The tip of the reed must vibrate in order for it to produce a sound.
A properly thinned tip is so important that "Thin the Tip" is the number one phrase I use when teaching reed making- it's the point where great reeds begin. Get the tip right, and the rest of the reed will follow. When, in 2018, it came time to select a name for an Instagram account dedicated to oboe reed making, the phrase, "thin the tip" seemed like a natural choice.
The first sound you hear when crowing an oboe reed is the vibration of the tip. For many reed makers, understanding the crow and how it relates to the way the reed sounds and functions is the most challenging part of reed making. Explaining how to crow, all the nuances involved in reading the crow, and/or describing how to use the crow, is where many oboe reed making manuals fall short. Thin the Tip attempts to remedy this with videos, pictures, and discussion that focuses on using the crow as the guiding source of information when making or adjusting an oboe reed.
Through Thin the Tip, I offer remedies to common reed making issues by sharing what I learn from my own reeds, capturing crows, explaining how I interpret them, and showing how I use the crow to guide my scraping. You are encouraged to experiment with my concepts and adapt them to your own reed style. Ultimately, I hope the information presented here helps you have a more positive reed making experience and leads you to making better, more consistent reeds.
Thin the Tip is also about making quality pedagogical material available free of charge to all oboists (and the people who teach them). As such, its content and downloadable files should be considered an open-source resource suitable for fair use.
You are welcome to use this material, with the caveat that proper acknowledgement be given to me (Lindabeth Binkley) and Thin the Tip where appropriate.
Enjoy the site!