The Art of Playing the Oboe

By Heather Bryant on 08/24/2011

A woodwind instrument, the plaintive sound of the oboe is at once mysterious and invigorating. Oboe experts and oboists worldwide agree that the oboe is a challenging instrument to learn. — An art, to be sure. But the rewards of finally mastering the keys are well worth it.

From oboe experts to beginners, one thing all oboists have in common is a great respect for the instrument. In a symphony orchestra it is the instrument to which all others are tuned to. It is also one of the most expensive of the wind instruments, making the feeling of mastering the oboe all the more exclusive.

To the non trained ear the sound of the oboe may be criticized as having more sameness then its cousins the clarinet, the flute, the saxophone or the trumpet. But oboe experts and enthusiasts alike declare that an entire dimension of hypnotically beautiful sound proceeds from it at each concert.

One obvious benefit to learning to play the oboe is its consistency in performances. It is played for long periods of time without rest, unlike many other instruments which wait long portions of the symphony for their queue. All musicians, not only oboe experts and players love to play their instrument, so the more playing you can get in, the better. It’s just one more plus to learning to play the oboe.

If you are looking for classes and lessons, many oboe experts recommend enrolling in a music school of some sort, whether in group lessons or with a private tutor.

That is not to say that both oboe experts and amateurs haven’t begun their learning through diverse means. Online lessons with audio or visual aids, and even free demos can help familiarize the potential musician with his or her instrument, before the intensive training begins with the oboe experts.