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 Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2017-12-29 11:02

In one of his recent videos Michael Lowenstern asserts that flattening the back of a warped reed destroys the heart of the reed:

https://youtu.be/Ycd7YZ4a-fc?t=2m6s

Have you found this to be true? I often flatten the backs of reeds for younger students who are not yet keeping them in a humidity controlled environment and have found that removing even a very slight amount of warpage can greatly increase playability for them. Are these reeds then trash the next day? This is the first I've heard of the problem.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2017-12-29 18:01

There are no absolutes where reed adjustment techniques are concerned. There are patterns that can be perceived from experience, one of which Mr. Lowenstern has described. The first thing to remember with any reed technique is to just do a tiny bit of it and observe the effects. But no, it's perfectly possible to sand the back of a warped reed and have it play better today, tomorrow, and for the rest of its usable life. It's also possible to over-sand it and have it play worse.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: TomS 
Date:   2017-12-29 19:08

This is a little off the subject, but might illustrate that sanding the bottom of the reed might be beneficial and won't destroy the heart of the reed if you are just sealing the pores of the cane ...

I've just watched some master classes given by Steven Williamson (Chicago Symphony principal). And, I am trying his approach to reed management and I think it goes something like this:

1. open two boxes of reed (he likes VD Blue Box, #5)

2. using the finest grade of sandpaper (600 grit and higher), and placing the reed on a flat surface, gently sand the entire vamp of the reed. This is really just polishing the reed to close off the pores and make it less likely to get water logged

3. now, turn the reed over and lift the heal end of the reed, pressing the tip of the reed to the flat surface (flexing it slightly) and sand from midway to the tip

4. holding the reed away from the flat surface, sand from the midpoint to the heal. Again, this is actually just polishing the reed, only a few molecules being removed

5. wet the reed in the mouth and play it only for 5-10 seconds and only in the low register

6. allow the reed to dry face up or down under a light

7. go thru the remaining 19 reeds with the same procedure

8. by the time all 20 reeds have been sanded/sealed and played, the first reed you played is ready for an even lighter sanding (finer grade sand paper) and play testing, this time, extend the playing time to 20 seconds

9. go thru all 20 reeds and repeat the procedure again and again, doubling the playing time each test and sanding more and more lightly each time using finer grade abrasives each time ... eventually you are just using notebook paper

10. at some point (and Mr. Williamson doesn't make this very clear ...) you will have extended you playing time so that you can actually use them for practice and performance

11. fine adjustments for imbalance is made by shifting the reed left or right to compensate (he rarely uses a reed knife)

12. Mr. Williamson claims 16 out of 20 performance grade reeds using this procedure (!!!???) Wow!

13. You will find that the reed strength has dropped by about 1/2 grade, so start out with about 1/2 strength stronger than you normally play

Now, Steven Williamson seems to be of the "no pain, no gain school of playing" and uses a rather hard blowing setup and a lot of wind pressure and focus.

I've been experimenting with this over the last few days and it seems promising. Hey, if it works, I'll use it! I am also using a little heavier reed (back to Blue Box for this experiment with VD M13-lyre)

I suspect that by sealing the reeds before they are even tested may have some possible benefits ... I think that perhaps reeds leave the cutting machine from Vandoren's plant are in a fairly well balanced condition as a DRY reed. However, the surface of the reed may have different absorption rates at different spots for saliva, which will introduce imbalance when the reed is wetted. Sealing the pores of the reed each test and exponentially increasing the "break-in" time might go a long way to end our reed frustration ...

Proof is in the pudding ... time will tell.

Tom

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-29 20:02

As Tom says, there are no absolutes, nor is there one single way to do reeds. The process Tom describes from Steve Williamson's masterclass must work for Williamson. There are other "systems" out there in print and in YouTube videos that must work as well, or the players that recommend them wouldn't use them. There are also very successful players who slap the reed on the mouthpiece and play without a long, multi-staged process.

