Hi! I rent a school oboe, and it's plastic..but when I hear the other professional oboes, their wooden oboes sound a lot better. And, when I play in tune, I still don't sound like the other oboes! I was wondering...does the type of oboe matter?
peace, love, Marshmellows..
75% of sound is due to the player & reed. Keeping the instrument well maintained comes next. The icing on the cake is the quality of it. Those pro players have put in vastly more hours on the oboe than you have.
I know a number of adult players with money who have top of the range instruments & their sound & playing ability is is much less than many school kids using (well maintained) plastic oboes.
I agree with Contra,
I also know quite a few players with expensive top of the line oboes and they sound and play horribly. Those professionals you hear do sound good and part of it is the instrument, but without the skills they have learned they would not sound good regardless of the quality of the instrument. In fact sometimes people sound worse on higher ended instruments, because they are more difficult to play.
Those great players sound good on anything. So practice slowly, and purposefully. Find out the things you do that make you sound better. Then learn about adjusting your reeds and then learn about making reeds.
It's funny, presently I have another teacher friend who has a student who wants to get a new instrument. The parents and school teacher are disagreeing about which instrument to get. My friend asked me to listen and advise. . . . . . . I did; and my answer was, "why do you want to spend money on a new instrument? he doesn't sound any better on either of your choices (not the parents choice or the school teachers choice). He actually sounds better on his old instrument and honestly you would be better off spending a 10th of the money you want to spend on an instrument and invest the money in a couple of lessons with me on tone production and fingering technique".
Yes, wooden oboes tend to be more capable of producing a better tone than plastic ones. However, there was a girl I met once at a clinic who played a plastic oboe yet managed to produce a gorgeous tone. Honestly, although the material of the oboe does affect the tone, I think that the reed is what affects the tone even more than the oboe itself.
Regardless of what oboe you have or what reeds you use, I think the best advice to give you would be the same: Excel with the resources you have. The surest thing you can improve is yourself.
The most important factors to a great sound are the player and the reed. The oboe is great for spicing up your talent and sound, as everyone has a different idea of what sound they want from an oboe, all that jazz.
I know four people whose oboes are the same model. Two grade 6+ performers, and me and my friend that are grade 5+. We all have Fox Artist oboes (not sure of the model number, but we're sure they're the same anyways). We're not sure of the material, but we're darn sure they're not plastic. Probably resin, they are. But the two grade 6-ers sound good, because, of course, they have experience. Their oboe just put the icing on the cake -- they seriously, at times, sound like professional oboists you'd hear on NPR classical music segments.
My friend that plays oboe with me... his primary instrument is not oboe. He uses store bought reeds (Foxs, actually) and has the Fox oboes and everything, but he just doesn't sound all that great, because he just doesn't put time in to practice and develop his chops and a good oboe "tone".
For example, Marigaux oboes, IMO, are gorgeous.
Here's a video of what "bad sounds like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFllbGljYxs
Here's a video of the oboe's potential sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3v5a1-Y7Mo
And here's a video of a Marigaux with a great oboist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIamk2tYJHY&feature=related
Anyways, plastic isn't really the best oboe for getting absolutely-fantastical-amazing tone, but it's practical (students and marching/outdoor performances) and with the right player, you can get a pretty decent sound out of it. And yes, they have different sounds to them versus wood oboes, as many oboes do (and reeds as well!). Ever heard four different oboes play at once? YIKES. They barely sound the same.