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 Reed Making:General Questions
Author: EricBlack 
Date:   2021-05-06 19:52

So there is a post from 2002 asking about reed making, but it wasn’t particularly well discussed so I am making a new thread. I’ve been making my own reeds off and on for the last 5 or so years. I’ve studied with someone who also makes their own reeds and feel pretty comfortable with the process and many of the subtleties in reed creation. I recently made this video talking about my experience

In the video I talk about how my reed making experience was met mostly with failure. The reeds did not meet my expectations. And perhaps I overstate it a little, as some of the reeds I’ve made were well received by other clarinet players. But for me they just weren’t as good for my setup or sound concept as I had come to expect from premade reeds. In the end, I discovered that the cane I was using was the most likely culprit (duh!) and the reason my reeds didn’t meet expectations

In case anyone is wondering how different types of cane effected the final product, here are some examples: When using Rigotti cane the reeds I made were very lively and responsive. However the sound was quite a bit “lighter” or brighter sounding than I was used to, even when clipped to the appropriate resistance. Alternatively, when I used RGO cane, I found the cane to be naturally much harder than the Rigotti. While the sound had more “depth”, it maybe went too far in the opposite direction, lacking some of the overtones I had come to expect. The reeds also came off the Uhl machine much harder than an equivalent Rigotti. Of course in both of these cases the overall tip thickness, blank thickness and taper can be adjusted to compensate for the natural sound of the cane, but despite changes I would make, they never felt quite quite as good as the best premade, out-of-the-box, reeds I had been used to playing on.

The reeds I have been making recently, have been excellent. They sound just as good as the best reeds out of the box and they check all the right boxes when it comes to resistance, sound, articulation, etc. All it took was a different type of cane!

So I guess I have a few questions for other reed makers! Firstly, what cane do you use and where do you get it from? As every harvest yields different cane, I’m not sure how useful this information is on a practical level, but it can’t hurt. How do you feel that, that cane effects the overall sound you are producing?

Next, why do you make your own reeds and what drove you to it in the first place? For me, I don’t really have problems with premade reeds; for instance 8-9 reeds out of a box of 10 Vandorens are more than useable. But, I was attracted to the idea of having a more customized reed for my setup.

Finally, was there any “eureka” moment where you figured out something that brought your reeds to the next level? The missing piece, the secret sauce? I’d be curious to hear what it was!

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 Topics Author  Date
 Reed Making:General Questions  new
EricBlack 2021-05-06 19:52 
 Re: Reed Making:General Questions  new
SecondTry 2021-05-07 06:06 
 Re: Reed Making:General Questions  new
kdk 2021-05-07 17:02 
 Re: Reed Making:General Questions  new
EricBlack 2021-05-09 03:30 
 Re: Reed Making:General Questions  new
Simon Aldrich 2021-05-09 04:51 
 Re: Reed Making:General Questions  new
SecondTry 2021-05-09 07:19 
 Re: Reed Making:General Questions  new
BobW 2021-05-10 06:43 

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