Lowenstern's finding that flattening a warped reed destroys its heart in the process agrees with my experience. But that assumes you're completely flattening the back of a reed that has already warped severely enough to make it unplayable. For me, trying to save such a reed isn't worth the effort. The question with a really young student (I don't know what you consider to be a "younger student") is whether just making the reed easier to blow is all that's needed to make it more playable. For a student playing lines out of Rubank or an easier book of fairly undemanding etudes, that may well be enough, and the student gets another few days out of a reed that otherwise wouldn't have left the teacher's studio.

My experience differs sharply with Lowenstern's when it comes to using Boveda humidifiers, but we've had that discussion before many times and players have different opinions that are based on their own experiences. What Lowenstern doesn't mention that bears some notice is that those hygrometers don't come ready-to-go. They have to be calibrated (the very cheap ones can't be calibrated and you take your chances on their accuracy out of the box). I have a dozen of the things sitting in a drawer in my practice studio that, even after calibration, indicate relative humidity levels that vary by 5%-10%. Maybe that's not a difference that's significant for preserving reeds, but you in my experience you can't buy an affordable hygrometer that's truly and reliably accurate.

Karl

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2017-12-29 20:26

Should also mention that the part of the reed that really needs to be flat is the part that sits on the mouthpiece table, and the heart of the reed is further up than that. You can arrange your sandpaper and hand motions so that the upper part of the reed isn't affected very much.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2017-12-29 22:47

dorjepismo wrote:

> Should also mention that the part of the reed that really needs
> to be flat is the part that sits on the mouthpiece table, and
> the heart of the reed is further up than that. You can arrange
> your sandpaper and hand motions so that the upper part of the
> reed isn't affected very much.

Well, now that you mention it - yes, that's quite obvious and reassuring. Reeds in my climate never warp more than very slightly, so I'm never taking off that much material, and certainly little to none above the stock.

I guess I was mostly surprised, for whatever reason, to hear that the heart of the reed was as big a consideration with the back of the reed as with the front. Having lived in Southern California my whole life, maybe it's just never been an issue as there's no need or temptation to 'carve' a severely bowed reed down to be flat.

I'm not a big believer in reed voodoo and am always looking for a return on investment taking both time and money, but mostly time into consideration. Mr. Williamson has a great sound, but that reed preparation routine sounds like it would eat up way too much of my precious practice time to be worth it to me, even if I got the same number of great reeds he does. It is interesting to note that he does sand the back of all of his reeds, so thanks for sharing that.

Karl, I was skeptical of the controlling the humidity of reeds in storage at first, but my reed life dramatically improved when I started the practice and I would never go back.



Post Edited (2017-12-30 09:08)

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-30 00:47

dorjepismo wrote:

> Should also mention that the part of the reed that really needs
> to be flat is the part that sits on the mouthpiece table, and
> the heart of the reed is further up than that.

I'm not so sure about this. The reed warps along the length and there's nothing to stop it where the bark has been cut. If anything the thinner wood is more likely to bend. Curling even slightly up at the edges of the vamp away from the rails should cause stress that I would think affects its vibrancy, and any curve away from the rails at the tip would result in the center of the tip closing against the tip rail while the corners are still free, causing weird response problems (one symptom of a warped reed). The amounts of distortion away from the rails is very small, maybe not always visible, but those upward stresses on the edge fibers toward the center exist.

When you do a suction test to detect a warped reed, I've always assumed the failure to produce a suction comes from the force of the curled edges away from the rails. The reed doesn't hold against the rails (to form the closure) because the force of the warped cane pulling away from the rails is greater than the outside air pressure pushing in on the reed when you evacuate the chamber.

Mostly intuitive speculation - I have no proof to back any of this up.

Karl

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-30 01:00

nellsonic wrote:

> Karl, I was skeptical of the controlling the humidity of reeds
> in storage at first, but my reed life dramatically improved
> when I started the practice and I would never go back.

