I spent most of my afternoon at the studio gouging and shaping cane in between lessons. For the most part, I really enjoy the process of making reeds and adjusting them to fit the needs of each oboist. While I do sell reeds in my online store, it's a little stressful to guess how much air pressure a person uses, how tight or loose their embouchure might be, and exactly what they mean when they choose "medium" from the drop-down menu.
This might be a little unconventional, but I'm going to start offering an appointment-based reed service at Happy Bamboo. If you're willing to come to the studio (it's in Woodbridge NJ, and a short walk from the Woodbridge train station), you can schedule a time to try some reeds and give feedback on your preferences. I will adjust them while you're there, you can try them again, and we will work together to make sure that you're happy with the pitch, response, and tone.
I want to be clear that this is NOT a power play to gain more students. If you're an oboe teacher who's wary of sending your students to another oboist, please don't feel weird about it. I know how hard it can be to keep up with the reed demands of your studio. I just like making and adjusting reeds; I also know that many students seek out vendors online (often in other parts of the country), and the end result isn't always the most desirable. Instead of waiting for reeds (which may or may not be exactly what you're looking for) to arrive in the mail, come visit your friendly neighborhood reed dealer!
If you're an oboist or woodwind doubler who isn't into making reeds, this could be a great service for you, too. I have a large variety of shaper tips at the studio, so no matter your reed preferences and playing setup, I'm sure that we can find the combination that works the best for you.
Here's the process, if you'd like to utilize this service.
1. Go to the online store and place an order (so I can plan ahead for your visit). Choose “local pickup” as your shipping option.
2. Contact the studio (either through the website, or call/text 732-800-OBOE) and set up a time to come in.
3. Come to the studio and try out your potential reeds (I'll have a whole bunch ready for you to try out).
4. Leave happy and with a reed case full of reeds that have been specifically adjusted for YOU!