• 3 main sections

  • Start from the bottom up

  • Use a twisting motion and avoid putting pressure on any part which will bend a key/rod


  • Lift bridge keys when assembling so they do not bend and make sure they are aligned

  • Push the reed all the way in. You will not adjust intonation by pushing in or pulling out like you do a flute head joint. That is done with your embouchure. More info on that in tuning section

  • Flat side of reed will be lined up with the keys

  • Use vaseline to grease the cork of the reed



  • Sit balanced over your sitz bones

  • Keep head up and bring instrument to you

  • Balance points are similar: Left first finger, right thumb, and mouth

  • Keep fingers curved and close to the keys. Pads of fingers go in center of keys

  • Keep your left pinky above the pinky keys

  • Avoid bending wrist


  • Slouched body > affects breathing which affects tone

  • Head inclined down  > tone will be nasally and difficult to control

  • Instrument not centered in body > puts embouchure at an angle

  • Bell resting on leg > causes head to move out of position

  • Fingers assisting thumb in holding oboe > fingers out of position & rough technique

  • Moving the body while playing too much > distracting & interferes with breathing

  • Right thumb pushed too far under instrument > fingers forced into unnatural curve

  • Right thumb contacting thumb rest with nail > makes weight of oboe difficult to hold

  • Left thumb removed from instrument > pressure added to lower lip

  • Sliding of left thumb > sluggish, erratic, & pulls fingers out of position

  • Fingers out of guide positions > inefficient technique

  • Hold oboe in front of your chest with the reed exiting your mouth at a 45 degree angle

  • Right hand pinky should rest comfortably over the C# (middle) pinky key. If you don't have a moveable thumb rest, use a cork to extend the length if needed

  • Right hand thumb should be at an angle, not strictly parallel or perpendicular to the thumb rest. It should hit right below the nail bed

  • Left hand thumb should never lose contact with the wood. Use a rocking motion when using the octave key