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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001105.txt from 2001/02

From: "David B. Niethamer" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Warped reeds
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 23:04:18 -0500

on 2/28/01 1:51 PM, David Glenn wrote:

>The reed warping on glass seems to depend on whether the pores are closed yet
>or not.
That's my experience as a reed maker.

>*My* method is to rub down the reed with plain paper. (What would that be?
>grit?) Still, I don't put the wet reed onto glass until it's been played
>in for
>a couple of weeks, starting at about one minute on the first day and
>to 10-15 minutes. Up until that point I follow the "Klug" method. (Klug is
>German for clever, smart or American for great player/teacher)
Me too. Larry Guy's book suggests drying the reeds back side up for a few
days before putting them into a reed case. For the first few days I have
some plastic boxes that originally contained some medication I took in
the past. They hold 8 reeds, and you can close them with about a
millimeter air space if you don't close them tight. That seems to slow
down the drying process, which helps to eliminate warping. After that,
Larry recommends the Vandoren or even the cheap Vito (four slots - reeds
held by a rubber gasket type of setup) case which sells in the US for
about $2.50.

>The German players who make their own reeds tend to store them on glass.
>But a
>handmade reed has been filed and sanded down enough that the pores are surely
>closed by the time you can play on it. So it would be only logical to put
>it on glass and keep it stable.

The process of making and curing the blank for a handmade reed does
stabilize it significantly more than any commercial reed, though if
you're careful you can seal and stabilize a commercial reed. I also soak
for a few minutes and then flatten the back of my reed each time I've
finished playing it. I flatten the back on old RSO memos - they've got to
be good for something! ;-) I would guess that this process keeps them
from losing moisture too quickly and unevenly, and thus warping.


David Niethamer
Principal Clarinet, Richmond Symphony

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