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Kim Haan, oboist

cor anglais and oboe d'amore player

tutor of oboe, theory and piano

My Blog

Blog

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Visit My Studio and Choose Your Favourite Reed

Posted on October 10, 2014 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)
Visit my studio if you would like to choose a reed from a selection.  Or you may want to book a reed consultation. We can determine the dimensions that work best for you.  I can show you how to adjust your own reeds as well.  Email me if you are interested.
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Reed Tip of the Day

Posted on September 4, 2014 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (0)
I have been using Chiarugi adjustable staples for a couple of months now and I love them!  They come with 4 "screw" -on metal corks in 45mm, 46mm, 47mm and 48mm and 5 uppers (top of staple where the reed is tied onto).  My oboe plays ever so slightly flat so these are a huge help.  I tried only using 46mm staples for awhile but I didn't like the way my reeds sounded so now, instead of shortening my reed by scraping and chopping, I simply change the "cork" size.  Here is a link to Howarth's website - you can see what they look like:  http://www.howarth.uk.com  (Click on the "I" to see a picture.)  You'll notice that the price is very reasonable as well.
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Reed Tip of the Day

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)
If you have a profiler, ensure that you keep the blade sharpened. It will make the scraping much easier.  I sharpen the blade myself using a carborundum stone, about 30 strokes against the beveled edge of the blade, direction is edge forward, finishing with one stroke on the opposite side and the opposite direction.  Don't overdo the sharpening or you will wreck your blanks.  You can test the sharpness of the blade by running it gently across your fingernail - it should stop against the nail - all the way along the edge of the blade.
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Reed Tip of the Day

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 4:41 AM Comments comments (0)
Don't worry so much about the staples - the detail is in the cane - how well it has been prepared (gouged and shaped) and how well you scrape it.
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Reed Tip of the Day

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 4:42 AM Comments comments (0)
Soak your reed including staple in a sterilising solution to disinfect it.  Hydrogen peroxide also works well but only put the cane end of the reed into this.  Soak for about 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly afterwards.  I find cleaning  can revive an old reed for another day or so and sometimes longer.
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Oboe Reed Tip of the Day

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)
In between gouging, shaping, tying, profiling and finishing do let the cane dry out and rest.  In my experience, it makes for a more stable reed and one that is not too open.
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English Horn (Cor Anglais) Reeds

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)
I've been making a lot of english horn reeds lately.  I have used the beautiful Chinese reeds for many concerts in the past few years because I've been trying to perfect my own reed style.  

I'm now making a much longer reed from tip to end of staple.  I tie the blank on the staple as high as it will go without having a gap in the sides (although this gap can be covered with PTFE tape or cling film).  

I highly recommend making a fairly hard reed but it must be balanced so that the tip is thin enough.  A little cane off at a time is better for EH reeds.  Let the reed mature on your drying rack for another day before scrapping too much off.

I also recommend playing on the very tip of the reed.  I find that my intonation is much better when I do this.  But again, the reed must be strong and well balanced.  Dynamic control is much easier when playing on the tip with a harder reed.

Let me know if you agree or not - I welcome comments or suggestions :)
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The Perfect Reed

Posted on January 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM Comments comments (0)
I think I've found the perfect reed.

It's similar to the way I used to make my reeds when I lived in the States and incorporates the English and the Continental styles.

I use a Rieger profiler that I've set up for a longer tip and a longer back than the English U scrape.  The back is not as long as the American back which goes almost to the top of the thread.

I set the profiler to take a small amount of cane off of the reed and then I hand scrape the tip to make it longer and to incorporate more of a "heart" and secondary tip after the primary tip.  I also take more out of the back but leaving the spine intact.

Well, I seem to have developed a consistency that I like and my pupils like.  
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Oboe and Cor Anglais (English Horn) For Sale

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 8:26 AM Comments comments (0)
I have a Howarth S5 oboe for sale - it has fully automatic octaves and has a thumbplate that can be taken off - the fingering system is dual, Gillet and Thumbplate so the oboe plays beautifully even without the thumb plate.  £2,000 or near offer.

I also have a Gordet cor anglais for sale - it was (we believe) in the 1950's.  It has a big, dark sound.  I bought it from Howarth in London about 8 years ago.  I've removed the thumbplate because I prefer to play it without.  The thumbplate can easily be re-fitted.  £1,800 or near offer.

Please contact me if you are interested and have more questions.  
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Reed Making

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 6:32 AM Comments comments (0)
I've spent the past couple of months perfecting my reed making techniques.  I now am able to offer a pupil reed which can be described as medium soft - it vibrates freely and is easy to play.  The harder reed which I myself use is probably more medium than hard.  It is fairly open and quite flexible and produces a resonant sound.  I've been experimenting with using a U scrape, a W scrape and a continental scrape - I go back and forth depending on how a particular piece of cane is responding to the first crow after profiling a U scraped reed.  The rest of the scraping I do using a knife.

My playing has improved with the refinement of my reed technique and I've stopped getting dizzy blowing on hard reeds.  

Do give my reeds a try.  They are economically priced at £7 each for a softer reed and £10 each for a harder reed.  
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