We recommend you order at least 3 reeds so that you have spares.
Oxford Reed -
Britannia Reed -
IMPROVING PLAYERS (grades 2-
Britannia Reed -
Emperor Reed -
Steinberg Reed -
All our reeds (except the Oxford Reeds) are suitable for players of all standards up to professional level. We produce a wide range of designs and styles to accommodate the different individual needs of players. You can see all the bassoon reeds by clicking here. For further guidance and information please scroll down and continue reading or call us on the number at the top of this page.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
If the style isn’t right for you, return them and try something else. See the reeds chart of the information below to help you decide. Alternatively, for further help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on the number at the top of this page.
Major Features of the reed
Shape: Wider shapes give a broader sound and easier response for low notes. They play slightly flatter than narrower shapes. Narrower shapes give more focus to the sound and can help with very high notes.
Gouge: A thinner gouge creates a more responsive reed and a clearer, more resonant sound. A thick gouge dampens vibrations producing a darker sound and less responsiveness.
Standard or Long: The standard tube length is suitable for most instruments. Longer tube designs give a lower pitch in a similar manner to changing to a longer crook.
Tip Width and Reed Length: We do not publish these measurements because they are often used in a misleading way. It is true that the pitch of a reed is influenced by tip width and reed length, but also by many other dimensions such as blade shape and curvature, tip length, heart thickness, cane hardness, gouge thickness, throat aperture, tip aperture and tube length.
Playing flat -
The overall size of the reed is too big. It may be too long or too wide. First try a reed style with a narrower shape; find your reed style on the reeds chart and choose a style to the left of it. This may solve the problem for you and give you a suitable reed.
Sometimes using a narrower reed is not comfortable to the player as the “feel” and response can be different. If you are currently playing on any of the longer reed styles (Berlin, Konig, Bergmann, Steinberg Long, Muller Long, Blaukopf Long) you could try their shorter equivalent reeds -
Reeds close up -
Most people assume that they need harder reeds but this is rarely true. The problem usually stems from poor breath support causing the player to have to pinch or bite the reed too firmly to make it speak. This problem will get worse if the player moves to harder reeds. Better to try some exercises to improve breath support and loosen the embouchure. See the Hint and Tips page on this website for more information.
Playing sharp is more common in hot weather as the higher temperature raises the pitch the instrument plays at. Naturally, you would pull the crook out of the bassoon slightly to lower the pitch. If you are always a long way sharp you may need to change the reed style you use. Try a wider shape; find your reed style on the reeds chart and choose a style to the right of it.
Sometimes in moving to a wider shape players find the pitch stability becomes poor and the reed seems wild and uncontrollable. If this happens, try moving to a longer-
For example: A player plays on Britannia reeds but plays sharp, so they try the Salzburg reed which plays at a lower pitch. However, they find the wider Salzburg wild and unmanageable, playing sometimes sharp, sometimes flat. They therefore try the Konig reed, finding it feels like the Britannia but the longer tube makes it play at a lower pitch.
Wanting a darker tone
Generally, the thicker the cane on the reed, the more mellow (dark) the tone of the reed, but the tougher it is to blow.
If you are playing any of the lighter-
If you are already playing on a heavier-
Reeds aren’t responsive enough
If you are consistently having this problem with any reed style, it is best to try a more flexible reed. First find your current reed style in the reeds chart.
If your reed is a heavier-
If you reed is a lighter-