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Beginner's Guide to Oboe




Starting oboe lessons? Here are the supplies you will need to purchase before your first oboe lesson!


Required Items


Optional but helpful items


Books: Everyone will start out with Geckler and eventually move on to the Barret book. Feel free to purchase both now if you're able. If you have any extra books or sheet music from your school orchestra or band programs, feel free to bring them.


Reeds/Reed Case: Reeds will always be an expense while you're playing oboe and they will have to be replaced at a minimum, every month, depending on how they're cared for & how often you play. For complete beginners, it's ok to get a cheap machine made reed from your local music store, but you can not make good progress on the oboe unless you have a handmade reed. We can make custom handmade reeds for our students starting at $24 per reed (we need at least a week notice and it is charged separately from your lessons) but we also recommend our partner company Manhattan Reeds for when we are busy or out of stock. Everyone's embouchures are different! A teacher-made or teacher-adjusted handmade reed is the best way to go!


We recommend having at least 2 reeds in rotation in case you accidentally break one - they are very fragile! A good reed case should be able to hold them both. The plastic cases your reeds come in is not adequate for long term storage.


Oboe (Rent/Buy): Your local music store may have beginner model rentals, but students will usually outgrow these instruments VERY fast (we're talking weeks, maybe 1-2 months)! When looking for a rental or purchase for long term, make sure it has these 2 crucial required keys (and make sure to consult with your teacher before making any major purchases):

- Left F key

- Low B flat key


Reed cup: This is essentially a container that holds water so you can soak your reeds before playing. You can use any lidded tupperware or container, but I've also seen some students carry around a small cup & water bottle.

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