The Joy of Scraping by Courtney Miller; Oboe Professor, University of Iowa
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
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Table of Contents to Quickly Navigate this Website
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.
Learning to make reeds is a very big endeavor to undertake and has always been extremely difficult and time consuming to learn.
Loose sided reeds are one of the major pitfalls to avoid when making reeds. Learn four strategies to avoid this problem!
Check out these tips!
Hint: One tip will be to sharpen your knife!
Learn to make better predictions about your reeds!
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.
You never want to play on a reed that leaks, has a duck billed shaped tip, or loose sides. Here are a few strategies to fix those problems.
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.
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.
This post is specifically for reed makers who do not own a gouging machine and buy their cane already gouged and or shaped.
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.
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.
Free post available at https://howtomakeoboereeds.com/2017/08/23/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 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.
A sharp knife is one of the most important aspects of reed making and yet is still one of the most over looked skills.
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.
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.
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.
By the end of this post, you will know how to take a blank and scrape it down to something that starts to play.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…...
Oboe reeds need to be responsive, but there also needs to be restraint in the sound. Learn more about the different types of response a reed can give you.
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…...
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…...