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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter is 12. She started playing oboe at school about a year ago. She really likes it and she's becoming pretty good at it. I am considering buying one for her. I found a Yamaha 241 at our local music store for about $1321. My question is the following: how long will she be able to play this model before needing a more advanced model? should I look into investing more and buying a more advanced model now? or let her start with the 241 model?

Any advice or recommendation will be great.

Thanks.
 

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I do not know much about oboes, but you might want to try buying a used student model at first. She might end up quitting in high school, you never know. A student model (if it is a good one) will last through high school, unless you decide to replace it with a pro horn, wich is a viable option.
 

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Does she have a private teacher. If not, I highly recommend one, especially for oboe.

There are many considerations to buying an oboe. Wood, resin, or wood bottom with a resin top joint.

There are different key configurations---Student, modified conservatory, full conservatory.

IMHO, which, in this case is very humble, I would recommend at least a modified conservatory, with at least a low Bb (some student models only go down to B), and the alternate F key.
 

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That's the student model Yamaha, which is I'm sure a very fine student instrument (as are most, if not all yamaha student instruments). But it's a student instrument never the less. If she's progressing quickly, she'll outgrow it in a short time and benefit from something nicer.

I'm a big fan of not spending more than a couple hundred dollars on a student instrument, and I would suggest finding a good rental program for something like an oboe. Many rental programs for students in school band programs allow the student to "move up" to a nicer instrument later on and also cover things like repair and maintenance. It's less money each month and you'll end up with something better later on.

If you'd rather own something outright, look around on ebay and see what you can find there, too. There are a few nice student/intermediate instruments right now for auction. I'm usually hesitant to buy something like an oboe off of ebay,. but less so with a student instrument. If you can pick something up for a good price (maybe $500 or so...), you can sell it again in a couple of years if need be for a decent price still.

In short, it sounds liek a nice instrument, but I think that's too much to spend on a student instrument that wont be beneficial for too long.

Good luck, and I hope some of that made sense.
 

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I've got a nice but older Noblet Paris oboe that I bought for my wife last year. All I can say is that playing oboe is harder than it looks. And it seems to be harder for flute players than sax players. Me and my boy (being sax players) were honking on it right out of the box. My wife, the flute player? Not so much. So it gathers dust now.

Anyway, I would sell it for $500 plus shipping which is less than I have in it. It's real Grenadilla wood and sounds pretty good. It doesn't have all the extra keys that newer conservatory models have. When trying to find an oboe for my wife. I bought the Noblet and a vintage Conn Artist model. This Noblet sounded much better. I sold the Conn to somebody here on SOTW and gave the Noblet to my wife along with a brand new ProTech case.

Just let me know if you are interested.
 

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One thing to keep in mind when buying an Oboe that I learned from an ex (I was with her when she was racking her brains over her new Loree) is that with wood oboes (to a discriminating player) wear out and can be harder to play.

With a lot of instruments, it's easy to make a better sound on a better instrument, but with an oboe, it's harder to control a better oboe with an underdeveloped embouchure.

Also, with as many changes as the oboe is still going through with developments, and older, higher quality oboe with lesser keywork/design might end up being harder for her to excel on, or at the least, would probably warrant another instrument in a few years anyway.

Something like that Noblet may be just fine for a younger student, but I'd be hesitant myself to go for it. The price is certainly right though, and even if it turns out to not be quite the right fit, you wouldn't lose any money on it, not by a long shot.

And consider this a second on the private teacher comment. If she's good, she deserves to have one, too. A competent high schooler can be a great asset for a young player.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the input. She's really very musically inclined. She picked up my guitar and taught herself how to play. As for private oboe lessons, she already takes private piano lessons. She joined band in sixth grade and picked the oboe as her instrument. When I first heard her play, I couldn't wait for her to stop. But with her competitive nature and love for music, she kept working at it (without much help at school), she now plays very well. I can actually sit and listen to her playing. She borrows and oboe from school, but it keeps on breaking and frustrating her.
I looked into renting one, but that's not cheap either. To rent one, it would cost about $40 a month. That's why I am considering buying one outright, but I said earlier, I worry about her outgrowing it. I don't see her quitting any time soon, she seems very serious about it.
 

