Oboe Reed Making Books: Reviewed

by | Jan 21, 2024 | Reeds | 0 comments

Oboe reed making can be incredibly challenging. Reed making books are a great way to learn more about the process and get helpful tips from professionals. They can be a way for beginners and parents of oboe students to learn more about the instrument and its intricacies. Oboe reed making books can also help intermediate and advanced students learn more and take things to the next level.

I have acquired several books over the years, and they have always been helpful. While they won’t replace the guidance of an oboe instructor who can provide in-person assistance, they can be a helpful and comforting companion during the process.

If you are just getting started with reed making, you can learn more about the essential reed making accessory and tools. If you are farther along, check out my oboe reed adjustment guide

Note: If you are an author of an oboe reed making book, or have one in your collection, please leave a comment on this blog or contact me. I’d love to build this resource further and include as many books and guides as possible!

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. This means if you click through and take action, I will be compensated a small amount at no cost to you.

📖 Beginner Level

The Reed Maker’s Manual: Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Oboe and English Horn Reeds

by David B. Weber
Beginner Level | Paperback

This was one of my go-to oboe reed making books in high school. I found the diagrams and explanations easy to follow. The best part was the reed adjustment guide in the back. If you are looking for something similar, I have a free oboe reed adjustment guide as well.

This book is a little difficult to come by. You can buy it on Amazon, however if the price is too high, I recommend buying the Reed Makers Manual from Hodge Products. I watched the accompanying DVD once (ok, I watched the the VHS once as a teenager), but these days there is also a tremendous amount of resources on YouTube, including some videos on my channel.

Oboe Reed-Making from Blank to Crow

By John Dee
Beginner Level | Spiral-bound

This is the perfect companion for every oboist, parent, or band director learning about reed making for the first time. John simplifies the process into a small 23-page book. You get a clear understanding of the whole picture, complete with images and specific oboe reed accessory suggestions. This is an excellent starting place and support for your first year of reed making. By Oboe Reed-Making from Blank to Crow from RDG Woodwinds >

Oboe Reed-Making Simplified

by Barbara Verburg
Beginner Level | Paperback

This book was designed to be an easy guide for the first-time reed maker. It features a step-by-step process from tube cane to a finished reed. Complete with tool recommendations and instructions, this book features a ton of diagrams and is a good reed making resource for visual learners. Buy Oboe Reed-Making Simplified on Amazon >

Making Oboe Reeds, Step-by-Step: A guide through each step of the Oboe reed making process

by Naomi Bensdorf Frisch
Beginner Level | Paperback

Learn more about the reed making process with a step-by-step guide. This book breaks down the materials you need, tying a blank, scraping, and going through three different testing phases. It includes some hand-drawn diagrams with measurements. Buy Making Oboe Reeds, Step-by-Step on Amazon >

A Guide to Oboe Reed Making: Essentials Course

by Jennifer Stucki
Beginner Level | Online Course

This online course is one of the first digital reed making courses to take the beginner through the entire process of reed making in succession with both video tutorials and written content. With 5 chapters and 26 videos, you can go at your own pace, repeat videos, or mark them as “complete”. Jennifer includes everything from tying a blank to troubleshooting issues and adjusting the final reed. This online course combines the information we seek from reed making books with the personal instruction through video. If you struggle with books, reading, or are finding your reed making books aren’t enough, buy this course. There is also an additional course on picking tube cane for more advanced reed makers. Buy A Guide to Oboe Reed Making: Essentials Course on woodensinger.com >

Use the code makebetterreeds15off at checkout for 15% off!

📖 Beginner and Intermediate Level

Oboe Art and Method

by Martin Schuring
Beginner/Intermediate Level | Paperback

This is one of my favorite books. It is extremely well written and covers just about everything you need to know about getting started on the oboe. Martin not only covers the reed making process in-depth, but also writes about playing the oboe, embouchure, proper air support, and much more. This is a great investment for every oboe player and any level. Buy Oboe Art and Method on Amazon >

The Oboe Reed Book: A Straight-talking Guide to Making and Understanding Oboe Reeds

by Jay Light
Beginning/Intermediate Level | Spiral-bound & Kindle

Jay Light’s book is a lightweight version of Weber’s Reed Maker Manual. It features grey-scale diagrams that are easy to follow. The book gets straight to the point with information passed down from Tabuteau. As a bonus, it is available as both a PDF (Kindle) and a spiral-bound notebook. Buy The Oboe Reed Book from Amazon >

