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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000334.txt from 1999/04

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Sharpening Reed Knife
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 06:29:09 -0400

Most of my high school students over the years have been hard pressed to
find enough practice time as it is. I'd rather they play their instruments
during the time they put in. I first began to learn reed adjustment (I don't
consider that part of my education a finished product even today) in
college. Gigliotti had far more time than my earlier teachers during a
lesson most weeks to show me what to do, and I had far more time as a
college student to try the techniques out. Most of the reeds I tried to
adjust back then turned out to be junk - I can still remember the way
Gigliotti would roll his eyes the next lesson when he would first try the
reed I had brought in. Then he'd sit down at his desk and adjust another one
while I watched and asked questions. It always seemed to work when he did
it. When I tried the same things at home, the result for a long while was
nearly always, in the short run, a waste of time and reeds.

My point is that, while reed "selection" is important, as you suggest, for
obvious reasons, it's more important for most students through their high
school years to spend time playing on good ones (which have been carefully
selected or which the teacher has adjusted) and building fluency and basic
concepts of sound and articulation. There's plenty of time for a serious
clarinetist who may want to make a career of performing to learn the craft
of reed adjustment after he/she has made the long term commitment to
playing. For those adult serious amateurs who want to adjust reeds for their
own satisfaction in gaining control over one more headache in their
environment, more power to them.

None of this is to say that if a serious (not necessarily career-bound) high
school student asks questions, I wouldn't answer them. But I wouldn't and
don't bring the issue of reed adjustment technique up on my own at all.

Karl Krelove

----- Original Message -----
From: David Blumberg <>
Subject: [kl] Sharpening Reed Knife

> Wondering if anyone uses anything else to sharpen their reed knife other
> then with a stone. Also, what age (grade, or years of playing) do you
> introduce reed adjusting to students to try themselves with either the
> rush, or knife? Of course reed selection should be taught pretty early on,
> but the actual adjusting is what I wonder.
> David Blumberg
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