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Bassoon reeds

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I know some of you do your own reeds, as a proper bassoonist will, but some aren't quite so gifted (or don't have the time).

A friend of mine in the local orchestra needs some reeds but doesn't know who is making the good ones.

Has anybody done a study of which reeds give the most bang for the buck? I'd like to help her out with a source of good quality affordable reeds and would appreciate any relevant info you could share on the subject.



Broadway Doubler List Owner
Distinguished Member
The best way to buy bassoon reeds is face-to-face from a real live bassoonist. If you are near a university with at least a medium-sized music department, look up the bassoon professor on their website and send them an email. If they aren't selling reeds themselves, they ought to be able to recommend a graduate student or even a talented undergrad (who will be eager to please and badly in need of the cash).

That way you get reeds made for your altitude and climate, which can be quickly and easily adjusted for your embouchure and instrument right before your eyes.

It's usually cheaper than buying retail, too, even before you calculate for shipping.

I agree with bpimentel 100%. However, if that is not an option, I have had good luck with buying reeds online for my students when I have gotten behind on making them. Most reasonably priced reeds you will find will work reasonably well, but it makes all the difference in the world to know how to adjust them. Here's a great article by Christian Davidson on bassoon reed adjusting: http://media.wix.com/ugd/d34936_e13365dccf39f22a486969ba6c892d4f.pdf
Hopefully she might find this helpful.
Good luck!
I use KJI...they produce a good sound, but it depends on what type of reed you are used to. New bassoon reeds may take some time to get used to.


Old King Log
Staff member
I followed the advice above about a dozen years ago. I had the local professor at Rice suggest a couple of folks, picked one of them at random, and ordered them up. They had them ready to go the next day, and I was satisfied as hell with the result.

You may have to go through a few sources, but you will end up with something better than you would buy at retail from a "music store".
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