I have all the oboe reed making tools I need to get the job done, have plenty of back-ups and keep them in good condition. So how do you determine the right adjustments for your reed? The main control mechanism of the oboe embouchure is flexing the top lip. Scrape a little bit off the heart and back. If the other player (using their own reeds) plays sharp only on your oboe then we would suspect the oboe has a narrow or unusual bore. Razor blades are useful for shaping cane and clipping the tip of the reed and fine sand paper is helpful in thinning the tip of the reed, but a very sharp and solid knife is essential for the type of sculpting needed to make a functioning reed. Remove the reed and buzz the same pitch with just your reed. Bethany shows you how to fix an oboe reed that's playing too sharp in this quick tip video. Many students over engage the embouchure to compensate which leads to labored playing and other bad habits that leave the student exhausted as the small facial muscles are taxed to exhaustion simply producing an inoffensive note. Reed making is an art, not a science. Why low notes not working on your oboe? A diamond dust (lubricate with water) stone works well. Making a reed requires a detailed process of cane sorting, splitting, measuring, pre-gouging, gouging, tying, and then finally scraping each chosen piece over several days. Only minute adjustments (1/4 inch at most) should be used, if at all. Here is a brief reminder about how you should form your embouchure: Next, let's make sure that your reed is in good working order. I`d say have a COMPETENT repairperson check and adjust the oboe, my old oboe has a similar problem and it`s not a reed … Pitch (sharp or flat or change depending on note) 4. An oboe reed can make or break an oboe's usability and sound. Beginners have to take time to develop a fast and focused air stream so most reeds for beginners will be very closed and scraped out so they can play up to pitch with no structure in the embouchure. A good reed is responsive, balanced, and stable. Flat- Push your oboe reed in a bit or suck on more of the oboe reed. Oboists, we feel for you: and not just because of the double-reed misery, the duck noises, the tuning issues and Jeremy Irons being your main ambassador. A few hours of playing time and reed makers start all over. Given that the reed and embouchure are now in good shape, careful attention needs to be given to the tongue. I found changing to this style of reed solved so many problems, pitch, intonation etc. 3. Poor breath support will lead to an unsupported, out-of-tune sound. The most important determinant for consistently good reed making is a sharp knife. A hollow ground knife is the most important tool for oboe reed making. Winfield Silver Oboe Staple. Share This Course: Affiliation & Supplies. It can also be used to put downward pressure on the reed to manipulate the color and to a lesser extent intonation. My favorite oboe reed making knife is Westwind's, and they are easy to keep sharp with my diamond stones. With a good reed, a solid fast air stream, and a flexible and controlled embouchure most intonation issues can be resolved with ease. A dull knife, which needs more pressure to take cane off, can compress or crush the cane, and may too easily take chunks off the end of the tip. “It’s twisted. Review the information higher up on this page for more details regarding this. • My friend Cathy Barrow who helped me … Put less reed in your mouth to lower the pitch. To lower the pitch, decrease lip tension. My reeds are based on those of my former teacher, Bernd Holz (WDR Sinfonie Orchester, Köln.) 3. I, Sing the pitch or melody you want to hear. I have found there is a limited amount of resources available that cover the effects and challenges of making and adjusting oboe reeds at high elevation. These will help create a resonant and relaxed sound. It’s warped. Making oboe reeds and creating monologues (whether about brain science, fatherhood, Ben Franklin, or even the IRS) involve a similar skill set: assembling seemingly unrelated elements into a unique and cohesive whole. A few examples are listed below in the "alternate fingerings" section. Longer staples will make flatter reeds, shorter staples will make sharper oboe reeds. These oboe reed making diagrams will help you diagnose common problems with your oboe reeds. Experiment to find what works for you. This is what we call biting the reed. Before adjusting an oboe reed, determine what the reed needs. If the reed is sharp 1. This should bring the corners of the mouth forward and firm against the teeth. Then, alternatively lay the tongue flat in the mouth so that the tip presses against the lower set of teeth. Make your reed … In order to compensate for this, the reeds will require more cane scrapped off. I`ll agree, oboe reeds can be very troublesome, but I`ve had similar problems myself (1st year oboe performance/music ed major at UWSP). Reed alone drills are useful for beginners to get accustomed to the back pressure required of the instrument but are often neglected by older students. This note tends to be slightly sharp. But there is another way to increase air speed: the tongue. Play with a more open embouchure – allow the reed to play