Frequently asked questions answered by Carlos Coelho
Oboe and English Horn F.A.Q.'s
Why and how should I oil the bore of my instruments? Which oil should I use?
We recommend oiling the bore and the outside of your Oboe or English Horn because it will keep the wood more pliable. Oiling will also help the water flow through the instrument, preventing water from getting into the tone holes.
We highly recommend that you use only totally natural vegetable oil, which is available from reputable Oboe stores. We have our own secret formula, created by Carlos (see our supplies page). We strongly advise that you avoid any commercial bore oil which includes petroleum.
When oiling the inside bore, we recommend using a feather or an old loose running swab to leave a thin layer of oil. Use your fingers to apply oil to the outside of the instrument. If you are not comfortable taking the keys off your instrument to oil, you can use a Q-tip to go around the keys.
Use only the smallest amount of oil and oil only when the instrument will not be played for several hours (preferably overnight). The wood should have a sheen when it is adequately oiled. If it remains dull, a further application of oil may be necessary. You can find more information in our press release.
Do I need a humidifier?
We recommend using a humidifier inside the Oboe or English Horn case. There are several types available from Oboe stores. You should avoid humidifiers that will touch parts of the instrument when the case is closed. We offer a small humistat that is suitable for most Oboe and English Horn cases. Please see our Supplies page. If you are lucky enough to have a humidifier built into your home's heat system, then consider yourself very lucky! Also remember that air conditioners make the air drier, and a humidifier is still needed.
Student Oboes - Synthetic or Wood?
The quality of an instrument is going to be largely dependent on the quality of the brand itself.
No matter wood or synthetic, a higher quality company is going to make a better instrument. Carlos Coelho sells and repairs only the highest quality instruments in his Oboe shop and the Lorée Oboe is the top selling brand in his Oboe shop.
It is important to bear in mind that wood instruments are susceptible to cracking, where synthetic material will not crack due to changes in weather, temperature and humidity, etc.
How often does my Oboe or English Horn need routine maintenance?
Routine maintenance should be performed annually.
For professionals, students and other Oboists playing their Oboes or English Horns for several hours each day, we highly recommend maintenance every 6 months.
This prevents having to pay for costly repairs or restorations that can occur without routine maintenance.
We encourage you to book a late spring/summer appointment by calling our Oboe shop to get your Oboe/English Horn in top condition.
That way we can get your Oboe back to you sooner, as you're not stuck in the Fall and Winter "Rush" - a result of urgent warranty and emergency repairs.