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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 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 suggestions of how one might start to combat the effects. The information in this article is original and COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. Please feel free to use this...

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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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Common Oboe Reed Adjustments

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!) Knife Rigotti Reed Knife Beveled Edge (Rh or Lh) or Double Hollow Ground Knife Plaque (consider buying a couple in case you lose one) Oboe: Flat Blue Steel Oboe Plaque (with rounded tips) Bassoon: Plastic or Wood...

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General Resource List [supplies, instruments, repairs]

General Resource List [supplies, instruments, repairs]

A list of general supplies, double reed retail websites, and repair specialists. GENERAL SUPPLIES (reed tools, sheet music, etc) Forrests Music Double Reed Specialists (https://www.forrestsmusic.com)RDG Woodwinds (http://www.rdgwoodwinds.com)Midwest Musical Imports (http://www.mmimports.com)Hodge Products (http://www.hodgeproductsinc.com)Woodwind & Brasswind (wwbw.com)Amazon (Amazon.com)Sheet Music Plus (sheetmusicplus.com) SPECALIZED REPAIRS John Gobel at Forrests Music (https://www.forrestsmusic.com)Ginger Ramsey at Covey Oboes...

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Adjusting Your Own Oboe

Adjusting Your Own Oboe

Oboes naturally fall out of adjustment from regular use. It is important to send your oboe to a qualified double reed specialist once a year for a tune up to keep pads sealing, mechanisms working, and check for issues. Assuming your oboe has been tuned up recently and all the pads are sealing, these basic adjustments should fix any issues you are having. I personally use several of these adjustments regularly in lessons with my students to keep their oboes playing well. Although John uses a testing strip, I was taught to do adjustments...

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Essential Information for the Beginning Oboist

Essential Information for the Beginning Oboist

Everything you need to know about getting started on the oboe. Resource List After reviewing this quick tutorial page on getting started, please visit my resource list for specialized double reed vendors that sell supplies, new and used instruments, offer rentals, and provide specialized repair services. Instruments It is very important to have an instrument in a healthy, functioning condition. Please contact me for information on the various options for purchasing a double reed instrument. If you are unable to work with an...

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Reeds: FAQ

Reeds: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions and Important Information About Reeds How long does a reed last? How many do I need? Every reed is different, but with adjustments, most oboe reeds will last about 10-15 hours of playing time for students. In general, my beginning oboe students use about 1 per month in their first year. English horn reeds are thicker and therefore can last up to several weeks. Bassoon reeds, being even thicker, can last up to 2-3 months for students. It is recommended to always have a couple of reeds on hand so you have a variety to...

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Understanding The Oboe: A must see!

Understanding The Oboe: A must see!

This is a must see video for all music educators, band directors, beginner oboists, and parents. Packed with more essential information then I could fit into the very first lesson, this video talks in-depth about purchasing instruments, taking care of them, and of course, reeds and reed making! At 18:00 there is a full demo of the reed making process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNaS_jy3_eI

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