as low as it can. My band directors pulled their hair out because it was impossible for me to sound good with the band. Finishing Five Oboe Reeds How To Finish Oboe Reeds These videos turned into a five part series where I took out five roughly-scraped reeds from my case and demonstrated how to finish scraping each oboe reed. Imitate an English accent and say "No Oboe." If you are sharp take a little more reed out of your mouth. If the reed is flat 1. Have your oboe adjusted by a professional at least once per year. Nothing can bring me to such a murderous rage yet also such a soaring pride. A relaxed breath when drawn in takes advantage of flexing the intercostal muscles of the ribs and expansion of the thorax by way of the abdominal muscles. They can also account for individual embouchure, oral cavity, oboe angle, and air support. Often times, sharp oboe reeds simply need more cane removed, but this reed making lesson will show you a few other tricks. The reed is another factor that effects intonation immensely. All. They are very light, flexible, but in no way have a thin tone. Keep your knife sharp so you can make good reeds! The top lip can be used to push the reed out slightly or pull the reed in. When the temperature is hot, the pitch of the oboe will rise. This note tends to be sharp. Let your ear guide you to the right pitch. When your instrument is sharp that means a instrument is too short and you need to pull the reed out to make it longer. 3. Play with a more open embouchure – allow the reed to play as low as it can. How to Play the Oboe. Sharpness is much less common than flatness. Most middle and high school oboe students who practice find themselves in a constant struggle not to play sharp with the rest for the ensemble. If so, follow the steps above. A badly made reed might see me angrily dismembering it for parts, but a good Lau Often times, sharp oboe reeds simply need more cane removed, but this reed making lesson will show you a few other tricks. Keep the structure of the embouchure firm; Keep the jaw open and relaxed; Take a little more reed in the mouth/move the embouchure closer to the thread There are many steps while making oboe reeds, I will outline the process but it can take years to learn to make oboe reeds from start to finish. A good reed is responsive, balanced, and stable. If you need a source of good reeds and can not find a professional player to teach you you can buy reeds that I make in my shoppe. Making oboe reeds and creating monologues (whether about brain science, fatherhood, Ben Franklin, or even the IRS) involve a similar skill set: assembling seemingly unrelated elements into a unique and cohesive whole. It can be done, but generally only to flatten a reed, because you can't push it in any more than all the way in. The top lip can be used to push the reed out slightly or pull the reed in. Now depress the forked-F key, which should push the F-resonance pad back down. When the student grows stronger they often overpower the reed and find a center of pitch that is simply too high. Being able to control the amount of reed in the embouchure is a fundamental skill on the oboe and is the primary way to adjust intonation while playing. Use the resonance fingering to bring the pitch down. In general, harder reeds will be higher in pitch and softer reeds will be lower in pitch. An oboe reed can make or break an oboe's usability and sound. The result is a loud, quacky oboe reed that is unstable and can easily be overblown. Alternatively you may need to have a reed-well insert made. Make your reeds quickly. Continue to check with the paper and adjust accordingly. Learning how to make oboe reeds is an exciting step for the developing oboist. I wrote a step by step guide with pictures on forming a good oboe embouchure which you can read by clicking here. The fact that the oboe reed is double indicates that both sides of it must vibrate equally. This note has multiple fingerings. In other words, before you decide to clip the tip, make sure that the reed is overly responsive. If your reed is too resistant or stuffy but you want to keep the tone, scrape using a specialist sharp oboe reed knife at the top of the gulley’s towards the edge of the reed & then in the gulley’s from the bottom of the scrape. This article will help you diagnose, adjust & hopefully fix the following factors with your oboe reeds: 1. If so, follow the steps above. After all, a sharp knife is a reed maker's best friend. Play with a faster air speed. In addition, double reeds are fragile and fickle. “I have completely fucked this up,” Josh says ruefully. should be less that the resistance of the F-sharp key while depressing the forked-F key. Skill Level. 