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 Reed Rush
Author: Kiddie 
Date:   2002-02-03 17:19

Probably a stupid question.. but how do you use reed rush?

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: clarinator 
Date:   2002-02-03 19:22

I buy the LeBlanc brand...about 8 sticks to the box. Pull one out...wet it....and use it like sandpaper on the reed. Not too much. Go carefully. Test. More if needed. I prefer it to sandpaper....just remember to wet it. It has a tendancy to dry out and get brittle. Best...
The Clarinator

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Hugh Black 
Date:   2002-02-03 19:56

Better still is to stand one half of the stick in an egg-cup of warm water for 30 minutes, gently squeeze the wet end, which should be fairly pliable by then, then place that end under a heavy ornament and leave to dry. It should dry out in the best shape for use. It is used like abrasive paper - to scrape the part of the reed that needs it. You will learn by experience. There are various articles on this site and others on how to adjust reeds. Good luck and stick with the reed rush- it really is the best way thing tool the task.
Hugh Black

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Bob 
Date:   2002-02-03 23:13

Really not a stupid question and now I'm smarter too. I have the feeling that the recommended grades of "sandpaper" leave much to be desired as far as "tuning up" reeds is concerned. I have preferred to use a finely sharpened knife or various disposable razor blades . Perhaps I'll try the rush.

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Richard Fong 
Date:   2002-02-04 02:47


Mmmm.... little advice for you, One direction only.
Think the reed rush is the other kind of knief.

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: donald nicholls 
Date:   2002-02-04 03:14

for years i've been using the knife and the reed rush, using the rush mainly for very delicate adjustments, and for "long sweeping" bits where i want to be very light, and don't want the (sharp) knife to accidentally "dig in".
BUT i've never used reed rush when wet! i'll need to try this, now i think of it i've read in many places that you are suposed to wet it but i've always ignored this advice..... hmmmm I don't remember Dr Etheridge wetting it when we used it to adjust reeds but maybe he had wet it when i was not looking......

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: GBK 
Date:   2002-02-04 03:29

Donald...When I studied with Dave Etheridge (many years before you did), we weren't wetting the reed rush then, either.

I prefer to use it dry. It makes quick, very fine adjustments when needed...GBK

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: donald nicholls 
Date:   2002-02-04 09:54

a fellow student of Dr E!
i do a great impersonation of the man for my students sometimes.... (they love my fake US accent you see)
"the clarinet is woodwind instrument, not a woodfinger instrument"
then another post-Etheridge clarinetist i know told me that he picked this saying up from Mr Hasty!
a great teacher, and a good friend over the years- i have a reed story to tell here.....
prior to studying with him i had read virtually everything there was about adjusting reeds, plus had spent hours and hours trying to fix them up and make them "good" (well, just make bad ones better). Sooooooooo, it was my 2nd lesson with Dr Etheridge and i had this reed that kind of went sometimes and not other times... a bit of a dog, but with enough sound that i didn't want to cast it away. After i had played on this reed (in his old office looking out on to the Parington oval) for maybe 2 minutes he stopped me, took the reed off and held it up to the little lamp he had by the reedual, then took a piece of reed rush and scraped a tiny bit off (i could hear Henry Larson calling out from the ether "only dust").
well, i put that reed back on my mouthpiece and blew, and the sound that came out was totally gorgeous- but more than that, the feeling you get when you play a reed that is vibrating freely and responds evenly can be a real release if you have been playing on unbalanced reeds.
it sounded so good that i wanted to smile, then laugh. I was laughing at myself though- i had spent hours trying to do what he achieved in about 1 minute.... I was also laughing because a well adjusted reed just feels so good, it's good to make that sound! For the whole rest of the lesson i had to stop every so often because i couldn't stop smiling, it just felt so good to have that reed working....
oh well, i've learnt a lot since then, but i still look forward to visiting Dr E later this year and having another good reed/mouthpiece session with him!

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Bob 
Date:   2002-02-04 14:30

Don...thanks for the pleasant read about to hear more

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   2002-02-04 21:28

To get reed rush at a much lower price than Leblanc charges, go to any high-class florist and ask them for "horsetail rush" which is the same thing. They may well give you a stalk or two.

Rush grows in sandy soil and takes up sand into the stem, which is why it's abrasive. Keith Stein recommends it in his book, partly, I think, because he taught for years at Interlochen, where it grows wild along the lakeshore.

I don't much like rush. I get better precision with a knife and a smoother finish with 600 grit sandpaper.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Becky 
Date:   2002-02-06 19:20

I hope someone will come back to this "older" thread.  :)

I need to find out, Do you use the Reed Rush all by itself, or do you have a mechanism that goes along with it. I mentioned this "Reed Rush" to the dealer that I by my Musical supplies from and he didn't know much about it. We looked it up in his catalogue and there was Something for $25.00 ( a mechanism of some sort) and the actual Reed Rush was $4.00. Could I just get the Reed Rush ?


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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Dee 
Date:   2002-02-06 19:24

Yes you can just get the rush. I can't imagine any type of holder that would do a good job. There are lots of unrelated reed gizmos and he may have been looking at one.

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: donald nicholls 
Date:   2002-02-09 10:20

one of the good things about reed rush is that it is so light- when you hold it in your fingers and sweep it across the reed you can feel any bumps etc on the reed. (probably no one will read this anyway, this thread is cold)
if you are there- read the articles in the Clarinet mag by Henry Larsen- called the Reed Connection part one and two and printed in about 1991 or thereabouts....

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 RE: Reed Rush
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   2002-02-09 14:14

donald nicholls wrote:
. (probably no one
> will read this anyway, this thread is cold)

Not that cold ...

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 Re: Reed Rush
Author: YekNomad 
Date:   2017-10-22 02:49

Still useful today

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 Re: Reed Rush
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-10-23 17:58

I'm curious how Ridenour's ATG system, which I love, has changed the use of reed rush? ATG with some practice produces more consistent results. For me it's idiot proof and that's a good thing.

~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: Reed Rush
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-10-23 22:42

ClarinetRobt wrote:

> I'm curious how Ridenour's ATG system, which I love, has
> changed the use of reed rush? ATG with some practice produces
> more consistent results. For me it's idiot proof and that's a
> good thing.

The single problem with ATG is that it doesn't give you clear control of how close to the tip you work. If the problem is farther down the side of the vamp (between the rail and the heart), you can't be sure of what happens as the ATG abrasive travels over the tip on its way to the higher part of the profile. I have ruined reeds using ATG that seemed balanced in the tip area but were stiffer - more resistant to finger pressure - farther down toward the bark. With rush or a knife you can start at the bark and stop where the resistance appears to start.

I find the ATG block very useful, but I tend to use it most when the stiff area goes all the way or nearly all the way to the tip. The trouble is, finding out where the stiffness is requires ignoring Tom's advice not to try to do any testing or visual examination but to go entirely by the way the reed vibrates on each side. I think that sometimes a reed's problem can be more complicated than just left side or right side.


Post Edited (2017-10-24 12:07)

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 Re: Reed Rush
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-22 05:58

Another story;
When I was in music school way back, I lived near a river and there were acres of 'reed rush' growing along the river. I used to give away bags of the stuff to the other reed players.

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 Re: Reed Rush
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-03-22 08:15

All the reed rush that I picked in the wild or from the garden store was always too thin and kind of breakable, compared to that sold for reed scraping. I usually use a single edge razor blade or some #320 silicon carbide abrasive paper. I like to remove loose debris from the reed surface frequently using the razor blade.

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