My band director says my lips are too thin to create the correct embouchure for the flute which I have a been playing for the last year. Should I believe him or think that he is feeding me a bunch of bologna because our band has few clarinets and no oboes but lots of flutes? If I believe him which instrument should I change to? Thanks!
We don’t know, we can’t, because we can’t see your embouchure when you play. It’s more than lips though – there are shapes and muscles and teeth involved in that embouchure too. It’s a package deal. There IS some reality that some shapes of embouchure are better suited to some instruments than others. He might be feeding you a line, he might not – we don’t know. If you need to know, find a professional flute teacher and ask.
If you very much prefer flute then play flute. Me, I never cared what I played as long as I had a seat to play in so I learned everything. I always have a seat to play in. If I had learned oboe better I’d get paid a lot better for some of those seats.
None is easier or harder than the others – they’re just different with different demands. Some require that you practice every single day to keep your muscles up though and oboe is one of those – flute is not. I know this because I can play them all. If you’d like to always have a seat to play in though, oboe. No question. I have never heard a band or orchestra director say “oh no, we have too many oboes” in 40 years of playing music. Too many flutes, clarinets, or saxes? In every single ensemble I’ve ever played in.
Interestingly too – most oboe players I know can take a seat in the flute, clarinet, or sax sections too. They can rip out a Telemann sonata on recorder too. Very few flute players I know can do anything but play flute and half of those don’t want to unless they’re first chair. [I'm allowed to rag on flute players, flute is my primary instrument.]
PS: If you’re the sort who doesn’t want to practice and will only play in band class then don’t do oboe! It requires some dedication to be even mediocre and serious dedication to be really good. They are also not inexpensive.