Best Student Oboe Reed Brands- 2021

  • by Kathy Sheinhouse

Different students need different oboe reeds to sound their best and develop the skills they need to go to the next level. Here are some questions to consider: how much are you practicing; do you work with a teacher what are your aspirations; and how well do you wrap your mouth around a reed (the embouchure).

#1 Magic Reed Student and Intermediate Oboe Reeds

Magic Reed Oboe Reeds are handmade from scratch and beefier than the rest, but never so much to handle. They have great warmth, and compensate for the production skills you have yet to develop. Because of their structure, they last longer too. They are a little more expensive than some of the other reeds on the market, but well worth it. These reeds give you something to blow against- essential for oboe. They promote the right skills to move onto the next level. Some players may find they need to adjust some reeds at their lessons, but these are easy adjustments since the reeds are so well constructed.

#2 First Chair Intermediate and Pre-Professional Oboe Reeds

First Chair Oboe Reeds are handmade with an extra finishing by an expert reed maker. They are generally easier to play than Magic Reeds, which works well for players who prefer a beefier reed. They sound nice and warm, and cost a little less. They have a good life span- but not so much as Magic Reeds, which have one of the longest lifespans on the market. They generally do not need in lesson adjustments to perform their best.

#3 Reed Monkey Student Oboe Reeds

Reed Monkey Oboe Reeds are handmade from scratch and are designed for students at the beginner to intermediate levels.  They have a streamlined design which leaves plenty of room for extra hand finishing at the end.  They use the same professional materials as their higher end sisters, and benefit from an expert American scrape.  This scrape gives them the most flexibility without dropping pitch. These are very well priced and an excellent alternative to all factory, and most other commercially made student reeds at their price.

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