One of the greatest problems I have as an oboe teacher is that students tend to bite. This is perhaps one of the worst things that you can do as an oboe player, and one of the worst things you can do to your oboe reeds. It is the same as taking a paperclip and clipping the end of your oboe Reed and leaving it for 30 minutes to an hour. Your oboe reed would be ruined and completely unable to hold an opening. This is exactly what happens when your jaw clamps down an oboe reed for long time in your rehearsals or your own private practice. No one’s oboe reeds can stand that kind of pressure, and there is not an oboe reed maker in the whole world that can help you. I suspect that those oboe reed makers have the same quandary as I do on how to get people to not bite.

A correct oboe embouchure is one that you can insert at least two fingers sideways into your mouth (Up and Down). Your jaw is actually that low! Yes really, really low, and it is impossible to bite when your jaw is that low. Also, when you open your mouth and have a very large wide jaw, then you are allowing the oboe reed to do the work that it needs to do. I frequently tell my students to not mess up the sound of my oboe reeds with their embouchure. It sounds harsh, but my job is not to coddle people but to make great Oboe players out of them. I do not apologize for that.

So in short, you must have a very open jaw to have the type of embouchure that will not bite oboe reeds and by doing this, you will be also able to play a lot longer. Let the oboe Reed do the work. We oboe reed makers spend a lot of time with our reeds to get them exactly right for you, so “DON”T MESS THEM UP!”