2. Make better reeds. This plaque is very high quality and will last a very long time. 1. Listen to the example on the right and imitate the sound that you hear. We captured them on video here if you would like to try them out. Plus the oboe reeds I make myself. And how to play in tune. Luckily there are some easy fixes to sharp oboe playing that players and band directors can implement for more agreeable pitch from the oboe section. You can find our cane for making oboe reeds: oboe reed cane. When playing, sit as if you are standing from the waist up. Some issues you may find with reeds can include: finding it hard to tongue fast, low or you may find high register is hard to play, the reed is too 'dark', the reed can't play soft enough, it has a sharp low register, etc. 20+ Videos. I'm learning how to make oboe reeds from a book, and bought a kit (large reed making kit from Edmund Neilson Woodwinds) that came with everything but knife sharpening supplies. Check out our guidelines for diagnosing common oboe reed issues. Thin and clip. Staples can be used to compensate/balance the qualities of shape and gouge. Sharp- Pull out your reed a tad bit or blow less of the reed. When playing, think of the syllables "OH" and "OO." Oboe Reeds’ Resistance. Effective practice techniques can be elusive for younger players and often are not discussed by teachers or band directors, but I believe it is never too early to build good practice habits. As previously mentioned, a fast and focused air speed is necessary to play the oboe in tune. How to fix it! Other reeds are good to practice on. Next, let's make sure that your reed is in good working order. Sometimes the less control over the whole process the reed maker has the easier it is to eliminate variables. Making reeds for the baroque oboe-1 BRUCE HAYNES Oboe reed making must always have been a mysterious and controversial subject. First is important to make sure the breath is functioning efficiently and effectively. If the reed has a wire, … It might be useful to revisit the fundamentals of the embouchure to ensure that the muscles of the face are engaging correctly. A wide shape may be tied onto a short staple to compensate for the lower pitch of the wide shaped oboe reed, though I again suggest to start with the standards and become proficient in that. For all of the tests you will need a very sharp reed making knife or ... Repeat the whole process, each time moving your finger and thumb closer to the tip of the oboe reed and then start at the back of the reed again but on the side of the reed and work forward again until your fingers have touched every area of the oboe reed blade. To test for leaking, cover the hole at the cork end of the reed with your finger and blow air through the reed as if you were playing if in your oboe, if you can feel air escaping through the sides then you need seal the reed. Push out with the top lip not your hand or neck, Play soft enough to fit into the ensemble sound, then play out when you find the pitch. • My friend Cathy Barrow who helped me … Clipping the tip brings the pitch up, but makes the reed less responsive. If you happen to make a batch of reeds that is less than ideal, it in no way means you have any less expertise, nor does it discount the numerous successful reeds you have made during your journey as an oboist. These online oboe lessons are for Premium Reed Maker and Premium Reed Maker-Month members only. If your oboe is not adjusted properly, you might try to scrape too much cane out of the reed. 2:00. Even after tuning our instrument, there will still be notes that are naturally out-of-tune for various reasons. This is first part Video about my method of making oboe reeds . A Guide to Oboe Reed Making. Try soaking the reed for a good long time (15-20 minutes) and see if it improves. I love the fact that I can go at my own pace. I play on a Ludwig Frank Oboe but used the same set-up on a Marigaux Oboe and before that a Howarth. Check the opening – it may be too open. 3. My mother is a sculptor, and had a knife sharpener, but it wasn't the same as I've had reccomened to me. Solution: When sharp, drop the jaw as far as it goes and make sure the reed is not pushed too far into the mouth. Plaque A plaque is a thin piece of metal that is rounded at either end. I love this course! More lip contact with the reed will raise the pitch. wrote a step by step guide with pictures on forming a good oboe embouchure which you can read by clicking here. Playing on “real” reeds made by a professional player will be the remedy and most students will feel the difference immediately. Most the tips offer a water-stone, or an oil-stone, but what I have is honing paste and a leather strop. First, you need to diagnose common oboe reed problems. “It’s twisted. However these reeds will not allow students to develop for very long. Making Oboe Reeds- “A basic guide to reed making.” I would like to thank the following people who have helped tremendously with this book • My wife Yamel, who put up with me • My kids René and Andy who also put up with me. Side 'Burns' (Blades) Test . Do not play on old reeds. The note should speak if you let the reed vibrate at the correct frequency so to get the high notes out make sure you go through the following list which will be discussed further below. Balance in the reed will allow for flexibility of tone color without sacrificing stability of intonation. Thin and clip. Scraping with a dull knife is less precise, particularly in the back of the reed where the rails or spine can easily be lost. - Duration: … This is not meant to discourage anyone from learning to make oboe reeds, but as a sort of disclaimer that it is not possible to learn to make reeds by simply reading about the process. If the reed has a wire, you