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ALakotaReeds is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Demand has been very high which has pushed my lead time to around 6 weeks. I am putting my Etsy shop on vacation mode to try to reduce my wait, maintain good customer service and strategize how to best move forward. I appreciate all the support I am receiving, and aim to bring back a shorter wait period while maintaining the highest quality.
Thank you for your support!

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Mar 1, 2022

Demand has been very high which has pushed my lead time to around 6 weeks. I am putting my Etsy shop on vacation mode to try to reduce my wait, maintain good customer service and strategize how to best move forward. I appreciate all the support I am receiving, and aim to bring back a shorter wait period while maintaining the highest quality.
Thank you for your support!

Aaron Lakota

Contact shop owner

Aaron Lakota


Average item review
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About ALakotaReeds

Sales 909
On Etsy since 2016

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Be Happy Obo(e)ing

I am a total nerd about all things oboe. I love making oboe reeds, playing the oboe, and teaching oboe lessons. I have been making oboe reeds professionally for nearly a decade, though my Etsy shop is fairly new. Please see my website for lots of great information about making oboe reeds. I also sell oboe reeds at Happy oboe-ing !!

My oboe reed making philosophy

I think it may be helpful for customers to understand my thoughts on oboe reeds, reed making, and playing the oboe to get an idea of how my reeds may work for the individual purchasing them from me. I hope you may find your way to where I have more information about oboe reed making, oboe and the teaching, but here I will provide you with an overview of what you may expect from my reeds. One of my goals as a reed maker and teacher is to give people more access to the joy that music can bring, and help them to express their inner artist.

Resistance of oboe reeds and tension

I feel people can learn to Be Happy Obo(e)ing if they take some of the physical and mental stress away from playing the instrument. The physical stress comes from reeds and trying to blow too much air down a tiny little opening. The tension created from that “back pressure” creates stress throughout the entire body system, the shoulders, face, arms, hands and throat. The mental stress comes from never knowing if the reeds are going to work today or not, whether it will articulate that low C, or the high E clearly and in tune or leave us feeling frustrated.

The body and mind are linked and if one cog within the system is broken the cycle of tension and stress will continue. Decreasing stress within the body/mind system is the pathway to effortless playing in my perspective. I cannot say I have truly reached this point within my own playing, but it is my goal. I feel the biggest problems in creating conflict within the system in my experience are the oboe reeds we make, or the reeds we buy. The reeds we choose to use as oboists are the first variable in creating or relieving stress within the system. Finding a reed that works well for the individual player is very important, but unfortunately reed making can take a lifetime to master, and purchased reeds are expensive and often inconsistent due to many factors which are out of the control of even the reedmaker.

There are many oboe reed makers selling their reeds, which I think is wonderful because there are opportunities for people to find a product that really works for them, however finding the right reed can take a lot of time, money and energy. I do not believe that my reeds are the holy grail, and will be a good fit for everyone but they will be the best oboe reeds for some oboists. The only way to know is to buy a few and try them out. I suggest people buy three (3) reeds in their first order to get a sense of consistency and what to expect. I strive for consistency as an oboe reed maker, but every oboe reed will be slightly different due to the nature of cane and scraping by hand with a knife. Every one of the new Legere synthetic oboe reeds is slightly different as well, showing that even when you control for the material inconsistencies are to be expected.

The reeds are built to crow at a C natural with not too much rattle. I do make reeds crow slightly flat ( 5-10 cents flat) intentionally because as a reed is played the internal dimensions of the reed get smaller and the pitch raises. This also gives a little flexibility in adjusting the reeds for people wanting to do that. The reed will play very well in tune after a few hours of playing assuming we use similar air and embouchure.

Shop members

  • Aaron Lakota

    Owner, Reed Maker

    A Performer, teacher, and reed maker, Aaron feels that every community should have access to artistic expression, every student should have access to education and passionate teachers, and every oboist should have access to high quality oboe reeds.

Production partners

  • Printful

    NC, United States

    Designed by Aaron Lakota, processed and fulfilled by Printful

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on May 11, 2022
Frequently asked questions
Care instructions

-Soak new reeds in warm water for one minute. Remove excess water and allow reeds to sit another minute.Soak reeds longer as they get older. Full article on my website
-I suggest squeezing new SOAKED reeds closed between thumb and pointer finger for 30 seconds.
-If the reeds are slightly flat squeeze the heart area closed (about 10 mm behind the tip)
-If the high notes (D and above) do not speak or octaves sag place a small amount of pressure on the cane just above the thread.

How long will an oboe reed last?

I feel the life of a reed can be expected last between 7-12 hours of playing, if it is taken care of, and given time to sit between playing. I feel the “sweet spot” within the life of a reed is around 4-8 hours of playing, obviously dependent on the quality of the cane, how well the reed has been cared for, oboe reed soaking rituals as well as other factors. I feel at this point in the life of a reed it should be able to played with a loose embouchure/ no biting, have great dynamic range, great range of expression in tone color and intensity, and be stable in pitch throughout the full range of the instrument. If you buy one reed at a time the reed will likely last closer to 7 hours of playing since it will

How would you describe the sound quality of A.Lakota oboe reeds?

I feel the main point of an oboe reed is to vibrate well and resonate. I search for a lot of resonance in my own oboe playing and make reeds to resonate. I strive for complexity within the sound and make reeds that allow me to make a complex and balanced tone (as I hear it). I do not describe my reeds as creating a bright or dark tone, since I am not sure I understand what those terms mean, or that anyone truly agrees on what those terms objectively mean. I feel people often use the term “dark” to describe a tone they like, and “bright” to describe a tone they do not like. Most oboe reed makers seem to advertise their reeds as creating a “dark” tone. I am sure the reed makers all sound lovely on the reeds they play.

How do you sanitize oboe reeds against Corona virus?

Please see my complete sanitation practices by following this link. reed sanitation against Corona