Though it is tempting to take your wonderful new oboe and play it for hours, please donít! For a long oboe life, and to prevent cracking, it is best to break-in the oboe.
A handy case-size calendar is provided (click the link under the description of any oboe) to facilitate this procedure.
- Begin the break-in process with just 5 minutes of playing a day for a full week.
- Next, play the oboe for 10 minutes a day for the next week
- Increase the total daily playing time by 5 minutes each week for a total of 12 weeks, reaching 60 minutes
- This process gradually acclimates the wood to the moisture produced inside the bore when you play.
A few helpful hints:
- Set a timer! It is amazing how fast time goes when you are having fun.
- Have your old oboe assembled so that you can easily switch to it when the new oboe break-in time is over. This helps resist the temptation to keep playing on the new oboe once the timer has rung!
- Dutifully check off each day as you play the required number of minutes. Be sure to use consecutive days!
- Mark down, keep track, and look forward to the completion of the 84 days of break-in! At that point, feel free to use the oboe in your normal playing routine.
Swab often during this process and after the oboe is broken in.
- Use a cotton swab (www.nielsen-woodwinds.com) to assure that the oboe dries out between playing sessions.
- It is best to keep condensation from ever reaching the second joint. Check this by removing the top joint to look, or by peering down the reed well with the reed removed.
- Each person produces condensation in an oboe at his/her own rate, so this type of checking is the best way to determine your personal time frame.
- Preventing moisture from reaching the second joint also prevents water from getting in tone holes during performance!