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Guide to Oboe Reeds

Oboe Reed : What is it?

Oboe Reeds

The oboe reed is part of the oboe’s mouthpiece. It is made up of two pieces of cane bound together. It amplifies or dampens overtones, and produces a full and rich sound when air passes through the space between the mouthpiece and the reed. 

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Types of Oboe Reeds

Oboe ReedsOboe Reeds

Kinds of Oboe Reeds include the following:

Machine-made oboe reed

  • A machine-made oboe reed is constructed using machines and special tools.
  • It is very fine, smooth, and almost flawless.
  • It produces an excellent sound and a balanced tone.
  • It can be used in practice and in actual performances in orchestral repertoire.
  • It is available in different lengths.
  • It comes in soft, medium, and hard grades.
  • It is more expensive than the handmade oboe reed.

Handmade oboe reed

  • A handmade oboe reed is constructed manually using common tools and materials.
  • It costs less than the machine-made oboe reed.
  • It has the same sound quality and tone balance as the machine-made model.
  • It can be used in practice and in actual performances in orchestral repertoire.
  • It is designed according to player’s preferences and specifications.
  • The process of making one usually takes some time.

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Choosing Oboe Reeds (Buying tips)

Grade: Choose an oboe reed with a soft grade for beginners, a medium strength for intermediate players who have played the instrument for at least six months to one year, and the hardest strength for advanced players with at least two years of playing experience.

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