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Does your woodwind instrument need maintenance or repair?

Call Noelle at Lee Lachman’s Woodwind Services to set up an appointment.
Phone: 301-345-3389

Noelle specializes in providing repair and maintenance for oboes and English horns. This includes adjustments, padwork, cork replacement, balancing spring tension, cleaning & refinishing, as well as custom key modifications. The shop also does crack pinning and tone hole replacements. She also works extensively on the other woodwind instruments including bassoons, saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and bass clarinets. She has worked as a technician at Lee Lachman's Woodwind Services since 2012. Her clients have included members of the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, DC military bands, as well as prominent freelance jazz artists, show players, and countless schools, students, and hobbyists throughout the region. Noelle has appeared as a guest repair specialist at double reed events at the University of Maryland and Shenandoah Conservatory.  

Lee Lachman Woodwind Services employees Noelle Drewes, Lee Lachman, and Patrick Plunk (2016)

Additional Oboe Maintenance Information:

It is important to swab out your oboe after every playing session. I recommend a long silk swab with tail. To use it, turn the oboe upside down and drop the weight through the bell and pull it out through the reed socket. Always check for knots in the swab before use to prevent it from getting stuck in the bore. If it ever does get stuck, simply pull the tail back out the bell. And if it is ever really stuck, do not keep pulling! Instead, take it in to a repair shop where it can easily be extracted. Also, it is important to periodically clean your swab or replace it with a clean swab.

Wooden instruments require special care.  It is very important that you follow certain guidelines to prevent cracks and keep your oboe in good working condition:

Oboes have many adjustment screws that need to be precisely set, and periodically checked. If your oboe suddenly feels stuffy, or certain notes are harder to play, have your teacher or repair specailist check the adjustment of your instrument. You should not have to "squeeze" to get the low notes to speak.

To keep your instrument in good condition, it is recommended to have a yearly "check up." Annual upkeep should help you avoid emergencies as well as a costly overhaul down the road.

Breaking-in Process: New instruments are especially prone to cracking.  They must be broken in slowly and gradually, and swabbed out frequently.  It will take at least a month of diligent conditioning before your new oboe is truly ready to go. Please inquire for specific instructions.