frequently used for mainstream music like pop and rock, it is quite popular in orchestras and concert bands. It is also used in classical and folk music and is also a solo instrument. Oboes are great not only for professional use but even if you’re planning to learn a new and unique instrument. However, picking out the right oboe is essential, and there are several key features to keep in check.
Semi-Automatic vs. Fully Automatic
The first and foremost thing to consider before buying an oboe is the system it works on, and there are two – semi-automatic and fully-automatic. While the choice mainly depends on the buyer’s preference, professional oboists may already be aware of the difference, but it is trickier for beginners. If you’re just starting to learn the instrument, then semi-automatic is a suitable choice as it is recommended for first-time learners. The reason is that this system offers more flexibility, which is crucial in the learning phase, and the structure of keys on fully-automatic oboes is a bit more complicated.
Which Material to Choose?
Oboes are available in a few materials, but the best is wood, which is also widely used. The most common black colored oboes are made out of wood, but another great material is rosewood. Both are excellent choices, but it is easier to find regular wood than rosewood. Buyers should also ensure high-quality and robust trill keys for which gold or silver-plated copper is a good choice. While the body should be durable, the wood ports are supposed to be soft for easy assembly and air-tightness.
Included Reed and More Key Features
Since a significant part of an oboe is the reed, buyers should ensure that it is already included. Some oboes don’t come with reeds, and in such a situation, reeds have to be purchased separately. And if it is already present, it should be user-friendly. An oboe requires proper storage in a leather case, so it is essential to choose one which comes with a case. Some come with carrying bags too, which are perfect for easy travel and storage. Few oboes also include essential maintenance equipment like gloves, lubricant, cleaning swab, and screwdriver, which is an added advantage.
Categories Simillar to Oboes includes Clarinets, Saxophones