MOST OBOE-PLAYERS make their own reeds, at least part of the time. Some may find a good supplier – useful when they don’t have time to make their own – but even they usually find that making their own means they have more control over the materials and how their personal needs can be more accurately met.
It’s a difficult process, and one that oboe players usually learn quite early on. Most oboe teachers will instruct their students on how to make a reed. But after the early guidelines they are on their own – though some teachers keep a watchful eye and are prepared to lend a helping hand when difficulties arise.
Emma Feilding explains what the reed is made of, and how it is constructed.