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I am a professional oboe reed maker. My company is Magic Reed. I had a recent opportunity to talk to a professional flute/sax doubler and jazz specialist who consulted with me about oboes and reeds. I am a classical musician. I love jazz, but do not have the aptitude to get it right, so I leave it to those who do. As I thought about his needs, I came to a couple of conclusions. I would love to know if anyone out there agrees. Classical musicians need a different oboe and oboe reed then the ones that work best for jazz. Professional oboes are designed for dark, warm, focused tones. But jazz requires more dramatic accents and a much bolder and edgy tone (at least in the music I have listened to). So, I think there are a lot of oboes out there that can get the job done without having to spend $10,000. They can even be brighter in nature then one I would choose. In terms of reeds, I would recommend a handmade intermediate or professional oboe reed. I would suggest that they be ordered in a slightly bigger aperture, with enough beef to take a beating. I would be curious what you think about my interpretation of jazz oboe needs. https://magicreed.com
 

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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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When I was a teenager playing classical oboe and then starting to play with some friends who were into jazz, I noticed how hard it was as compared to playing sax, in the sense that the range of expressiveness that one can get by varying embouchure is very limited compared to single reed instruments. French school is definitely easier than German, I think. I think it's true that one doesn't need full conservatory to play jazz, and in fact I would suggest that ring keys are acutally an advantage since one can half hole to some extent, and all the crazy trill options are probably not needed. But of course what you want is a horn that plays in tune, and cheap instruments do not always have that capability. As with sax, I think that there are many different styles, and while bright and edgy definitely has a place in jazz, as evidenced by all the high baffle mouthpieces for sax out there, there could well be a place for a warmer rounder tone in ballad work, for instance.

That being said, my kudos to you for your reedmaking skills. Making good oboe reeds is not easy at all, and I have great respect for those who can do so.
 
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