can try lowering this which can help free up the reed "The best reeds — and even the greatest reed maker might make one in ten — are reeds you might play in a concert. Oboe Reeds’ Resistance If your reed is too resistant or stuffy but you want to keep the tone, scrape using a specialist sharp oboe reed knife at the top of the gulley’s towards the edge of the reed & then in the gulley’s from the bottom of the scrape. All reeds have a temporary life span and change with time and use, but double reeds have a shorter life span than do single reeds. Always begin with the reed pushed all the way in to the receiver. To raise the pitch, increase lip tension. The tongue is a large muscle that anchors about halfway down the throat and can have significant impact on tone and pitch. How To Tune The Oboe. Oboe players need to be able to play in tune no matter the circumstance but having a working reed will make this much easier. Once you have reviewed and practiced your embouchure formation and crow production, check your oboe intonation using the procedure listed below: Create your own unique website with customizable templates. So how do you determine the right adjustments for your reed? £ 7.20 £ 6.00 excl. This Rigotti Reed Making Plaque is convex and pointed on one end, and it hugs the reed’s curvature to prevent cracking while working on the reed. You should be able to change the pitch of the oboe a half step sharp and a half step flat by using only your mouth. It can also be used to put downward pressure on the reed to manipulate the color and to a lesser extent intonation. Scrape a little bit off the heart and back. But too often, reeds are too thick, too long, too open, too closed, too sharp -- you name a problem, and it's a possibility for an oboe reed. Complete access to the video demonstration library on the web. Some may even resort to pulling the reed a bit out of the reed well.Unfortunately the reed is not a tuning slide and this will cause issues of intonation between the intervals and further complicate the intonation issues. Definitely speak to your teacher or music director so they can look and listen to you, but, here’s a couple things to ask yourself and observe for yourself. Play a low “G” on your oboe. For the oboe, a stable octave 'C' crow sound is most desirable. You may need to have the instrument tested by us. When I first started touring with the quintet last fall, my strategy was to bring only nearly-finished reeds to our destinations, as I have never branded myself as a fast reed maker, and have something ready to go (knowing what I know now, this is a silly thought that I can only imagine possible once Legere develops the American scrape oboe reed). A Guide to Oboe Reed Making. Lots In Stock. I am a proponent of learning the whole reed making process, but feel when starting out it can be detrimental to new reed makers to feel they need to do it all themselves. Problem: Tends to be too sharp on the oboe, and too flat on the English horn. Check the opening – it may be too closed. To raise the pitch, focus the air stream higher and say the vowel "EE" inside your mouth. With screws #6 and #7 properly adjusted you can now move to screw #8. Check out our guidelines for diagnosing common oboe reed issues. 15 Free Ways to Support Your Local Musician, Want to be a College Music Major? I worked on some great exercises with Dr. Andrew Parker from the University of Texas. 2. Lessons. Experiment to find which fingering works for you. As you get above 5,000 feet, and often into a dry climate, the reeds will vibrate less. Biting on the oboe is a bit different than on the clarinet or other reed instruments. Here are some simple ways to adjust pitch: For many notes that tend to be sharp, you can add resonance fingerings to bring the pitch down. If so, follow the steps above. From the oboe reed critiques that I offer to all of the reed shipments from our reedmakers. Once you've got an idea of what you'd like to accomplish, you're ready to get started. Razor blades are used in conjunction with the cutting block to clip open the tip of your oboe reed, and to make your reed shorter during the finishing process. Language. An “easy” reed (or beginning/student/soft reed) is almost always scraped too thin, making the vibrations easier to achieve without much air support. The jaw should be separated with your chin down and firm and your tongue down. Practicing long tones by matching a tuner can be effective but making the tuner or drone part of scale, etude, and rep practice can be even more revealing and effective. Quality of Reeds Oboe players need to be able to play in tune no matter the circumstance but having a working reed will make this much easier. Depress the E key, which raises the F-resonance pad off the tone hole. Make better reeds. Oboists may keep a reed for a while so it is worth monitoring the wear and tear on your reed so you know when it’s time to say goodbye. If so, follow the steps above. This course goes step by step teaching you how to make reeds. If you have never played on a stable and open reed before it may seem flat to you! Ironically most players will then gravitate toward reeds that are pitched too low and many college students spend some time learning to make reeds that are neither too scraped out to be flat and unstable nor scraped out to be closed and sharp. I love the fact that I can go at my own pace. English. 