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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000034.txt from 1999/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: [kl] reeds
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 00:37:55 -0500

At 05:50 PM 4/1/99 EST, you wrote:
>I recently upgraded to playing on Van Doren V-12 #4 reeds, from playing
>and I find that I am consistently chirping. I play on a Johnston j facing
>mouthpiece and a rovner ligature. Can anyone recomend anything that might
>me with this? is it me? is it the mouthpiece? is it the ligature?

Ah! The old "I'm chirping on a harder reed" trick!

Andy, I suspect that when you upgraded to size 4 reeds, you began to grip
the mouthpiece/reed more to accomodate the added resistance. When you do
that, you are placing direct pressure against the middle/heart of the reed
which can cause the chirping you describe. Try "rounding" the embouchure
at the corners and upper lip - that is - you still grip real well, but it
is equal from all sides rather than from diametrically opposed directions
(upper teeth and jaw). Also, make sure you are taking plenty of
mouthpiece/reed into the mouth.

Another suggestion - when you use these reeds, make sure you have sanded
the backs flat (that is, if a Johnston is a flat table mouthpiece - I can't
remember if it is or is not) and that the reed is balanced. By not doing
those two things, the resulting problems from warpage and an unbalanced
reed can contribute to chirping - and probably would have done so on the
3.5's, but you may not have experienced it so easily with the softer reed.

Hope this helps.

Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director, Concert Band/Symphonic Winds/Titan Band
Advisor, Recording Studio
Illinois Wesleyan University
Office: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3411

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