It isn't as though I've never tried it. I found that using humidifiers (Boveda packs) caused problems with reed changes that required constant readjustment. Reeds would get heavier and stuffier as I kept them moist (I think the last humidipacks I used were 59%). I'm not the only player in the world who isn't convinced humidifying reeds is important or even helpful, and I am aware that my opinion is a minority one here on the BBoard, but I have never found the resulting reeds comfortable to play on after several attempts over varying lengths of time. each of us to our own witchcraft. :)

I do find it intriguing that none of my oboist or bassoonist friends, who lavish much more time and effort on reeds than most clarinetists I know, keep their reeds humidified. Doesn't prove anything, but they certainly have a great deal to gain by making their reeds last longer.

Karl

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2017-12-30 02:28

I find that a warped reed that does not seal on the mouthpiece does not work. I have successfully flattened the backs of warped reeds using a file (I feel I have better control that with sandpaper) and focussing on the portion of the reed that rests against the table.

It seems that there are lots of opinions out there about reeds, but it has worked for me.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-12-30 06:03

I'm by far more concerned about the actual clarinets than the reeds in low humidity. The horns warp and shrink.

I do not sand the front of the reeds because they warp when you play on them. So let them form to your mouthpiece. If the back of the reeds are warped well sand the back and avoid the HEART of the reed. I like to use 400 wet/dry sandpaper. I do not sand the reeds back and forth, but in a slight angle to the right and left, slightly in a 10 to 2 clockwise move. The the back of the reed will be flat to the table on the mouthpiece. So I sand about 1/2 of the reed or no more than 2/3rds of the reed, completely avoiding the front 1/3 of the reed.

Finer sandpaper, such as 1000 to 2000 grit makes the the bottom of the reeds too smooth taking away the vibrations of the reeds. You can try 600 grit. But 400 works best for me.

What is missing from the video is if you decide to remove some of the wood near the HEART of the reed you can use a reed clipper and take a tiny bit off of the tip of the reed and you now have added more wood back into the HEART of the reed.

I don't mind a slightly thicker tip. In fact some of the German reeds made measure in at .015". The French reeds are about .006". So some of the German reeds are about at least twice as thick as the French tips and often close to triple.

If you clip too much off of the tip of the reed and the reed is stuffy, you can try thinning the rails; the sides of the reeds just a shade. This often springs the reeds back to life, keeping the heart in place.

The key here is you don't have to take off very much wood. Maybe just 6 to 10 swipes back and forth. That's all that's needed in most cases and no adjustments are needed to the balance of the reed, or clipping of the reed.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-12-30 07:26

For the best use of a Reed Geek for me, I have found swiping the bottom 1/2 to 2/3 of the Reed scraps away any warping problems. (like Ed using a file)
This has, at times, turned a mediocre reed into a great reed without any further balancing.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-01-02 18:40

Depends on how warped it is. I've been succesful at times by not touching the tip or near the tip and just doing the back portion if it's only slightly warped. I've also found lowering the ligature on the reed and making it very tight sometimes solves the problem at the time, again if it's only slightly warped. That's worked for me at times on my bass reeds. My clarinet reeds have almost never warped because of the way I did humidity control over most of my long playing career once I learned how to do it. See my website if you're interested.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: vrufino 
Date:   2018-01-04 19:18

I studied with Joe Allard for 10 years, beginning when I was 15 yrs. old. As most high school students, there were weeks when I did not practice enough to play for him, but instead took a reed adjusting lesson. Before using sandpaper Mr. Allard would use plain paper, often a page from one of my lesson books. Using a circular motion he would rub the reed on paper 3 times in each direction. This worked temporarily, also when a reed closed up during playing.
In a recent You tube video Ed. Joffey interviews the current principal clarinetist from the Boston Symphony. When Ed asked him how he worked on reeds, the reply was the "spray and play method". He scattered 2 boxes of reeds on a table and prayed that some of them would work! If they did not he put them in a large box in his closet and would revisit them at a later date., stating that he was doing so much playing that he did not have time to adjust reeds. Too bad that we all can't say the same :=)

