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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001143.txt from 1999/04

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Bb reeds on Eb...was.......Reeds?
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 21:04:14 -0400

Walter Grabner noted re Eb reeds:

<<<My best results came when I used a normal Bb reed, what ever I WAS USING
AT THE TIME, and sawed off enough of the butt to fit on the Eb

One of the other considerations is your mouthpiece. Certain custom makers
(Dan Johnston in particular--at least his mouthpieces are the one I am most
familiar with) design their Eb mouthpieces with the intention that they be
used with cut-down Bb reeds! Of course, from time to time I ruin the whole
equation by using Eb reeds on mine . . .

My advice, based on a lot of Eb playing, is to kill a lot of reeds
experimenting with what works. I find that I use Eb reeds in the wind
ensemble, as they have a smaller sound that blends better with flutes & the
piccolo (who you'd be playing with much of the time). For orchestral work,
you generally want a bigger, rip snortin' sound (think Till or
Berlioz)--you'll need a beefier, Bb reed.

As to strength, you really can't say that it would be the same as your Bb,
even if the tip opening is the same and the lay similar. You must
experiment. In general, I like to use a reed on the Eb that is a soft as
possible and still "work"--meaning one that will get all the high notes I
need to play and cleanly articulate.

Good luck!


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