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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001077.txt from 2001/02

From: Will Cicola <>
Subj: [kl] Warped Reeds
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 21:15:35 -0500

If the tables of the reeds are warping (not the "ribbon tip" problem you
described), the sandpaper of the table often works but destroys the sound. =
better solution is one that is applied when the reeds are new. After they
have first been played and left to dry overnight, but before you wet them a
second time, get a sharp beveled edge knife. Place the knife on the table o=
the reed and using NO PRESSURE AT ALL, scrape from a point a centimeter or
so below the tip all the way to the butt. Do this 6 or 7 times. You should
notice a find dust on the knife after this. If you have ANY reed fiber at
all, you're pressing too hard. Anyway, this dust is (according to an
excellent book by Larry Guy, I believe) is called "pith". Removing it early
in the reed's life will help prevent warping of the table later on. You
should do this every day for the first three or four days of the reed's
life. It's a tricky procedure, and the trick is to use absolutely no
That's basically a disaster. The other things to make sure of is that your
knife is nice and sharp (something I've not ever been good at, personally)
and that you start at a point pretty far down from the tip. If you start at
the tip with this "dusting off" procedure (again according to this book),
you could ruin the reed, especially if the reed has the "ribbon tip" you
mentioned. This "ribbon tip", though, is usually fairly inconsequential; yo=
can correct it by soaking the reed for a couple minutes and blowing some
long tones. Eventually it'll straigthen itself out (quicker than you may
think). The "rubdown" described also works, but you have to make absolutely
sure it's a completely flat surface. A small piece of plate glass works
fine. On another note (so to speak), those Vandoren reed cases are great fo=
preventing table warpage. The trick to preventing mold is to take out the
little charcoal thingy in the middle. Once that's gone, you'll have nothing
to worry about from mold. Selmer also makes a great reed case, but it's
pretty expensive. Of course, it can also hold up to 15 reeds if you pack
them in there right.
Will Cicola
I don't need a life. I've got orchestra!

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