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It sounds liek she's progressing very well then, and if you don't see any signs that she's gonna stop anytime soon, it may very well be worth it to find her something a little nicer.

Enviroguy's Noblet might be a good route to go, and again, if she ends up not liking it, you wont lose money on it. A student Yamaha will still do well for her and will last through high school, or at least well into high school.

There's no reason at this point to get ahead of yourself and buy something too nice, but for as much as that yamaha you found costs, you should be able to get her something that will do well for her for years.

Even though she's taking piano lessons, it would be good for her to have an oboe teacher, even if it's more sporadic. Some habits are hard to break after jsut a year of playing, but if she gets to playing for a few years and has to "start from scratch" when she starts taking lessons, she may very well get frustrated and quit at that point, which would be a tragedy. My ex (mentioned earlier) was quite good all through high school and didn't take lessons until she got to college as a performance major. it's been hard, but she's quite dedicated. her teacher had her working on basic scales and elementary level etudes for a month straight. no solo work, no advanced technique, nothing. started from scratch. you put anyone through that and they'll think about quiting.
 

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Here's the skinny from a Mom who's been down this road and also plays the oboe.
Before you buy an oboe there are a couple of things you need to consider.

1. How responsible is your child. If not very, then go with the resin body oboe. Otherwise it's best to get an all wood model. Be aware that there is a break in period that MUST be followed to avoid cracking of the upper joint. Maintaining a wood oboe is more intensive than resin.

2. Buy or rent. Renting is good if you think your child MAY decide to change instruments or give it up. Rental plans usually come with a repair/maintainence plan. Buying does not. You will need to purchase a plan or be prepared to shell out some big bucks for all the little 'fixes'.

Despite what saxandstrings86 says wood oboes DO NOT WEAR OUT or are any harder to control. They go out of adjustment. Yearly check-ups are a necessity. More often with young students. They bend the crap out of keywork.

When shopping for my daughter, we found the Bulgheroni student model was the best oboe for the money. Modified conservatory, low Bb, silver plated keys, and a few extras not found on other student lines. You can get it through Woodwind and Brasswind right now for $1739. I wouldn't reccomend buying from an unknown source on ebay. Do a LOT of comparison shopping. Have your daughter play as many oboes as you can in your price range. She'll let you know which one feels and sounds the best.
 

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I would buy from quinntheeskimo. In fact, if Ms. hakukani would let me, I would already have snatched that fox oboe.
 

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quinntheeskimo is a reputable seller, but there are a LOT of others that I wouldn't trust. Unless you know what you're looking for and ask the 'right' questions, it's so easy to get taken.
I didn't mean any disrespect.
 

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I agree with the private lessons teacher specifially for oboe. Piano lessons are good, but oboe lessons are the best thing for an oboe player. If you do get a high school student try to find out if they know what they are talking about. There are many high school players out there who are decent, but have no idea what they are doing. I just finished high school, so I know what the current market is like.
 

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Oboes are a bit tricky--they vary widely, even exemplars of the same make and model, so it is really best to have one picked out by a teacher or good player. And as bandmommy says, they do go out of adjustment very easily, so it is important to make sure that the instrument is keep in running condition with regular checkups.

I started oboe at 13, and was very happy to get a decent older Loree fairly quickly, as the student model that I started on was really inadequate. It is not a bad idea to go for a pro or semi-pro used instrument. These have already been broken in, and the wood is settled, with less chance of cracking or warping (if care is taken). Of course it is imperative in this case that the instrument be fully checked out mechanically by a good tech, but if it is in good shape it can be expected to remain in good shape with reasonable care. Oboes do not wear out--I played on a 50 year old instrument that was fine and remained fine for the 10 years that I seriously played it.

Another point is that the resale value of a used instrument remains relatively stable, whereas there is a big drop if you buy a new instrument and then sell it later.

If your daughter is really serious make sure she learns how to make and adjust reeds...

Toby
 
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