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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! I've been doing some thinking, and i want to start the oboe. There are some problems though. I currently play the clarinet, and double with the E-flat clarinet and bass clarinet. I have been playing clarinet for about 5 years, and i just started the Eb clarinet earlier in 2010. I've been listening to a lot of music, and I really like the sound and tone of the oboe, and i think it would be a blast to play. However, I have an all-county audition for clarinet and E-flat clarinet in april, and my dad cautions me from messing up my chops by playing too many instruments. I really wanna keep studying clarinet, and hopefully get into a professional chamber orchestra or symphony. Also, i've been looking all day, and I can't find a good student oboe that's under $800. Why are these things so expensive?? Student clarinets go for about $200! What's your opinion on this matter? Can you help me find a good cheap oboe (used is okay)? Thanks in advance!
 

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I was in your shoes once, played a few horns and thought oboe was cool. I ended up buying a used one at a church sale for $100.

Thing is, oboe is a completely different instrument from clarinet. You may think it could be a cinch to pick up because it looks similar, but looks are where any similarities begin and end. It's a whole different way of thinking. At the very least, once you found an oboe you'd need to take lessons from a professional oboe player to attain any kind of ability. That sound and tone you mention takes years of concentrated study to develop. You would also need to learn about oboe reeds, which are another entire discipline unto themselves.

Oboes are expensive because they are very delicate instruments and take a great deal of care to manufacture--much more so than clarinets. If you're looking to find a "good cheap oboe," right now I see several ebay oboes with starting bids between $200 and $300. If you go that route, make sure you only bid on instruments described as "ready to play" or "problem free." As far as renting goes, try your local musical instrument store (the place that rents instruments to your school).

If you do get an oboe, you'll quickly discover how much of a challenge it is. In many ways it's the most difficult of the woodwinds. And you'll also find why you need a teacher to get anywhere with it.

It's great to have this interest and desire, but I think you need to be realistic. From what I've been able to surmise from your post, you're a very good high school clarinet player who has aspirations to be a professional. If that's true, then you need to eat, drink, and sleep clarinet for the next decade. Any oboe playing would be strictly for amusement.

But I agree with your dad. Tuck your oboe fantasy away for safekeeping someplace and concentrate on your clarinet. You won't mess up your chops playing oboe, but any time you spend on oboe right now will be time spent away from your clarinet. Once you've established yourself as a top-notch clarinet player, then it'll be fun to branch out to other horns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks jaysne, i completely agree. My private teacher told me that if i wanna double another instrument, it should be a flute; cheap to buy, easy to learn, and fun to play. but yeah, i should really just stick to my clarinet playing, doubling the E-flat clarinet is painful enough x)
 

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As an oboist first, I'd say wait to start after your auditions, or even wait until the summer when you'd have more time to put into both instruments. Like it has been mentioned, oboe is a much more delicate instrument than clarinet is, and the slightest change in embouchure can change your pitch tremendously! I've seen a few decent oboes around for just at $1000.

I will say though...If you haven't yet, I'd buy an A clarinet first. If you want to play in chamber orchestras or do any type of chamber music/solo work, the A clarinet is going to be your next best buy. Work on getting your clarinet equipment where you want it before you buy any other instruments (this is where I wish I could go back in time to tell myself this!). Having these things together will ensure you a better clarinet career first, and then look into buying your doubling instruments.
 
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