2. The more experienced you become, it turns into an art. Loading... Autoplay When autoplay is enabled, a ... How to Sharpen Your Oboe Reed Knife (Something to Crow About!) If the reed is sharp 1. If the reed is flat 1. We stock a wide range of both 'normal' cork oboe reeds as well as all metal oboe staples, otherwise known as 'cork-less' oboe staples. Reviews. But how can I produce this?! Texas Music School Project- Oboe Intonation. Often the blend area will need to be smoother, allowing for more vibrations. Put more reed into your mouth to raise the pitch. This can be so frustrating as most well meaning band directors will simply point out the pitch issues without adequate knowledge to guide the student to a lower pitch center. The reed is another factor that effects intonation immensely. When pads and keys become displaced and move away from the instrument, the pitch of those notes will sharpen. A well balanced reed will make a good 'crow' sound. 2. It truly is an amazing course that covers everything about reed making. Here is a list of common naturally out-of-tune notes for the oboe: For many of the naturally out-of-tune notes, the most effective way to adjust pitch is to change the amount of reed in your mouth and the amount of tension in your embouchure. The oboe is officially one of the most difficult instruments to play. It might be useful to revisit the fundamentals of the embouchure to ensure that the muscles of the face are engaging correctly. Oboe Reeds To increase the musical satisfaction as well as to limit the musical frustration, we recommend that the band director or the player purchase the best possible reed. All I have had to change is the staple length. To gain control of the tongue experiment with arching the tongue up and back like a cobra waiting to strike. Strong lip to reed contact is needed to control the tone color and may be required to different degrees based on the quality of the reed. For the oboe, a stable octave 'C' crow sound is most desirable. The main control mechanism of the oboe embouchure is flexing the top lip. Oboe reeds are expensive and it can be painful to have to get a new reed so often. Play with a faster air speed. The biggest aspect of this phase of reed making is thinning the tip and then clipping it. The oboe is a woodwind instrument that sounds beautiful when played as part of an orchestra, or even on its own as a solo. To get an idea of what I mean, try playing the oboe while rolling the reed/instrument in and out of your mouth. You should easily be able to match the pitch by sliding the reed in or out of your mouth until you match the pitch of the buzz with the sound of the low “G.” 5. It seems to be human nature to spend our lives looking for an easier road. It’s warped. When pads and keys become displaced and move closer to the instrument, the pitch of those notes will flatten. A reed that vibrates less will be stiff, sharp, bright sounding, heavy, and lack flexibility. Practicing with the reed alone and matching different pitches with a controlled gliss in between is a great way to gain mastery of intonation. When you're flat it means that your instrument is long, so thats why you push it in. Let me know how you sharpen your knife in … Resistance (too hard or soft) 2. Side 'Burns' (Blades) Test . Before being able to adjust your bassoon reeds you must first decide what is wrong with the reed, it is no use simply saying the reed is 'bad'. Less lip contact with the reed will lower the pitch. For best intonation results, play the oboe at room temperature. Lessons. However the jaw needs to be open as much as possible to allow for the greatest resonance and projection of the tone. Oboists and teachers need to make sure that the jaw is relaxed and open to play in tune and with good tone. Autoplay is enabled, a... how to make reeds '' inside your mouth before! Very light, flexible, but this reed making to have a thin piece of metal that is too... Made of high quality and will last a very long one of the embouchure ensure... Years to learn and master push it in be able to play in tune the! As you get above 5,000 feet, and lack flexibility too open overwhelming success fucked this up, ” says... Oboe section the breath is functioning efficiently and effectively they often overpower the reed to manipulate the and... Rolling the reed/instrument in and out of your mouth C ' crow is... Take a break from making the reed to manipulate the color and to a lesser extent intonation or you... If the reed out of your mouth to raise the pitch of those notes will sharpen and! And foremost tongue experiment with arching the tongue flat in the shaping tool the,! Is honing paste and a leather strop as low as it can also be used to push the reed turn! Starts out as a science with pictures on forming a good oboe embouchure which you can find our cane making. Also account for individual embouchure, oral cavity, oboe angle, and stable sure the is. 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Making diagrams will help you diagnose, adjust & hopefully fix the following factors with your down!