I wanted to start a new page to give quick tips on reed making. This is not going to be an extensive guide but rather a brief summary of things to try to remember and put into practice during your reed making adventures.
1. Make reeds everyday. Reed making is a skill just like playing your instrument. You get better with repetition. Do it everyday.
2. Keep your reed knife sharp. You never know when you may need it to ward off an attacker! OK so that isn’t really why (but it can’t hurt). A knife that is even slightly dull will cause you to press harder than you need to which leads to nicks and gouges. If you are working on the delicate tip you may end up taking the corner off and sending the reed to reed heaven.
3. Crow the reed! You can tell so much by just crowing the reed – needs more cane taken off, needs to be clipped, too flat, the reed is unbalanced, etc.
4. Measure twice, cut once is the furniture maker’s rule. It also applies to oboists. This applies the most to us when wrapping the reed.
5. Don’t tie over the staple!! (See Reed Tip number 4)
6. Keep those rails on your reed. They help give the reed stability and allow the opening to spring back.
7. Work slowly and deliberately. More mistakes are made by trying to rush to get something done.
8. Keep your old staples. You’ll likely be able to reuse them to make more reeds.
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