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How to Fix a Large Reed Opening

How to Fix a Large Reed Opening

A Complete Guide: How to Fix a Large Oboe Reed Opening Whether you are dealing with the largest opening you've ever seen, or trying to troubleshoot a reoccurring issue, this guide will walk you through diagnosing large opening issues with oboe and English horn reeds. I’ve included solutions you can use immediately and there is a special section at the end just for baroque oboe reeds too! What variables can contribute to a large opening? Thick gouge Narrow diameter cane Tied too short Wide shape Soaked too long What are the problems or...

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The Ultimate Guide to English Horn Reeds

The Ultimate Guide to English Horn Reeds

The Ultimate Guide to English Horn Reeds Several years ago a great English horn player came in and did a master class for our studio. He graciously provided a multi-page packet with everything you could think of related to the English horn. A few years later, I started to refine my own English horn reed-making process to best suit my personal needs. However, I found there wasn’t much in the way of information online to help guide me with the overwhelming number of shapes, staples, and troubleshooting issues. I do not claim to be an English...

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Oboe Reed Adjustments [Infographic]

Oboe Reed Adjustments [Infographic]

My common oboe reed adjustments guide has been such a hit, I made a simplified version as an infographic. You can download a pdf version by clicking here, or click on the photo for a higher resolution JPEG. The information in this article is original and COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. Please feel free to use this information for personal use only, or contact me at khara@kharawolf.com for any other usage rights. Happy reed making!

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A Guide to Sharpening Stones and Tools

A Guide to Sharpening Stones and Tools

A Guide to Sharpening Stones and Tools The Two Parts of Sharpening the Blade There are two things that need to happen to the blade to create an edge that will be effective for scraping cane: 1) creating a “new” edge and 2) refining that edge to be razor sharp. 1) As you scrape cane against steel or metal, the cane will slowly wear down the edge of the blade. You’ll need a sharpening stone to create a new edge throughout your reed making process. 2) Once you’ve refreshed your edge (essentially putting it back after some scraping), you’ll need...

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Choosing a Career in Music for Double Reed and Wind Players

Choosing a Career in Music for Double Reed and Wind Players

After having several dedicated students approach me this year with dreams of playing the oboe professionally (followed, naturally, by some concerned parents), I felt inspired to write the article I wish someone had given ME when I was in my teens and early 20’s. Entering into a career in music, especially on an instrument like the oboe, bassoon, or other wind instrument, can be a little bit different then aspiring to be a famous pop star or a freelance guitarist. However, I would hope this article will put anxious parents at ease and suggest...

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High Altitude Oboe Reeds

High Altitude Oboe Reeds

A Guide to High Altitude Oboe Reeds 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. As you get above 5,000 feet, and often into a dry climate, the reeds will vibrate less. The result will be a reed that might be stuffy, sharp, too closed (small tip opening), or issues with leaking sides. The major of reeds I’ve made for my students, and myself, have been scraped at high altitude over the past 20 years, which have led me to the following...

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Sorting Tube Cane

Sorting Tube Cane

Sorting Tube Cane How many pieces of cane do double reed players sort through? I recently processed about an 1/8 pound of oboe tube cane and took it upon myself to keep a rough estimate of how many pieces were gouged, and of those pieces, how many acceptable reeds were produced. This 1/8 pound of tube cane, split and measured (see photo below), gave me about 10-12 high quality reeds. How did I get there… lets take a look! Measuring and Sorting Tube Cane When sorting through a batch of tube cane, I normally look for pieces with promising...

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Oboe Reed Adjustments [Infographic]

Common Oboe Reed Adjustments

Common Oboe Reed Adjustments by Khara Wolf Asses your crow and how the reed is playing: Thread Crow: Mouth on the thread (not the cane)- blow with a lot of air and there should be three octaves of a “C” Play the reed in the oboe to check for stability and tone Things you are looking for: Does it sound buzzy? Stuffy? Bright? Ok? Does it crow flat? Sharp? Does it play flat? Sharp? High notes flat? Are some notes flat and some in tune? Do you have to fight to keep it up to pitch? How much air does it take to start making a sound? If it takes...

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Essential Tools for Reed Adjustments: Beginner’s Guide

Essential Tools for Reed Adjustments: Beginner’s Guide

A complete list of everything you need to start adjusting and making your own oboe and bassoon reeds. Essential Tool List: Knife Plaque Cutting Block Sharpening Stone Mandrel Razor Blades/Tip Cutter Rag or piece of old shirt (for scraping/stone) Tuner (for checking pitch) Reed Making Book (optional, but helpful!) This post contains some sponsored links from Amazon. However, I ONLY recommend products that I use in my studio.  Knife Rigotti Reed Knife Beveled Edge (Rh or Lh) or Double Hollow Ground Knife Plaque (consider buying a couple in case...

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