We recommend you order at least 3 reeds so that you have spares.
If you are under 11 years old order Soft strength, otherwise order Medium-
Improving Players (grades 1-
We recommend you order at least 3 reeds so that you have spares. We would recommend trying 3 of one of the following reeds to get a feel for the style. After testing them you can return any and swap with something else if it seems that another reed style will suit you better.
Advanced Students (grades 5-
If you haven’t tried any of our reeds before we recommend you try at least 3 reeds of one of the styles below to start with. After testing them you can return any and swap with something else from our full range of oboe reeds if it seems that another reed style will suit you better.
All our reeds (except the Oxford Reeds) are suitable for players of all standards up to professional level. We produce a wide range of designs and styles to accommodate the different individual needs of players. You can see all the oboe reeds by clicking here. For further guidance and information please scroll down and continue reading.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
If the style isn’t right for you, return them and try something else. See our reeds chart and the information below to help you decide. Alternatively, for further help, email us at email@example.com or phone us on the number at the top of the page.
Major Features of the reed
Our shapes vary from about the widest to the narrowest available. If unsure start with medium (M3). For a broader sound try a wider shape. For a more focussed sound try a narrower shape. If you play flat or find some notes dip or wallow in the 2nd octave, try a narrower shape.
European W scrape -
American W scrape -
A thinner gouge creates a more responsive reed and a clearer, more resonant sound. A thick gouge dampens vibrations producing a darker sound and less responsiveness.
2nd octave F / F# / G wobbles, dips, or is wild in pitch
This is caused by too large an internal volume in the reed chamber. What is too large varies depending on the player and the oboe make and model. Try a different reed style with a narrower shape; find your reed style on the reeds chart and choose a style to the left of it.
Playing flat -
The overall size of the reed is too big. It may be too long or too wide. First try a reed style with a narrower shape; find your reed style on the reeds chart and choose a style to the left of it. This may solve the problem for you and give you a suitable reed.
Sometimes using a narrower reed is not comfortable to the player as the “feel” and response can be different. If you find this is the case, you can instead stay with your original favourite reed style but Special Order them to be tied-
Reeds close up -
Most people assume that they need harder reeds but this is rarely true. The problem usually stems from poor breath support causing the player to have to pinch or bite the reed too firmly to make it speak. This problem will get worse if the player moves to harder reeds. Better to try some exercises to improve breath support and loosen the embouchure. See the Hints and Tips page for how to do this.
Playing sharp is more common in hot weather as the higher temperature raises the pitch the instrument plays at. Naturally, you would pull the reed out of the oboe slightly to lower the pitch. If you are always a long way sharp you may need to change the reed style you use. Try a wider shape; find your reed style on the reeds chart and choose a style to the right of it.
Sometimes in moving to a wider shape players find the pitch stability becomes poor and the reed seems wild and uncontrollable. If this happens, try moving to a harder and wider style -
For example: A player plays on Regency reeds(Medium strength) but plays sharp, so they try the Minster reed (Medium strength) which plays at a lower pitch. However, they find the wider Minster wild and unmanageable, playing sometimes sharp, sometimes flat. They therefore try the Berlin reed (Medium-
If none of this solves the problem adequately you may ask a specialist oboe technician for a reed well insert -
Wanting a darker tone
Generally, the thicker the cane on the reed, the more mellow (dark) the tone of the reed, but the tougher it is to blow. If you want a darker toned reed, locate you current reed style on the reeds chart then try moving to a heavier-
Reeds aren’t responsive enough
If you are consistently having this problem with any reed style, it is best to try a more flexible reed. First find your current reed style in the reeds chart, and choose a lighter-