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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000817.txt from 1997/09

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: Re: breaking in a reed
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 22:20:41 -0400

> He once came to a lesson with a good reed. The teacher listened and
> said, "Hey, let me try that reed." The reed was very good. The
> teacher said, " You know, a reed like this can give you a false
> sense of security in playing. You should really learn to control
> mediocre reeds and improve your blowing technique.

This is hilarious, and also reminds me strongly of the short-but-
similar story regarding Marcel Tabuteau, former principal oboist
of Philadelhpia Orchestra fame. He subscribed very strongly to
the ideology that the quality of one's reeds is never a valid
excuse to sound anything less than your best.

The story goes that a student would arrive at a lesson and proclaim,
"I've got a really good reed today, Mr. Tabuteau!" And in true Dave
Neuman-esque form (Dave is 2nd clarinet in the San Francisco Symphony,
and is one of the most sarcastic and devious people I've ever known),
Mr. Tabuteau would look over innocently and say, "Gee, really? Let
me take a look at that." The student would naively pull the reed off
of his/her instrument and hand it to him. In one swift stroke, Tabuteau
would then swing his arm around and smash that reed straight into the
wall! He'd then hand it back to the student and say, "Here, find another

Talk about "breaking in" a reed!


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