5 Ways To Improve Oboe Reed Performance

  • by Kathy Sheinhouse

1) Make sure that your oboe reed source (including yourself) is capable of making oboe reeds that will give you joy when you play. If you don't have this, get a new source. Alternatively, bring several reeds for adjustment to each of your lessons-not just one.

2) Make sure that the oboe reed construction is compatible with your needs. This includes response and flexibility as well as aperture size. An aperture that is too small will result in a reed that lasts a nano second. One that is too large will require you to wrestle it into submission every time you play.

3) Take care of your oboe reed like it is a best friend. Offer it a drink of water (metaphorically of course) before play. Usually 15-20 seconds in warm water is enough.

4) Remove debris with a pipe cleaner when the reed is obstructed.

5) Feel free to say goodbye to your friend when it is time to move on. You are doing yourself no favors to wait until the reed is completely dead. You can honor the reed by saving the staple. If it is an exceptional reed, map it, and store it to a special place so that you can refer to it at a later date when you may have diverged from your tried and true reed making strategies without realizing it.

These techniques will help you get your best results whether you are a student, intermediate or professional oboe player.

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