The Oboe Doctor

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Prof. Helmut Hucke:

Handling the mechanism of the modern oboe requires long experience; adjusting the screws as well as care and maintenance are always pertinent issues for all oboists.

Marc Schaeferdiek’s book “The Oboe Doctor” is a useful self-help guide. It has a clear, systematic structure which is suitable for beginners and advanced players alike.

I regard both the concept and content of this book as optimal and support it with my warmest recommendation.

Prof. Winfried Liebermann:

I am sure that many musicians are delighted when they find an uncomplicated guide to appropriate care and simple instrument repairs.

I myself was thrilled when Marc Schaeferdiek’s book “The Oboe Doctor” was recently published. This 60 page handbook is very clearly written.
It cannot be assumed that every oboist has the necessary “feeling” for the fine adjustment required to correctly regulate his instrument. “The Oboe Doctor”, however, also contains excellent advice on such things as, for example, how to get around the highly sensitive “moods” of the oboe. There is also professional guidance on buying an instrument and playing it in which is certainly of use to every oboist.
In view of the stimulating ideas found in “The Oboe Doctor”, I regard it not only as highly recommended for my own students but as an invaluable tool for anyone who is concerned with the oboe family, whether professionally or as an amateur.

Prof. Heinz Holliger:

Since I, like many of my colleagues, belong to those who have only partly mastered the intricacies of regulating and repairing the oboe, I am very grateful for such a useful, practical and clearly constructed book. It should become a constant companion (and helper!) to all my colleagues.







General Advice

Basics of Practising

Physical Fitness


Pelvic Tilt



Posture Checklist


How Do I Breathe In?

Breathing Out

How Do I Breathe Out?

Preparing the Tone

Breathing and Support

Air-Pressure and Embouchure

FAQ about Breathing

Common Mistakes when Breathing

Breathing Exercises


Exercise Programme

Relaxation Exercises

How Do I Practise Circular Breathing?


How Do I Practise Vibrato?

Practising Jaw Vibrato and Diaphragm Vibrato

Finger Position and Coordination

Important Prerequisites for Finger Exercises

How Do I Practise Difficult Passages?

Various Approaches


Trill chains


How Do I Train Staccato?

Diaphragm Staccato

Fast Staccato (single tonguing)

Normal Tonguing (Articulation)

Double Tonguing

Important Considerations when Practising

Planning your Time

Perfecting Aspects of Posture, Breathing and Finger Technique

Working on Technical and Musical Aspects of Pieces

Preparation for Recitals, Concerts, Auditions etc.

How Do I Warm Up?

Possible Variations on Warm-ups

Which Exercise is Good for What?

What Does a Practise Programme Look Like?

Intensive Practise Programme

Practise Programme

Further General Exercises


Space for Notes




British Double Reed Magazine, November 2007
Newly translated into English by Megan Lang, this book is an essential for every oboist; student amateur and professional alike. The book covers every aspect of Oboe care and maintenance, from putting the instrument together (you'd be surprised how many oboists don't know how to do this properly), to regulation of every note. The language is simple to understand and easy to read. Topics are logically set out with chapters ON basic maintenance, cracks, condensation, minor repairs and adjustment of the mechanism. Marc gives sensible explanations for all his theories, and gives advice with reasoned arguments ON often-debated issues such As how often, and with what one should oil an Oboe. In the mechanism adjustment section, the longest section of the book, Marc outlines a "systematic defect analysis" approach. He explains how to Analyse a Problem, accurately locate it ON the Instrument and then how to solve the Problem. There is a separate section for automatic and semi-automatic oboes. He includes an appendix indicating in photographs all the screws ON both types of Oboe, and refers to this in his instructions. He also includes Information ON how to adjust thumb-plate Instruments. He takes a step-by-step approach to diagnosing and repairing Problems, but always refers you back to a professional repairer for more complex jobs. Very often, care and maintenance of the Oboe is not a subject given much attention by teachers at any level. Yet, with an Instrument so prone to mechanical Problems, and so sensitive to temperature and moisture, how to perform simple adjustments, and best guard against environmentally caused problems, Are surely essential skills that every oboist should have. With this book, you need look no further. I'll be carrying my copy with me everywhere!
Maddy Aldis



Marc Schaeferdiek • Westerwaldstr. 22 • 56235 Ransbach-Baumbach • Fon: +49-(0)2623-925 400 • Fax: +49-(0)2623-925 401 • Mobil: 0177-868 33 44 • eMail: