Reply To: Need help for flat oboe player

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Another oboe player/band director here (there are DOZENS of us!). I was that flat oboe player when I first started. Lipping it up will fix the problem, but maybe not the underlying issue. Your student may end up putting way too much pressure on the reed and getting that thin pinched off sound.

I started playing in better tune when my high school orchestra director had me hold out a note in the middle of rehearsal and lift my head up as I played it. My pitch went up by a quarter step at least. Be sure your player’s chin isn’t tucked into her neck and she’s holding the instrument out like an oboe, not a clarinet. That did the trick for me, along with a good reed (not too hard) and steady breath support. And another several years of practice!

So, check these things:
1. Posture/playing position
2. Reed strength, quality, and age
3. Breath support

Good luck!