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2018-01-04 22:38

Just a suggestion regarding the heart area. Put a pencil mark on the heart area (flat side) before sanding and check as you sand. You might also apply pressure on the rails of the reed rather than the center to minimize the removal of cane from the heart. Removing cane from the heart shouldn’t make it lie flatter on the facing in any case.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-01-04 22:45

Arnoldstang wrote:

> Removing cane from the heart shouldn’t make it lie
> flatter on the facing in any case.
>

I may be misunderstanding this. Can you please expand on it? It seems counterintuitive, assuming that the warped reed by definition doesn't lie flat on the facing before repairing it, at least flat on the table.

Karl

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-01-05 03:01

kdk wrote:

> Arnoldstang wrote:
>
> > Removing cane from the heart shouldn’t make it lie
> > flatter on the facing in any case.
> >
>
> I may be misunderstanding this. Can you please expand on it? It
> seems counterintuitive, assuming that the warped reed by
> definition doesn't lie flat on the facing before repairing it,
> at least flat on the table.
>
> Karl


I take this to mean the heart of the reed is over the window of the mouthpiece, and so doesn't really need to be touched at all to make the reed lay flat against the mouthpiece. Another interesting, under-discussed, and obvious point upon reflection.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: rdc 
Date:   2018-01-05 19:55

Arnoldstang wrote: “Removing cane from the heart shouldn’t make it lie flatter on the facing in any case.”

Nellsonic wrote “I take this to mean the heart of the reed is over the window of the mouthpiece, and so doesn't really need to be touched at all to make the reed lay flat against the mouthpiece. Another interesting, under-discussed, and obvious point upon reflection.”

Here are my observations about reed warpage from my experience. I’m well aware that your experience may differ.

1. The warpage we’re talking about is convex warpage perpendicular to the length of the reed. I believe it has two causes. The first is allowing the reed to dry (quickly) with the flat side down on a flat surface causing the edges of the reed to dry first and curl upward. The second is the portion of the reed over the window warping toward the moisture inside the mouthpiece while playing.

2. The first cause of warpage may be minimized by a number of strategies. I personally do not wet the stock of the reed to minimize this area warping on the mouthpiece while playing and during storage. In addition, I store reeds in cases that have a flat surface with grooves and with Boveda pack humidification, but I don’t by any means think this is the only way to store reeds. I like Karl’s (kdk) concept of a reed case that stores reeds on their sides, and would love to try one of those. In addition, if I had to store reeds in a case with a totally flat surface, I would devise some means to dry the reeds flat side up before putting them away.

3. My belief is that the second type of warpage will occur no matter what you do. Interestingly, if not corrected during playing, it will tend to reverse itself when the reed is dried and stored properly so as not to induce the first type of warpage.

4. In my experience this second type of warpage does cause some response issues with the reed, even when the reed still passes the mouthpiece suction test. In light of the comments above by Arnoldstang and Nellsonic, my opinion is that trying to correct it especially toward the tip of the reed is unnecessary and will greatly weaken the reed.

5. What seems to help for me is to take out some of this warpage from the beginning of the mouthpiece window to the beginning of the facing curve, approximately where my lip applies pressure to the reed. I use a reed geek tool perpendicular to the back of the reed held up toward an overhead light so I can see the amount of warpage present and to keep the tool centered on the middle of the reed where the greatest warpage occurs. I don’t remove all of the warpage, but removing some of it seems to restore the response. Of course, if overdone, the reed will be weakened.

This is long. I hope it makes sense and is a help to someone.
R. Chest



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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: A Brady 
Date:   2018-01-05 23:13

I've developed my reed process over the years through a combination of study, research, and, most importantly, simply finding out what works for me.

