I have been playing the oboe for one year now but I was touching the reed on its top side and I was told that's now the best way.

My teacher says I should touch just the bottom side

So my question is:

Should I touch the reed on its top or bottom side?

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  • You need to take lessons. There is no other way to learn correct embouchure. Feb 16 '18 at 12:33
  • @CarlWitthoft I am have a lessons for more than a year now. Question updated Feb 16 '18 at 18:03
  • In that case, why do you distrust your teacher's instructions? Feb 16 '18 at 18:19
  • @michaelSalam - touching the reed with your tongue to stop its vibration is called "tonguing". On the oboe, it's normally done by touching the tongue to both upper and lower parts of the reed at the same time. Feb 18 '18 at 19:42

No, you don't need to touch the top of the reed in general to play the oboe. If you play off the tip a lot your top lip will probably touch it, but most likely not near the tip since you want it free to vibrate. You don't want the roof of your mouth to touch it and your tongue should always be controlling the bottom of the reed.


My teacher always told me to let the instrument rest on your lower lip, never press it against the top. It gives you a better overall control and it is more relaxing. Especially when breathing you should let it rest on the bottom and lift the top of your mouth over it. So while you need some pressure from both sides when playing consider the bottom the leading part of the reed.

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