There are three very important habits to adopt in order to assure that your oboe does not crack:
- ALWAYS WARM THE TOP JOINT FROM THE OUTSIDE. DO NOT PLAY THE OBOE UNTIL THE TOP JOINT IS WARM TO YOUR CHEEK!
- Place the top joint wood against your cheek to feel the temperature relationship.
- Play the oboe only when the outside wood is warm to your cheek.
- BUFFER THE OBOE FROM SUDDEN TEMPERATURE CHANGE
- This is easily accomplished by providing a layer of padding between the oboe case and the outside world (including air-conditioning!). The oboe case with its cover, wrapped in a blanket, placed in a larger briefcase works well.
- Using the Alteri case cover over your case and cover can work also, depending on how extreme the climate change is in your area. The more inches of padding you have, the better the buffer will be.
Caution: Even if buffered, it is best not to store the oboe for long periods of time in temperatures below 68 degrees.
- It is important to keep the inside and outside of the oboe at equal humidity levels.
- Swab to keep the inside dry and humidify the case to keep the outside moist.
- A great item for this purpose is the orange peel! It is inexpensive, smells nice, provides lots of humidity, and fits neatly in the reed case area (line the reed case slot with tin foil to preserve the fabric).
- Take the peel from one 8th of an orange and roll it with the skin side out.
- Place the rolled peel inside the case in the reed case spot.
- When the peel begins to dry up, replace with a fresh peel.
- If the peel molds, remove it. After 24 hours, place a fresh peel back in the case.
You can look forward to many years of joy with your new oboe if you follow these three rules faithfully!