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Choosing An Oboe Or Bassoon

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Choosing an instrument

Comparatively few people choose to play the oboe and bassoon because of the high initial cost. However, you will find that a good oboe or bassoon will hold it's value very well, so that although you may tie up your money initially, you should get a good proportion back later on. They are as vital to a wind ensemble or an orchestra as their more prolific cousins, the flute and clarinet. Students of the oboe and bassoon will therefore find themselves very popular when it comes to finding places to play!

Choosing your first oboe is fairly straightforward. In the UK, most teachers prefer a thumbplate model oboe. The two models we find most often recommended are the Buffet Artist, and the Howarth S10B. They are both wooden instruments, the Buffet having a plastic lining in the bore for consistency. The Howarth is made in the UK to a very high standard. Both instruments are noted for consistency of performance. The Howarth is widely regarded for it's tone quality.

Rent or buy?

Many parents of children learning for the first time, and some adults who have never played before are understandably unsure of buying until they are more confident that they will cope with learning the instrument, and indeed enjoy the experience. Our Rental Scheme can provide the ideal introduction to the instrument for a comparatively small outlay. The main advantages of our scheme are:

  • It's economical.  You pay monthly, and you can cancel at any point after the first 4 months - simply return the instrument to us.
  • Our rental instruments are all brand new, and top quality.  Many players are put off by the experience of playing on a poor quality second-hand instrument.
  • It's convenient.  You don't have to worry about buying second-hand and reselling it if it doesn't work out.  You simply return the instrument to the shop.
  • After 24 monthly payments, the instrument automatically becomes yours.

All rental instruments come with free servicing and maintenance (Full details on request).

See elsewhere for more information about our woodwind & brass rental scheme.

To view a copy of our current rental price list, please click here.

It's worth pointing out that at least 80% of our rental customers carry on for the full 24 months, and end up owning their instruments, so you can afford to be more confident than you may think - if you're sure of the commitment, it's cheaper to buy outright, especially if you are eligible for the LEA Assisted Purchase Scheme, where you can buy the instrument without paying VAT.

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How much should I spend?

Typically a second-hand oboe will cost about £500 upwards. It is unusual to find a good instrument for much less than this, particularly when you include the reconditioning cost. A new Buffet Artist is £950, and a Howarth S10 £1250. We know of no cheaper instruments which local oboe teachers will recommend.

We have a limited stock of second-hand instruments. They are sold with a full guarantee the same as our new instruments, and have been fully reconditioned prior to sale. It is important that your teacher approves of your choice, so always consult them. We have heard many tales of disaster from people who thought they had found a bargain in the local paper, only to find that the true cost of ownership was much higher after they had paid the workshop bills.

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