Oboe Reed FAQ

1. What should I do if the reed seems too hard?
Take a couple scrapes out of each side of the heart and tip

2. What should I do if the reed is too easy?
Clip the tip of the reed (using a knife or razor blade), a little at a time till the crow is a “C” pitch.

3. How do I crow the reed?
Place the reed in your mouth down to the string and blow. The sound produced is referred to as the “crow”.

4. What do I do if I like the sound of the reed, but low notes do not respond well?
Scrape a little, very little, directly behind the tip on each side of the spine.

5. What should I do if the pitch is sharp?
First, check the crow of the reed. If it is a C# or higher, scrape out of the heart.
If the crow is a “c” or slightly lower, it is not the reed. Chances are, you are biting – you need to bring your corners in and drop your jaw.

6. What should I do if the pitch is flat?
The crow is flat, clip the reed. See question #2.

7. What am I doing wrong if my high notes are flat?
If the pitch in the middle octave is not flat, chances are you are not supporting. Bring in your corners of your embouchure, making your embouchure rounder – then blow and support

8. Why do English Horn reeds use wire?
The wire stabilizes and focuses the tone of the notes above the staff. The wire DOES NOT control the opening.