While freely acknowledging that many world class players clearly believe in working on the backs of their reeds, I've found much greater success with focusing on the balance and blowing resistance, combined with a conditioning period. I haven't really done anything to the back of my reeds for probably ten years or more.

I have little or minimal problem with warpage, which I attribute to only minimally wetting the vamp portion only of my reeds, 10 seconds max, combined with balancing side to side and overall blowing resistance adjustment as needed.

I've gone through periods of sanding the backs of all reeds before playing, using sandpaper, knives, the Reed Geek, bastard files, etc, and also experimented with flattening methods in the course of the reed's life. I've never cared for the sound of the reed after these methods are applied, with problems ranging from grittiness to brightness.

Clearly, it's almost impossible to do a scientific assessment of this process, as every reed is so different, and, once sanded, it's impossible to know what would have occurred without this process, but, over the course of my playing career, I've been much more pleased with my current approach.

When I do occasionally experience warpage, I find that sanding/flattening to be at most a temporary solution, still with the attendant sound degradation already described. I throw these reeds away quickly, and use reeds which remain more stable.

I find my best sound with Vandoren, V12 or V21, and while my best eventual reeds require a lot of work and conditioning, once they are working, they can last me 5 or 6 months or more.

I've certainly had success with the Legere Signature as well, but I feel I get my best sound with a properly adjusted cane reed. In my estimation, cane reeds have a certain flexibility inherent to them, and, once I've customized them to my setup and style of playing, allow me a great range of expressive options. The Legere IMO is very good indeed (many amazing players are using them now), but has more of a "dialed in" response and sound, with less flexibility or give for the player to explore.

Reeds are a complicated concept, but essential to an artistic level of playing.

AB

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: TomS 
Date:   2018-01-06 00:25

I may not have totally made myself clear on the system that Mr. Williamson uses, (as viewed on the following video) as it pertains to the "flat side" of the reed ... He does sand it, but only very lightly and only to close the pores of the cane. You are taking off virtually immeasurable amounts of material ... just polishing and sealing. He does sand in both directions, both sides, which probably helps clog the pores with sanding dust. The vamp and flat side will feel as smooth as the cane bark.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMUj4s3bAOE

I am trying this on Blue Box, V12s and 56s. So far, so good. Certainly not causing any problems ... it seems.

One of my old band teachers, way back in HS, was open and experimental about his approach to playing . He once stated that he's "sleep with a horseshoe in his mouth", if he thought it would help his trumpet technique.

If it works for you ...

Tom

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-03 20:46

>>But that assumes you're completely flattening the back of a reed that has already warped >>severely enough to make it unplayable. For me, trying to save such a reed isn't worth the >>effort.
-------------------
Ever try soaking them in water for 2 hours? That works for some reeds. Also throw them into boiling water and after a few minutes they are flat! Weird but it works, and might save some potentialially good practice reeds.



Post Edited (2018-03-03 20:51)

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2018-03-03 21:44

Ken, while I'm liable to soak cane reeds in water for fairly long spells, and it seems to do them no harm, I had bad results with boiling them.

When I first tried to wash reeds I put them in boiling water. That did get them cleaner. However, they sounded different afterward, and not better. The sound was a little edgier, thinner, more "tinny". I still used them some for practice, but they didn't seem as good.

My half-a'd theory is the heat boiled the water that was held within and amongst the fibers of the reeds, and expansion of gas disrupted those fibers such that subsequent drying failed to restore them to normal. I switched to washing in water hot to the touch but well below boiling point. Still do that after each play if possible.

If something about fiber density was promoting warping, then it wouldn't surprise me if boiling would change something there.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: William 
Date:   2018-03-03 22:28

I dont think modern cane reeds need flattening.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-03 22:31

I am guessing you don't live in a climate that warps reeds. Lucky you!



Post Edited (2018-03-04 06:08)

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2018-03-04 02:58

I never flatten the back of my reeds.

