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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Hi folks,

Does anyone know how much similarities are found between uilleann chanter reeds and oboe reeds in means of material, building methods and such?
I have an acquintance who makes oboe reeds from scratch, so I was just thinking if I could learn a thing or two from her, as starting to make reeds of my own will be inevitable sooner than later.
I suppose the cane variety must be very different in the two, as the oboe reed must be moistened (right?) as opposed to the uilleann pipe chanter reed. So I guess the same cane type can't be used in both reed types? Besides that, does the construction of the reeds have significant similarities? What about the tools needed in the process?

Would be nice if someone had some knowledge to pass on regarding this.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:18 pm 
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I bought an oboe and bassoon reed once from Amazon, just to see how they compared.

They are nothing like uilleann pipe reeds - the oboe reed is quite thin and small while the bassoon reed was quite thick and chunky. It was hard to believe it did anything, much less vibrate freely. They are both made of cane, with two opposing slips. The oboe reed is tied to a piece of brass tubing with a cork base. The bassoon looked to be tied to itself, formed around a rod, perhaps and removed (can't recall).

So, you might learn some useful technical skills from your friend, patience and perseverance at least, but they are little alike as far as I could tell.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:44 am 
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Thanks for the reply. I kind of thought as much to be honest.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:13 am 
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There is quite a lot of material about such reeds on the net, and it is interesting to peruse. I am sure both could learn something from the other.

The cane itself is the same stuff, treated the same way.

What I'd do is get a good reed-making guide then get your friend to go through it with you. She knows a lot about cane and how reeds in general work and can help you distinguish between voodoo methods and the reedmaker's intent, something that is very useful when learning to make reeds!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Take advantage of the opportunity if its gratis.

While design, cane, scrape, staple shape, etc, etc are all different, the benefit would be in learning
how to measure, cut, shape, tie, seal, etc. Most of those basics are common, only missing if the person
is using expensive shapers or profiling machines.

M


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:37 pm 
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A very important point is that, at the beginning, both instruments (UP and oboes) were made by the same people.
I wonder how these makers dealt with the reeds, because I notice, in my own experience, how difficult it is to pass from a way of making to another.
Then I found this document:
http://www.riusfrancesc.com/oldest-english-oboe-reeds...

We discover that the oboe reeds and ours evoluted differently along the XIXth century, but at the beginning, they looked very similar.
We can even suppose that the cane could have been moistered to make U;pipes reeds to!

I think now that there's a lot to learn from other making technics.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:52 am 
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http://www.riusfrancesc.com/oldest-engl ... galpin.pdf

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:57 pm 
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One of the best Uilleann chanter reed makers in the world and a good friend, Michael O'Donovan, is a retired professional studio bassoon player. If you've heard a bassoon in a movie soundtrack in the last 20 years, it's probably him.

Early in my playing days we used some of his specialized German-made bassoon slip prep machines adapted for Uilleann reed dimensions to make piles of rough slips. I think these days he's doing all the prep by hand, but the machine did give me about 40 good slips that I still have.

I would guess that he made reeds nearly every day of his working life had a great benefit in adapting the techniques to making chanter reeds.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:25 am 
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That's a pretty interesting article, thanks to Benoit.
As he states, it demonstrates some of the shared DNA as you go back in time - an example is that Lings (and the other other
early oboe reeds) don't have the central spine in the scrape that modern oboe reeds do - instead they have the flat scrape like UP reeds.

Its all good information, given that professionals 200 years ago knew what they were about - soldered staple
seams and no bind past the staple (as examples) were for good reason.

In similar vein, I've posted here before that the book "Reed Design for Early Woodwinds" is a mine of information
for anyone trying to understand how reeds function.

M


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