a closed reed call is the type that you can't see the reed kind of like a common duck call or grunt call. an open reed call, you can actually see the reed and you actually put the reed in your mouth to produce the sound. A closed reed is easier for a beginner. My first one was a Knight and Hale cottontail distress. I wouldn't really worry about blowing it too loud, just try to make it sound like something is in bad shape. I would usually call for about a minute or so, look around a couple minutes and then repeat. Just be ready to shoot when you start, It doesn't happen alot, but I have had some show up in less than a minute. Good Luck!