Oboe reed removal gripper. Helps to remove tight oboe reeds from the oboe. Prevent breaking expensive oboe reeds.

Oboe reed removal gripper. Helps to remove tight oboe reeds from the oboe. Prevent breaking expensive oboe reeds.

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  • Handmade

I started making these oboe reed grippers for students a few years ago. They help students to grip the oboe reed while removing it from the instrument. I found that many younger students have a difficult time trying to grip oboe reeds that fit snuggly into their oboes. These seem to help.

These are very easy to make for yourself if you do not want to spend low price here. Simply cut a small square from a piece of contact paper purchased from your local housewares store/department . While you are buying reeds here, it may be easier to just add one at checkout than taking the trip across town.



Some thoughts on Removing the oboe reed from the oboe.

I am always amazed at how many of my own students struggle with removing the oboe reed from the oboe. I watch students grab the reeds in ways I am not aware were possible. I get a bit nervous seeing the reeds being grabbed by the thread and wiggled back and forth as if extracting a loose tooth.
The reed should not ever be removed by grabbing the thread. The thread will loosen over time and become unraveled if the oboist consistently pulls and rotates the thread. When the thread comes unraveled it is not a defect in make, it comes from operator error. The oboist should only grab the reed by the cork. A reed will never unravel if the thread is always avoided. I find many of my students cannot figure out how to get a good hold on the cork. here is my method;
Make a fist with your thumb on the exterior of the hand (as if thumb wrestling). I use my strong hand to grab the reed and my weak hand to hold the oboe (right hand on reed, left hand on oboe upper joint).
Place the cork between your thumb and fist and squeeze firmly. The fingers should be right up against the oboe, pushing against it even.
Hold the reed still and turn the oboe. There is more leverage turning the oboe than the reed. Pull the reed out of the oboe as it is turned. The reed will come out if it is turning.
The cork can be made smaller if it is very tight in the oboe. I suggest using disposable nail files to take a little cork off the reed. Cork grease can also be used to lubricate the cork which may allow easier removal, just be aware that it may also decrease the ability to get a firm grip on the cork.
AN OBOE REED THAT DOES NOT GO IN EASILY WILL NOT COME OUT EASILY. File the cork a little before you put it in.
I suggest students keep a small piece of foam contact paper/shelf liner in their case for very stubborn reeds.
What to do if the oboe reed starts to unravel?

Part of being human is being imperfect, and with imperfect people comes imperfect processes.
Student: “Aaron, I know you said not to , but I grabbed the reed by the thread to remove it and now it is starting to unravel”.
Me: “Okay no big deal, we caught it early, we can fix it”
When an oboe reed shows signs that the thread is loosening there are a few things that can be done.
Put a small amount of super glue on the thread where the reed is loosening. I suppose a glue gun or any other high strength adhesive will work just fine too.
wrap the oboe reed with Teflon plumbers tape or parafilm wax. Many oboists will use one or both of these products to patch leaky reeds, so they may already be in the oboe case. Another reason your student should have one of these products in their oboe case.

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Aaron Lakota

Aaron Lakota

Owner of ALakotaReeds

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71 shop reviews

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed by Inactive Sep 29, 2020

5 out of 5 stars

Great balanced reeds. I’m a professional oboist, but I’m also a solo parent to a young son and honestly sometimes reed making just does NOT spark joy at the end of a long day! I appreciate these, they are definitely useful to me!!!!

Purchased item:

Jennifer Lindberg Sep 7, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

These English horn reeds play the best of any of the handmade reeds I've tried for my temperamental instrument. Great response and tone quality. They also seem to have handled the transition to my dry, high altitude climate the best.

Purchased item:

Jason Woolcott Dec 20, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

Great experience with ALakotaReeds. Reeds were of excellent quality and play very well. (My son gave me a lot of specific and technical feedback, which I can't recall). It was clear when we were exploring our options that ALakota is passionate about his reeds. We spent a lot of time exploring his etsy page and website. Order was processed quickly, even over a holiday weekend, and arrived well in time for an important concert. Reeds were packaged well. Communications were personal and engaging. Will definitely buy from again.

Purchased item: