We’ve added a LOT more reedmaking power to our reed shop this year, so we’ll be getting orders out much more quickly from here on out. May the oboe reed gods smile on us all 🙂
Featured Oboe Article: Should I practice my scraping on store bought reeds?
I am of the opinion that all oboists should own basic reedmaking tools and be proficient in using them. This is like having your own medicine chest of herbs for treating your family when they are sick.
There is no need to run to the doctor for a cold, and there is no need to have to run to someone else to fix a sharp oboe reed, or whatever. I would really recommend learning the basics of making oboe reeds – from the shaping all the way through the scraping. That way, you will understand what goes in to making an oboe reed from beginning to end.
There IS a basic foundation you need to establish before you can grab a knife and make any kind of positive difference in a reed.
So, to answer your question directly: I am all for practicing on store-bought reeds, just be sure that you have learned the basics before you do.
Specifically, you should know what the parts of the reed are, and what affects what, etc. Also, store-bought reeds can be rather unpredictable and drastically different from one another, so you might find it hard to scrape and be able to accurately predict what you are going to get.
If the reeds are all so different that you can’t really learn from what you are doing, then scraping on store-bought oboe reeds might not be the best use of your time. You will probably get a better handle on beginning scraping by learning to make your own oboe reeds. (We offer a beginning course that you can do at your own pace).
Once you do really have a handle on the basics, go for scraping whatever reeds you can get your hands on. Like I said, just know that with the store-bought ones you might not get the typical results that you would expect with a handmade oboe reed.
The reason is most store-bought reeds are either all or partially machine made, which means sacrifices have been made to make them playable for anyone that buys them.
Learning to make oboe reeds is a very worthwhile adventure, and it will pay off big time for both your playing and your confidence… So learn it well from the beginning and it will be time well spent.
Featured Oboe Video: Vivaldi Oboe Concerto in C major, RV 450
If the video does not display properly, click here to view it online.
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