Monday, August 5, 2013

3 Reasons Why I Love the Yamaha Oboe (for Students and Band Programs)

Frequently I'm asked what type of instrument a band program or student should buy; my answer is almost always " BUY A YAMAHA OBOE!!!" Well, maybe not quite that emphatic, but close. I'm talking about their intermediate model: YOB-441 and all that jazz. You might wonder why I choose to promote them so much when I play a Loree oboe myself. Well, there are 3 really good reasons.

Yamaha Oboe Love

1. Four words: Plastic Lined Top Joint

Yamaha has a ton of different options when it comes to their oboes: wood, plastic, wood with a plastic lined top joint. Now, I happen to think that their plastic oboes are pretty great, especially for school-owned instruments. I can't tell you how many severely cracked school instruments I've seen that were purchased because "wood is better," that had been left in a closet for 2-10 years, and cracked almost as soon as somebody starts playing them. Yamaha offers the best of both worlds; their plastic lined model has the warmth of wood with less risk of cracks. It's also great, because students frequently don't have enough patience to fully break in a wooden instrument. If your child "accidentally" practices for an hour in the first few weeks (wooden oboes need to be played frequently for small increments of time during their break in period), all is not lost, and the instrument can probably take it.

2. French Adjustment Screws

The Yamaha oboe has tapered french adjustment screws just like my big-girl Loree oboe. This doesn't seem like such a big deal until you've had the joy of adjusting 2 or 3 Selmer oboes in the same week. Most student model oboes have straight adjustment screws, that start wiggling their way out of place almost as soon as they get put into adjustment. What does that mean? It means that the oboe is hardly ever in good working order, which equals frustrated students and band directors. Tapered adjustment screws "lock" in place, which helps keep the adjustment set for a longer period of time. If more manufacturers used them, french adjustment screws could seriously take the oboe off of the endangered instrument list.

3. They are AFFORDABLE

I love these instruments because they have a great sound and all the keys we need for a great price. When you're looking for an instrument, you want it to have either a full-conservatory or modified conservatory system. In lay-man's terms, this means the oboe has all the keys you need, like a low Bb and a left F. Yamaha YOB-441's have a modified conservatory system and can be consistently found in the $2000-3000 range, which is practically a bargain when it comes to oboes.

Do I love my Loree oboe? Yes, absolutely. Are there other instruments out there that are great for students and band programs? Yes, of course. Am I affliated in any way with Yamaha? Nope. For me the Yamaha oboe is just a great, low-maintenance, affordable option. If you're in the market for a new instrument and would like some more information or guidance, please get in touch with me. I'd love to help!

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