How do you put your oboe together?

  1. Assemble the bell and the lower section. Hold the lower section in the left hand, taking care not to press too hard on the keys.  To facilitate assembly, apply a light coating of Rigoutat grease supplied on the tenon corks.

Note: use the cork grease every time assembly is difficult.  Never use force so as not to damage the instrument.


  1. Ease the upper joint into the lower joint. Take care not to press too hard on the keys. Adjust the position of the keys so that the connections on each side are lined up.


  1. Ensure that the logos carved on each part are lined up. Place the reed in the instrument.


How do you take your oboe apart?

Perform the procedure in reverse.  Note:  Do not rotate the upper section 360° to take it apart, otherwise the connection of the lower body might tear the cork plug from the base.  Never use force as this may damage the instrument.


Maintaining your oboe


Daily care

  1. Wipe the keywork with the dry cloth provided after each use.


  1. Always use cases designed exclusively for your oboe. A case that is too tight or too wide could damage the keywork.


  1. Never use solvents, rustproofing, oil, etc. on your oboe.


IMPORTANT – Avoid cracks on the body

If the instrument is new, do not play it for more than 30 min per day for the first month. Avoid all sudden changes in temperature and moisture.  Do not leave the instrument next to a source of heat (radiator, sun) or in drafts. Before putting the instrument in its case, swab it carefully. It is recommended that the bore be oiled two to three times the first year in order to prevent cracking.  For further information on this procedure, read the article below, “How to oil the bore of your oboe”.

Note: if cracks should nevertheless appear, contact your retailer – a careful repair will not affect intonation or sound quality in any way.


How do you wipe your oboe?

When you play your instrument, use the swab frequently. If water accumulates in the holes, it could affect the performance of the instrument and risks damaging the plugs; they must be dried using cigarette-rolling paper, which will absorb the excess moisture.

Note: If you have a two-part swab, take apart only the upper body and gently pass the wider part of the swab through, starting with the bell and then the lower body. Then, use the thinnest part of the swab for the upper body. Take care that this latter does not catch onto the tube as it passes through the inside of the upper body. The swab has a string at both ends so you can pull on the lower one to extract the swab at the wider part of the upper body without having to pass the entire swab through the body. When the swab is worn out, replace it. If you use a dirty or frayed swab, residue could accumulate in the holes.


How do you oil the bore of your oboe?

You will need two things:

  1. Sweet almond oil
  2. A peacock feather. Ideally 40 cm long.



Take the upper body in one hand, with the keywork facing up. Put four to five drops of oil in the bore, in the middle of the tenon (the tenon is the lower part of the upper body that is inserted into the lower body to assemble the instrument). Insert the feather into the bore and slide it from top to bottom to distribute the oil.  Pull the feather out and check the bore in the light to see if there is a film of oil.  If you do not see this fine film, repeat the above procedure. If you are using a new feather, you will probably have to repeat the procedure because new feathers absorb a great deal of oil the first time they are used.

Note:  NEVER put oil in the bore of the instrument with the keys facing downwards because the oil can seep directly into the spaces and contaminate the cork pads.


Recommendations:  You are advised to oil your oboe every night after having played the instrument during the day.  Once the oil has been applied, leave the instrument with the keys facing up on a soft surface safe from accidents.  If you put the instrument away in its case, leave it open.


When do you have to repeat the operation?

If, the day after you have oiled your oboe, you realize that all the oil has been absorbed, repeat this operation two months later.  On the other hand, if there proves to be oil residue, wipe off the oboe with the swab and do not repeat the operation until six months have passed.  Starting in the instrument’s second year, you need to oil only the upper body once per year to nourish the wood.

Note: if you have any doubts about this procedure, do not attempt oiling it and contact your retailer who will know how to help and advise you.

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