24. February 2010 · Comments Off on Another Question · Categories: Ramble, Read Online

I have been playing oboe for over six years now. I’ve gotten pretty good, and have been through every reed texture. Until I know how to make my own reeds, I buy them from music stores. I played on hard reeds for a long time but recently switched back to medium. However, my dad bought three hard reeds on the internet a couple weeks ago, so I decided to break them in early so they would be ready when my current reed wore out. So two weeks ago I pulled out a hard reed and began to try to break it in. I have been trying for these past two weeks, yet the reed is still not playable! It used to only take me a few days to break in hard reeds… I’ve tried playing on it, soaking it in my mouth, soaking it under a faucet, and I even soaked it in a bit of water overnight! This reed is extremely stubborn! Someone suggested to me I soak it in vinegar. Will this work? And will I be able to get the vinegar taste off of it if I do? What other ways can I can break this reed in before my current one wears out in about two weeks? And do you have any idea why it’s taking so long?

Never in my life have I heard anything about soaking reeds in vinegar! And I’m not at all sure what the write means about having “been through every reed texture”.

If a reed is incredibly hard, playing on it probably isn’t going to make it easier. Some reeds, in fact, stiffen up a bit after being played on for a bit. It needs to have some cane taken off of it. I’m going to guess the tip is far too thick, and most likely the back as well.

My answer (which I didn’t write there, as I assume others can take care of that: this player needs a teacher. I don’t make my students’ reeds (I have enough trouble getting enough for myself), but I’m happy to adjust students’ reeds. All teachers should be happy to do that.

And all student oboists need an oboe teacher in any case. Honestly!

Comments closed.