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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000738.txt from 2001/04

From: David Glenn <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Reed Balance
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 18:47:57 -0400

Fred wrote:

> I have noticed that some reeds are really sweet only when they are shifted
> slightly to the left or right on the mouthpiece, and really bad when
> centered. Is there a way to scrape them so they are good when centered?
> Is it a matter of too much thickness on one side or the other?
> Fred
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Exactly! I test the reeds by playing one side and then the other and comparing
the responce and the pitch. Do this by holding the clarinet at an angle so
that only one corner of the reed is free. I usually also confirm this by
looking at the reed against the light and testing the resistance with one
finger. You can remove the excess wood with Dutch Rush or light sandpaper,
carefully rubbing only in the direction shoulder to tip. Do rather less than
more and test the reed again. You can always repeat the procedure.

My theory is that the hard side of the reed has different overtones than the
soft side and these clash with each other. I often hear this in a pupil's
playing and ask to see his/her reed. Usually I'm right (one side was harder).


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