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Oboe/Selmer Grenadilla Student Oboe

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Question
I have the possibility to purchase a used Selmer wooden student oboe for $800.  I believe it is a model 1492 (possibly B). I was told it is a student model and I know there are no extra keys on the bell, just two holes on the side.  I called someone from a local music store and he said he didn't believe that Selmer made student models in wood.   The people selling it state that is is wood and our band teacher said the same.  The oboe is about 15 years old.   I have three questions.  

1.  Is that a fair price or should it (hopefully) sell for less?
2.  There is a serial number on the top and middle piece, but not on the bell.  It just says Selmer on the bell.    Is that normal?
3.  Would a student model be enough to use through high school or would we need more keys not found on the student model?

My child has played for three years and just started high school so I don't know if it is worth buying this oboe if it won't last through four more years.  Also, when the band teacher tested it, he found out that when you play the forked F fingering, it does not sound the same as the regular F fingering.  Playing forked F with the low pinky key helps the sound come out better.  I'm not sure if that is an issue either.  It is otherwise a clean instrument and the pads were fine.  

Anything you can tell me would be great.

Answer
Dear Lynette

If I were you I would buy an oboe that has the full range if you need it to last for another four years.
There are advantages to having the limited range to bottom B only, one of them is weight for the younger player.
Frankly I would  seek out an oboe which will serve for a longer period. If your chid has already played for three years I think it seems likely that he/she is interested and worth investing in an oboe of higher quality at this stage. The Selmer model you are thinking about would need to be replaced sooner rather than later - in my view anyway!

If you want advice about what to seek out do email me and I will give you ideas against your possible budget. That can be done privately if you wish. My email is geoffrey@geoffreybridgeoboe.com

Pleased to help

Geoffrey

Oboe

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Geoffrey Bridge

Expertise

Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.

Experience

St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Organizations
Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Publications
Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine/International Double Reed Society

Education/Credentials
LRAM, Cert Ed

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