If the reed warps, I put it away in a humidity controlled environment. The cheapest and a rather good way of storing a reed is to simply place it in the little plastic clips that D'Addario use for their reeds, and then I place in a Zip-bag. The humidity inside the bag allows the reed to slowly and steadily dry to a medium-state, and over the course of several days of on and off use, the reed's warp typically goes away, and the reed stabilizes as well.

If that type of break-in process doesn't massage the warp away, then the reed may not be a great reed, and I think twice about it's stage-worthiness.

So to flatten reeds - for me - it is ALL about how I store them.

Furthermore, I NEVER let the reed sit on my mouthpiece without it either being played, or covered with a good quality mouthpiece cap.

If a new reed becomes waterlogged, I put it away.

How wet should a reed be? As dry as possible while still in a moist state. Think about a dish sponge which has been removed from the sink. It is dripping wet, now squeeze the sponge, ring it out as much as possible. You will note that the sponge is moist, it is fully expanded from that moisture, it isn't hard and warped as in a dry state, yet it doesn't drip any water, it can't be rung out any more. That level of wetness is the state I want my reed to be in. (note, don't ring out your reeds, hah!)

Brad Behn
http://www.clarinetmouthpiece.com

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-03-04 03:28

Ken Lagace wrote:

> Ever try soaking them in water for 2 hours? That works for some
> reeds. Also throw them into boiling water and after a few
> minutes they are flat! Weird but it works, and might save some
> potentialially good practice reeds.
>

I haven't tried either of those fixes. But something often comes to my mind when I read threads (they have been countless here over the years) about salvaging damaged or poor quality reeds. I wonder why people want to practice on reeds that aren't good enough to play in public. What is a "practice reed?" I want reeds that sound good and respond well whether I'm practicing or performing. Who wants to practice on a reed that you have to fight with? :)

Karl

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-04 06:34

I don't fight with my practice reeds. I always have 12 good reeds in my case prioritized.
1-4 are performance reeds and 5 - 12 are practice reeds.
They are all good. They all do what good reeds are supposed to do or don't make the cut. They play high (D7) and low, loud and soft, respond easily and sound pleasant enough.
If I am down to eleven, it is time to find another good one. I have hundreds of other reeds around and tweak them when I am in the mood.
On performance day I test which the 4 is the goodie for today.
I like practicing on any of the others to be able to handle reeds that are not 100%.
Today I was playing on a reed that wasn't in the best dozen and thought it was pretty nice. Did some home recording and yes, it sounded nice. Tomorrow it will be inserted somewhere in the best 12.
I admire that you always have so many great reeds that you practice or perform on any of them. I will stick with the 1-4 for performance only because they last longer that way.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-03-04 07:50

Ken Lagace wrote:

>> I admire that you always have so many great reeds that you
> practice or perform on any of them. I will stick with the 1-4
> for performance only because they last longer that way.

Ken, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to disparage the idea of practice reeds. I've really never understood what they were. Not every one of my reeds (4-6 or 7 at a time) is a great reed. They're either "in process" - meaning I don't think they're quite ready yet and am still trying to improve them over a couple of cautious sessions with a reed knife, ATG or rush - or they're good and I do my practicing and performing on them until they aren't good anymore. Any that are "in process" that don't work out get discarded and I start a new one. What I wrote in my other response wasn't meant to criticize what you do, and I apologize if it came off sounding that way.

Karl

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-05 03:03

That's OK. I am not a 'writer' and sometimes put down words that I didn't express very well.
You sound like a reed adjusting student? Maybe start a thread asking reed questions that will improve your skills? ATG is a good start. Tom R. was my student in the late 60's - early 70's. There are a lot of knowledgeable people visiting this site.

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 Re: Does flattening a reed really make it "totally toast"?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-05 03:10

Thanks Philip for the info. I have been experimenting with ways to reduce swelling and gave hot water a try. With your information I know to watch for a "tinny" sound and will report back if I discover anything. I tried 180 degrees today but didn't test for sound, only flat bottoms.

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