The Art of Oboe Playing: Including Problems and Techniques of Oboe Reedmaking

by Robert Sprenkle
Beginning/Intermediate Level | Paperback & Kindle

This is two books in one—Robert Sprenkle covers the art of oboe playing and David Ledet covers oboe reed making. David goes through the entire reed making process from gouging to adjustments. He includes equipment suggestions as well. This book covers all aspects of playing for beginner players, but is included under the intermediate section because of the comprehensive text. Buy The Art of Oboe Playing on Amazon >

My Kingdom for a Reed!

by Theresa Delaplain
Beginning/Intermediate Level | Paperback

This straight-to-the-point oboe reed making manual is easy to follow. It walks reed makers through the whole process with explanations, photos, and diagrams. If you are looking for a book written for an oboe studio that jumps right in, this book is excellent. Buy from Nielsen Woodwinds or Forrests Music.

Making Oboe Reeds: A Basic Guide to Reed Making

by Joseph Shalita
Beginner/Intermediate | Free PDF Download | High Altitude Suggestions Included

This author-published e-book shares comprehensive information from tube cane to final adjustments. Included are tools and knife sharpening, plus unique information on high altitude oboe reed making. If you are looking for more information on high altitude reed making, you can also check out my free guide on high altitude oboe and English horn reeds. Download Making Oboe Reeds PDF for free >

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Oboe Reedmaking: A Guide to the American School of Oboe Reedmaking

By Ann M. Rosandich
Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level | Paperback

A complete reed making manual for the visual learner, these books are part of a multi-volume set. Book 1 is suitable for beginners and is available for left and right hand reed makers. It includes 222 pages and hundreds of illustrations. Volume 2 (right-hand only) is 198 pages and is suitable for intermediate to advanced reed makers. It picks up where the first one leaves off and covers advanced reed adjustments, cane and reed blank construction, and precise gouger adjustments. These books goes through the entire reed making process with substantial information on knife sharpening, reed selections for non-reed makers, equipment, measurements, and ergonomics. Buy directly at OboeAbode >

📖 Intermediate and Advanced Level

Practical and Progressive Oboe Method with Reed Making and Melodious Studies

by Albert Andraud
Intermediate Level | Paperback & Spiral-bound

Published in 1976, this is one of the first oboe reed making reference books. It includes a vast amount of repertoire, technical exercises, history references, and more. This is a good book to dive into some of the earlier academic practices on the oboe. Buy Practice and Progressive Oboe Method from Amazon >

Principles and Techniques for Oboe Reed Adjustment

by Cheryl Wefler
Intermediate Level | Spiral-bound | High Altitude Suggestions Included

Wefler’s book is one of the few reed making manuals that focuses just on reed adjustments. It includes some information about initial reed making, but is primarily focused on testing and adjusting your oboe reeds in the final stages. There is a chapter dedicated to knife technique, specifically towards final adjustments. Furthermore, the book covers adjusting the reed for pitch, stability, resistance, and tone. Wefler is located at high elevation, so she also covers concerns about high altitude oboe reed making in Chapter 5. If you are interested in learning more about high altitude oboe and English horn reeds, I have an article on the topic. Buy Principals and Techniques for Oboe Reed Adjustment from Trevco Music, RDG Woodwinds, or directly from her website.

Oboe Reed and Styles Theory and Practice

By David Ledet
Intermediate/Advanced Level | Paperback & Hardcover

This book is the light version of Grahams “manual”. The book covers some history and technical information, but it’s mostly a collection of reed styles. Ledet features dozens of reed makers from around the world. If you are interested in materials, dimensions, and photos of well-known reed makers, buy this book (in addition to Grahams). Buy Oboe Reed and Styles Theory and Practice from Amazon >

Gouge, Shape and Scrape: A Complete Guide to the Oboe Reed

by Valarie Anderson
Intermediate/Advanced Level | Spiral-bound

One of the most comprehensive manuals out there, this serial-bound book has 115 pages. It details the process from start to finish with 80 images and a series of tests and reed adjustments. This book includes extra information on designing gouging machines, shaper tips, staples, and reed acoustics. This is a great book for reed makers looking to level up. Buy A Complete Guide to the Oboe Reed from Jeanne Inc, Trevco Music, or Chemical City Reeds.

Understanding the Oboe Reed

by Graham Salter
Advanced Level | Paperback

Of all the oboe reed making books, this is the “holy grail” to satisfy even the most curious reed enthusiast, student, or professional. It goes into technical detail about all aspects of oboe reeds and oboe reed making. Graham provides over 500 pages of reed analysis. There are a ton of examples from oboists all over the world. Each featured professional reed maker has listed their supplies, dimensions, photos, and more. Buy Understanding the Oboe Reed on Amazon >

Frequently Asked Questions About Oboe Reed Making


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