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 Re: Reeds Squeak
Author: Micke Isotalo 2017
Date:   2019-03-17 12:49

BGBG, there are different opinions about the "right" reed strength, but here is mine.

Among the advantages of softer reeds are that they require less of both air and lip pressure (or "embouchure pressure") and that's also the reason why they are suitable for beginners with less developed muscles in this regard. Another advantage is a very "clean" tone without hissing, which is especially noticeable in softer dynamics or when fading out a note (decreasing in loudness until zero).

There are however also some disadvantages of softer reeds, where one is about pitch level. First, the general pitch level will be lower and perhaps too low if you are playing together with others. Second, the pitch level will go even further down the higher up in the register you play (especially notable from the middle clarion, or around g5, and upward). Though an increased lip pressure is required here also with stiffer reeds, the softer reeds gets very pinched and unstable in sound quality, and may even close totally against the mouthpiece window killing the tone completely. These problems are also accentuated the louder you play.

So what's the "right" reed strength, from this viewpoint? In my opinion, it's when the reed is stiff enough to give you a stable and nice sound at the highest volume and highest level of the scale that you are going to play.

Though some players are going beyond that, or even far beyond that with really stiff reeds, I personally don't see any need for that. Among the downsides are unnecessary hard work with air and lip pressure, and probably also a disturbing hissing sound quality especially at softer dynamics.

In your case, if you just play alone and if you are not bothered of keeping a certain pitch level or by any sound quality issues in the higher range or at higher volume, then I would recommend you just to stay with a strength that feels as comfortable as possible for you. In time, when your muscles develop and if you start feeling (hearing) a need of stabilizing your pitch and/or tone quality, you can then give some slightly stiffer reeds a try.

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 Topics Author  Date
 Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-02-23 04:57 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
Paul Aviles 2019-02-23 06:06 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-02-23 07:08 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
Paul Aviles 2019-02-23 07:50 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
Ed Palanker 2019-02-23 18:40 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
Ken Lagace 2019-02-23 18:51 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-02-24 02:40 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
kdk 2019-02-24 04:02 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-02 02:52 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-02 04:50 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-03 05:02 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
johng 2019-03-03 07:55 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-07 03:40 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-16 03:39 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
shmuelyosef 2019-03-17 04:16 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-17 06:18 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
Micke Isotalo 2019-03-17 12:49 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-18 01:31 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
BGBG 2019-03-20 03:50 
 Re: Reeds Squeak  new
shmuelyosef 2019-03-21 00:39 

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