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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000013.txt from 2000/09

Subj: [kl] Re: Reed Storage solution
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 16:20:41 -0400

Gary said, responding to Karl:
>If I ever left a reed on the mpc it would kill the response. Of course, if
>forget to remove the reed you probably have forgotten to loosen the ligature.
>The continuous pressure from the ligature would compress the bottom fibers of
>the reed leaving an imprint of the mpc opening. This causes the reed to be
>closer to everything below it on the mpc and causes awful things to happen to
>the tone, response and resistance.. How can you guys get away with this and
>have any negative effects?

To which I would add----this implies that you use the same reed everytime you
play, until it dies and you have to put another one on. There are several
problems with this approach that perhaps you are not aware of:
1.) The reed gets progressively softer as you continually play on it, and
your embouchure adapts to this, weakening the muscles.
2.) The reed getting softer and softer means that your tone and perhaps
altissimo control will deteriorate, and your overall pitch will be flat.
3.) Because the reed is not allowed to rest between playings for several
days, like it would be able to do if you rotated your reeds, it dies more
quickly, and you end up buying reeds a lot more often.
4.) You really only have one broken in reed at any given time, so if
something happens to that one on your mouthpiece, you have to take your
chances with a brand new one, which would not be good if you had a

I can see the argument for convenience, but if that is your primary concern
(over tone) then synthetic reeds(like Bari or Fibracell) seem like they would
be just the thing. People complain about the tone of them, but they are
great for leaving on your mouthpiece and are not subject to the weakening
problems of cane reeds, and won't sound much worse than a cane reed that has
been left on a mouthpiece.

Elise Curran

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