Reed making books

I don’t by any means expect to include every useful reed making resource in this post, but here a few that have attracted my attention, either again or for the first time:

Sakakeeny’s Making Reeds Start to Finish (2014). This multi-media iBook is a terrific presentation of reed making lore written by master teacher and professor of bassoon at the Eastman School of Music, George Sakakeeny. The only possible drawback is that this publication is only available as an eBook for iOS or the Mac.

Weait’s Bassoon Reed Making (2000). A step-by-step approach with clear photos/illustrations and explanations. This has always been my go-to book for new reed makers.

Craypo’s The Banana of Life (2017). Creative and extremely helpful guide to reed making according to the “Herzberg/Kamins” method. Reed making pedagogy for the 21st century!

I’ve always liked Bassoon Reed Making (4th edition, 2013) by Popkin & Glickman.

The Bassoon Reed Manual: Lou Skinner’s Techniques (2001) by McKay/Hinkle/Woodward is loaded with techniques, insights, and wisdom. Since it is fairly complex, it is probably not the first reed making book a student should own.

For me, no one book has it all. I think the individual bassoonist absorbs information/techniques/etc. and eventually makes reeds with a personalized approach. That’s why I’m always interested to learn about how others tackle each step. Maybe one of the most thoughtful and insightful perspectives on reeds and reed making is this “reality check” post by Barrick Stees: Choosing Reeds Beyond the Omnireed: Willard Elliot.

Along those lines, then, I’ve ordered my copy of the Eubanks’ Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning (2017) and look forward to seeing how the the venerable 1992 publication, Advanced Reed Design and Testing Procedure has been updated and improved.

Bassoon reed making resources on the web continue to increase in number and quality with international contributions. And, there is something for everyone. Find links in the Reed Making menu on the right-hand side of the screen →→→


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