Josef Oboes in the USA

Break-In Process

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:

  1. Set a timer! It is amazing how fast time goes when you are having fun.
  2. 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!
  3. Dutifully check off each day as you play the required number of minutes. Be sure to use consecutive days!
  4. 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 ( 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!