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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000294.txt from 1998/04

From: "John Gates" <>
Subj: Re: High altitude reed adjustment
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 09:50:07 -0400

I think the secret is new reeds. Also make sure you always have some sort
of glass of water. It seems that reeds can warp/dry up when you play them.
Constant moisture and playing on new reeds seems the best way.
-----Original Message-----
From: Christina Crispin <>
Date: Monday, April 06, 1998 10:18 PM
Subject: Re: High altitude reed adjustment

>>Original message
>> From: Jimmy Covelli <>
>> To: Klarinet Mailing List <>
>> Date: Sunday, 5 April 1998 3:56pm
>> Subject: High Altitude Reed Adjustment
>> >My question concerns the effect on reeds in switching from low
>>altitudes to high altitudes. I am playing a concert in June in
>>Colorado. What can I expect to happen to my reeds (coming from a low
>>altitude humid climate to a high altitude dry climate)? And is there
>>anything I can do to prep my reeds beforehand?
>> >
>> >>Jimmy Covelli
>On Tue, 7 Apr 1998, Brian Catchlove wrote:
>> Dear Jimmy,
>> Last time I went to a drier environment (although not at altitude)
>>my reeds went softer. It may be a good idea to take a variety of
>>reeds. Some that are a little light for comfort, some that are too
>>heavy as well as your favourite reeds . This then covers all your
>> bases. I hope this is of some help.
>> Brian Catchlove
>>Jimmy did not specify a drier environment....he specified a higher
>>altitude. The reed plays harder.....much, much, harder in this
>Roger Garrett
>> ------------------------------
>Colorado is indeed a very dry environment as well having high altitude.
>This makes reeds much less responsive. In my experience it is often very
>difficult to use reeds in Colorado that have been played in a more humid
>climate, so you may want to bring a good selection of brand new reeds in
>addition to you favorites. How you treat you reeds once you get there
>will be more important than what you do to them before you go. As was
>mentioned in an earlier response you will want to be extra careful keep
>your reeds "humidified" (using a damp sponge in the reed case) when not
>in use. I've also found it to be helpful to keep the mouthpiece cap on
>during rests and rehearsal breaks to prevent the reed from warping on
>the mouthpiece. Reeds tend to warp very easily in the dry heat, so you
>may also want to bring a flat file (or sandpaper spray-mounted on glass)
>in order to correct this problem by filing them flat. Also, consider
>whether you are performing in the mountains or not. The higher your
>performing altitude, the bigger the change will be and the harder and
>less articulate the reeds will feel. (Don't forget that there is also
>less oxygen up there, which decreases your air capacity while
>playing!) The best advice I can offer is to bring lots of reeds, and
>leave youself time to pick through them and adjust them once you get
>there. You will have a new appreciation for humidity when you return
>home :) Hope some of this will be helpful.
> Good Luck!
>-Christina Crispin

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