Reed Making

All bassoonists who make their own reeds have their own methods and I think it is wrong to claim that one way is right and should always be used. In an attempt to remove some of the mystique from the process, here is a description of how I go about reed-making. If it gives encouragement and some useful tips, I hope it’s worthwhile. Much of my knowledge  was freely given to me and so the least I can do is freely pass it on.

At the start of my career, I used to buy reeds – mostly from Herman Windeler. When he died, I took the plunge and started to make my own. For a long time, I bought gouged cane which I then shaped and profiled on a profiler. I now buy tube cane so I have as much control as possible. If you prefer to use ‘gouged’ or ‘gouged and shaped’ or ‘gouged and profiled’ or ‘gouged, shaped and profiled’, you obviously will be able to skip some of the earlier stages in the drop-down menu.