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 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?
Author: Margaret Copeland 
Date:   1999-08-25 13:51

I'd like to thank Hiroshi for his tip on using Green Tea. I've tried this on many reeds, especially reeds that are almost shot, and it does revive them. Green tea has some well documented anti-bacterial properties and I'd rather taste Green tea on my reeds than Listerine or Peroxide.
I don't make clarinet reeds but I make hundreds of oboe reeds. I'd say that most cane is too young when it is shipped. Many cane growers leave the cane in the hot sun for a summer to dry out but I'm sure they don't do this with the average cane that goes into a box of clarinet reeds. I inherited my oboe teacher's stash of tube cane and already gouged cane. There is a point in which the cane is too old. I'd say my best and longest lasting reeds come from cane that is about ten years old. I have cane that is only about three years old and it is still too "green". It was worse when it was two years old. I could make reeds but they didn't last and didn't shape well.
The best thing to do to keep a good reed playing is to rinse it thoroughly after playing and let it dry out all the way before putting it away. I have an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner that I use to clean almost-dead oboe and English Horn reeds and it does a much more thorough job.
Once a reed is cut from the tube, the inner plant material is exposed. Reeds have oils and resins that make them play well and those eventually disintigrate with your saliva. There was an article I read in one of my double reed journals about constructing a "reed keeping" box to be left in the refrigerator. It was basically a plastic Tupperware type box with a tray that kept the reeds above a few inches of salted water. Petroleum jelly was smeared above the water line so the salt crystals won't crawl up. The reeds never touch the water but remain in this stable environment. Never tried it myself. A really dried out - almost shot reed - will show the tiny reed channels very clearly. Those reeds can't be revived and they generally play very thin.

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 Topics Author  Date
 Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
HIROSHI 1999-08-24 01:30 
 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
Rick2 1999-08-24 03:58 
 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
Jim Carabetta 1999-08-24 10:56 
 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
STuart 1999-08-24 21:16 
 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
William Fuller 1999-08-25 02:36 
 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
Hiroshi 1999-08-25 07:49 
 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
Margaret Copeland 1999-08-25 13:51 
 RE: Keep reeds to lengthen lives?  new
Becky 1999-09-02 21:24 

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