Oboes and Bassoons
Necessary Tools for all Double Reed Players
Oboes: F. Lorée, Fox, Yamaha, Selmer, Buffet-Crampon
Bassoons: Fox, Schreiber, Yamaha, Leitzinger, Adler
The clickable links above are recommended based on quality and value. These links are provided for a starting point--these models may be found for cheaper prices by shopping around. Before purchasing an instrument, make sure that you are able to try out the instrument (either used or new). Most music stores will allow you to do this, and many online suppliers have a reasonable return policy for this reason. There are many great used instruments out there, but just like purchasing a used vehicle, when purchasing a used instrument directly from another person, it is best to buy locally, as this will allow you to see the instrument in person and allow you to play the instrument as well.
For both oboe and bassoon, a recommended reed is one that is handmade by professional players. If you take private lessons, ask your teacher what he/she uses, or if he/she is willing to sell you handmade reeds. If a handmade reed is not an option, here are some recommended reeds:
Before playing, double reed players should always soak their reeds for at least a minute before playing. Double reeds should never be played dry--dry reeds crack easily, and a dry reed will not function the way it was designed to work. In a rehearsal, some double reed players will soak their reeds during lengthy rests when the director is working with other sections. Because of the fragility of the reeds, take care to keep the reed from touching any surfaces. After playing, the reed should be kept in a reed case to dry. Leaving the reed in water overnight or for hours will weaken the reed, and may be hazardous to your health. Reeds should be switched out after a month of usage. Most double reed musicians have a rotation of three reeds, so that a working reed is always guaranteed.
Find out more about your community of instrumentalists:
The International Double Reed Society
Alex Klein (Oboe) and Hanno Dönneweg (Bassoon)
Important to Remember
The inside of your instrument should be swabbed after every playing. A drop down swab, which is a small soft rag (about the size of a handkerchief) attached a small weight clean the inside of the main joints of your instrument's body (bassoons have different types of swabs for the boot and tenor joints). It is incredibly important to remove all moisture from the instrument before storing it. You may wipe the outside of the instrument with the cloth to remove fingerprints.
Regular maintenance of your instrument will go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary repair bills. Every three months or so, oil all mechanisms on your instrument using key oil from a needle dropper. Before oiling, remove as much dust and dirt as possible from under the key mechanisms. Starting at the top of the instrument and working down, put one drop of oil into the space at the end of each key rod and between all movable keys that share the same rod using the needle dropper. Key rods are attached to posts, each of which has a ball shaped top. Put the oil into the slit next to each post. Work the keys vigorously to circulate the oil, then wipe off any excess oil from the body and keys of the flute.