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Thread: Does an oboist need to carve his own reeds?

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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    Default Does an oboist need to carve his own reeds?

    If so, how come?

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    reed making is the best way to assure get what you want.
    the oboists i know are most always adjusting a reed to make it play better for them.

    dj

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    Senior Member phoenixshade's Avatar
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    This question sounds like a set-up for a one liner... OK, what's the punch line?

    I imagine there are a host of reasons why an oboist would carve their own reeds— embouchure and the like will cause the same reeds to produce a different sound under a different performer. My brother used to play jazz clarinet, and he was constantly shaving his own reeds to get just the right sound. Interestingly, his best friend— a saxophone player who "dabbled" in clarinet— couldn't play high notes with my brother's reeds.

    Just like fingerprints, everyone's facial muscles have subtle differences.

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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixshade View Post
    This question sounds like a set-up for a one liner... OK, what's the punch line?
    An oboist and a conductor walk into a bar...


    Thanks, you two, for the explanations. I guess I was under the impression one purchased reeds for a clarinet, but carved one's own for the oboe, and I was curious why the difference. But perhaps I'm mistaken.

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    Senior Member phoenixshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nefigah View Post
    Thanks, you two, for the explanations. I guess I was under the impression one purchased reeds for a clarinet, but carved one's own for the oboe, and I was curious why the difference. But perhaps I'm mistaken.
    Yes, one does purchase reeds for a clarinet (and for the oboe too, for that matter)... but my brother still preferred to "fine tune" them by shaving them a bit. Mind you, I'm no expert, so I'd have to ask him exactly what he did an why.

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    Making your own reeds is basically the ultimate quality control. However, the great teacher and performer Fernand Gillet never made his own reeds throughout his live. Instead, he ordered a large number every year from the same maker. I think even Mr. Gillet did some adjustment of the reeds. It's also that oboe reeds are more complex than a clarinet/saxophone reed, meaning that it is difficult to mechanize their production. Also, the best (meaning handmade) oboe reeds are often only available through waiting lists.

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    Senior Member Saturnus's Avatar
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    Mr. Gillet was never famous for having a good tone, on the contrary, the old French oboe school he stood for is almost extinct today because of its poor tone quality.
    Professional oboe players either carve their own reeds or go to a professional reed maker - a good reed costs about 100$ and lasts for a month at best.

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    Saturnus, can you give a link showing the French school and Gillet were so bad that they have lost all influence? Or, is your argument just making a mountain out of a molehill? Gillet was one of the first champions of vibrato, and Tabuteau, a Frenchman, is one of the founders of the American school.

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    Member Sanctus Petrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nefigah View Post
    If so, how come?
    Definitely yes.
    Even if they have a bad one, the will not whine about it.
    If they still do you can tell them it is their own fault.

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    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Most oboists I know do it because it's cheaper to make your own. And because they know what they want. But I'm not an expert in these matters either.

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    It's a no from me... I'm able to adjust and scrape, but I do t have the patience or the time, now I have a young family. I believe Leon Goosens had a reed maker.

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    Senior Member OboeKnight's Avatar
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    If you are a serious oboist planning to play professionally you really need to make your own reeds. Everyone has different preferences and reeds change drastically with different instruments. So there is not one way to make a reed that is going to work for everyone's individual set up. I have played on reeds that I can not get a good sound out of that play beautifully for others. Also, if you play a lot, you need to have a constant supply of reeds. They change constantly so you need to make adjustments to them. It is an extremely time consuming process, so unless playing is your job, I'd imagine it would be very difficult to keep up with. I am currently studying oboe performance, so I definitely spend pleeeenntyy of time with my reeds haha.

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    Hi. I'm a new member here. I'm have already few months on playing flute but my first choice is actually an oboe. My question is where can I buy oboe cane? I want to make my own reed but I don't have the materials yet but I have the instrument. I always changing reeds every month. Pls. help. I'm from Philippines

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHERCHERY View Post
    Hi. I'm a new member here. I'm have already few months on playing flute but my first choice is actually an oboe. My question is where can I buy oboe cane? I want to make my own reed but I don't have the materials yet but I have the instrument. I always changing reeds every month. Pls. help. I'm from Philippines
    On line perhaps?

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    Some oboist prefer to carve their own reeds because it is hard to manufacture reeds of the right quality due to variability of the cane. Also every artist has his own personal preference for the reeds. The product needs a lot of customization and therefore, it is irrelevant to mass produce. Due to this reason, some artist carve their reeds.
    However, making the reeds is not a child's play as carving it requires lot of professionalism. You need to pick the right seller to buy the right reeds. I buy Argendonax oboe reeds because they are very good and help me generate the right tone.
    Pick up the reeds from the right seller and you will save the hard part of carving the reeds.

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