I promise you, the reeds I make are the reeds that I use. If you are not satisfied, then I will fix whatever problem you may have with them, or refund your money. You cannot lose!

I take getting your reeds to you VERY seriously. I do my best at all times, however sometimes family situations take time and put me off schedule. It is important that I do not make myself ill in worrying about delivery times. The delivery time will be generally 4-4 1/2 weeks, and perhaps just a bit more at certain times of the year–MUCH less at other times of the year! That will make it YOUR responsibility to order in a timely fashion. BUT, you WILL get your reeds. I can promise that to you. I also make a promise to you that I will not send reeds out my door unless they satisfy ME. A run of soft cane will put me behind schedule very easily. You do not want to play bad cane any more than I do! So thank you in advance for your understanding. PLEASE call or email if you would like to know where your reeds are. I really enjoy talking to folks.

If you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to email me, go to the contact page or call 410-934-7389, and I would be happy to discuss your reed needs with you! If I don’t answer, leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I can.

Cheap reeds are available on the net $5.99, 6.99, whatever. If you buy these reeds, you are purchasing machine reeds that have NO logical guarantee! I stand behind my reeds and will never use a machine to finish reeds.

Making reeds for another person is very difficult and time consuming–if the reedmaker cares about his product. I stand behind my reeds in all aspects, and if they are not right, I will MAKE them right! But, you the oboist must assist in this process by telling me what kind of player you are, the type of oboe you have and how long you have played. I also need to know if you prefer a soft, medium, or hard reed. My embouchure plays reeds differently than your embouchure or your teacher’s embouchure. So, if the reed is not right, it may not be my fault! Nevertheless, I will STILL work with you to try to get the optimum reed for you. So in other words, I will work with you, if you work with me!

Playing My Reeds

That is a question that I have been asked, and the reason is that I put “Windows” in my reeds. This gives the reed a very nice, DARK sound that is found in many American Orchestras today. There is a favorite quote from the Oboist/Teacher Stevens Hewitt which says, “There is NO dark without light.” This means that to have a dark sound, the reed has to have portions that are much thinner. This is one of the difficult things for young reedmakers to understand about the art of reedmaking! So the “bumpy” reed means YOU will have a beautiful sound! Also, sometimes there are small “surface” cracks near the string. These mean nothing and are just the way the shiny bark will “bend” around the oboe tube when it is tied on the cork tube. Cracks at the TIP are a different story, so please let me know if you see anything like that when you get your reeds!

If your embouchure is not correct, then NO reed will work for you. If you have TOO much of the “Red”part of your lips on the outside of your mouth, then YES, you will play flat. Take a look at the Embouchure Video on my website. That will help you find the right place to put your lips on the reed. You can call me, and I will try to help you! Also, if your lips are very thin, then you will have a tendency to play flat on reeds. If you have a teacher, talk to them! Playing flat on the reed is one of the most difficult things for a reedmaker to work with in young and inexperienced players. For more informaiton please click the video link on the top left

The answer varies, but if you or your young student has not chipped or broken the reed, then a student reed can last several weeks. As a teacher, I do not let my students play reeds older than 3 weeks. I just encountered someone who has had a reed for FOUR months. This is NOT acceptable! Cane just does not last that long and needs to be replaced. A good rule of thumb is that a reed will last for 10 hours of playing. After this, the quality of the reed will go down. Reeds also will last on the “shelf” many months as long as they are dry and not in extreme temperatures.

About My Reeds

Oboe reeds are one of the most tempramental and difficult parts of oboe playing. It is a “catch-22” — to be a good oboist, you must be a good reed maker, but to be a good reedmaker, you must be a good oboist! Reedmaking takes many years. In fact, some really never learn to make reeds well! I have been making oboe reeds for OVER 35 YEARS. Reed making is something that is very natural for me. I have had to make so many reeds in SO many places in the United States and the world as Principal Oboist with The United States Army Field Band. Different altitudes, different climates…all these contribute to difficulties in reed making, and I have had experience in all of these factors over the years. The reeds that I play can be heard under the Information – Example Recordings section. I seek a dark, warm and vibrant tone. Intonation is of course important, and in that, I seek A=440. All oboes are different just as all embouchures are different. I will do my best to make reeds to your specifications. To do your part, you need to tell me some things about you and your playing.