Reed Adjustments Without Tools

If you do not have reed making tools available to you to fix reeds, check out these hints for making your reeds work for you.

One Way To Customize Your Oboe Reeds

One week we could be performing in a large, boomy church and the next it could be in a small, dry rehearsal space. Check out these scraping techniques to help customize your reeds!

Reed Doctor Intro

Playing reed doctor can be dangerous because whenever you try to correct a reed, 1-3 more problems are likely to come up. Here is how to correct your reeds without ruining them.

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Step By Step Reed Making Introduction

This post will tell you where to look for the information that you need to know. Also provides a general step by step instruction for how to make reeds.

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List of Supplies

On this post you will see a running list of vendors who sell reed making equipment. You will also see pictures, descriptions, and some personal thoughts on what to buy.

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Cane Selection

This post has a few tips on buying cane and shares some thought on how to select cane. You will see supplementary pictures and a video.

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How To Prepare Cane to be Gouged

After you have selected your cane, you will need to prepare it for your gouging machine. This includes removing some excess cane and chopping it down to size.

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Intro to Gouging Cane

A quick post on how to use an Innoledy gouging machine and a double radius gouging machine. Contact the maker of your gouging machine for more specific information.

Shaping and Tying Reeds

Shaping and tying reeds is one of the most crucial steps. The shape of the cane and the resulting length at which you tie the reed can make a huge difference in response, flexibility, and intonation.

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Scraping Diagrams

Helpful diagrams to show you how and where to scrape your oboe reed! Use these as a reference to know where and how to scrape a reed.

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Scraping Techniques

Here are three different scraping techniques that will help you scrape your reeds more smoothly. This will help your reeds vibrate and respond more easily.

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Scraping the Tip

The tip is the most important part of the reed and certainly the most difficult to perfect, but this method will make it a lot easier.

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Initial Scraping

By the end of this post, you will know how to take a blank and scrape it down to something that starts to play.

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How To Crow and Test a Reed

You will need several reliable tests to see how functional a reed is. This post will show you what you want to learn from playing on just the reed without the oboe.

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Reed Making Video

Check out this video on YouTube on my basic process for scraping an oboe reed.  This is my method, but please experiment with it so you can find your own sound and style.  You will hopefully be introduced to new scraping techniques and processes that you can try customizing yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCJaarFB8Zo&t=9s

Reed Doctor Diagram

Here you will find a list of every part of the reed that you can scrape and the results (positive and negative) that come from scraping those areas.

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Reed Slope Pictures/Video

These pictures are to here to help you look at the architecture of a reed and help you create smooth transitions between the three main sections of a reed.

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Reeds That Are Too Open

Reeds that are too open will normally be flat and while it is largely determined by everything you do before tying a reed, here are a few strategies to help.

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Reeds That Are Too Closed

While the opening of the reed is mostly determined by the cane, gouge, and shaper tip, here are a few additional ideas on how to open up a reed.

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Reeds That Are Unresponsive

Reeds can be too hard in a variety of different ways.  Reeds can be unresponsive which makes the low register hard to play, reeds can be heavy which means they take a lot of air and you can not play long phrases, or reeds can be hard to control. If reeds are unresponsive: Scrape the tip starting from...

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Reeds That Are Too Flat

As a rule, you should always avoid reeds that are flat.  While they often times have a big, round tone, you will encounter intonation problems and your embouchure will get tired very quickly if you constantly have to raise the pitch. Try to never let a reed sit overnight if it is flat, but instead...

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Reeds That Are Too Sharp

A reed that is too sharp will often be shallow in tone and be too closed.  In that case, check out the post about reeds that are too closed.  Below you will find even more helpful hints to work on a reed that is too sharp. Scrape more out of heart – start with top...

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