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 Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-10-07 07:25

What do the proponents of both style of reed consider to be their stand out advantages. My first teacher played long scrape reeds, and for the first 4 years of my playing life, I played on his reeds. There was, from memory a lot more resistance than the standard American long scrape reed. My second teacher, who taught me reed making, was a short scrape proponent, as he had studied with Karl Steins and Terence MacDonagh - and apart from the occasional foray into long scrape reeds ( which buzzed like frying bacon), I played on short scrape for the next 20 or so years. I did not play for a number of years, and after 3-4 years resuming, I then started to make much more successful long scrape reeds, relying a lot from the excellent book by Jay Light, although my style varied a lot. I like them because one can play with a lot more relaxed embouchure, the resistance is a little less, and my reeds are reasonably consistent and I believe, a little easier to make, even though the scrape is a bit more complex. I would just like to hear other players' ideas and experience....AND there has not been much discussion on this list recently.

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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-11-08 00:32

I was just about to ask this! Or similar.

My question is.. I love lomg scrape reeds. Thwy are a joy to play.. But i have tried medium hard long scrape on a range of oboes.. And my third octave is always wildly out of tune.

However medium soft to medium howarth academy (euro scrape) reeds are almost perfectly intune.. No matter whose oboe i put them in.. But i dont enjoy playing with them so muvh.

I figure that so many americans use long scrape so in muat be doing something wrong that my third octave is so sharp when i use them!

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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-11-08 02:13

My experience with long scrape reeds, and I switched to making them about 20 years ago, is that you have to play with a more relaxed embouchure, especially if you trim them as much as American players do, to about 70 mm. I regard my reeds as sort of a hybrid ( as I did when I made shorter scrape too) in the fact that my reeds are trimmed to 71.5mm to 72 mm and I need a tighter embouchure than the classic American reed. I also probably make less of a rail, and the tip is a little shorter, and I blend my heart to the tip in more of a shallow inverted U compared to the inverted V that seems to be favoured in the American scrape. With the classic American scrape, you have to imagine your embouchure as more of an "O" rather than an "E" and the embouchure plays a much lesser part in the adjustment of pitch etc. If you play one of these reeds as you would play a short scrape reed, you would find the third octave sharp. THe lower abdominal muscles and the relationship between air speed and air pressure is much more crucial in an American reed. I try to make a reed where both are equally as important and my reeds are quite flexible as far as the intonation is concerned - therefore I am always listening and adjusting - it actually makes it easier in ensemble in my opinion. Remember, there are many roads to Rome, and you ultimately find the one that gives you what you want. it is an evolving process. I experiment all the time, because I can ( as a non professional player).

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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-11-08 02:35

Oboist, i think you told me that before. Either you or someone else on here. I mean the o verses e shaped embouchure.

I still prefer the amercian relaxed style one. But have always struggled with intonation.. And feel like i have to drop my chin to the floor in order to keep my third octave in pitch.

In contrast i am in tune with the euro reed, but cut my lip!!!

But thanks for your post. I have learned so much from this forum. I dont, however, plan to go into reed making. Much rather pay someone else to do it!!! But i look on awe at all you reed makers!

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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-11-08 07:43

You did not mention stability of your reeds, which to me is a key factor in playing long scrape reeds. I have not seriously played short scrape reeds.

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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-11-08 13:16

I have several KGE reeds that have the short European profile that are quite easy to play on. I assume that they have cane that has been thin gauged.
I therefore can also assume that cane that has the long scrape ('American style') has a somewhat thicker gauge. Generally speaking.


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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: mjfoboe 
Date:   2017-11-08 20:25

To play a long scrape reed you must have the proper "set-up".

The style does require a relaxed embouchure. I suggest a "narrow shape" Mac+ or Mac++ with a good staple that works with that shape ... I use a chairugi 2+ and the reed must be in the proper proportions in all areas of the reed. The reed should be easy to support.

My experience with short scrape reeds are they are more resistant to play. (I believe the gouge for short scraped reeds is different too). Look at how Peter Cooper plays compared to Christoph Hartmann.

You can can get a rich open full complex Oboe sound on a well balanced and easy free blowing long scrape reed.

Just remember different Oboe manufacturers have instrument with different characteristics and resistance.

I play a Marigaux 901.


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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-11-09 00:49

Generally, whether I have made a long or short scrape reed, they have been relatively stable. When they are not, I have taken too much wood out of the heart area or perhaps too much of the back of the blend, and that affects either the F, F# or G in the second octave. This seldom happens and I discard such reeds ( the very few I do discard). On saying that, I aim for quite a bit of flexibility in the intonation, allowing me to adjust easily. My oboe, and old 1930s Louis locks into the note pretty well, so any adjustment can be done in a microsecond.

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 Re: Short scrape vs Long scrape reeds
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-11-21 02:09

From my own experience, I use cane that is around .60 mm in the centre, and about .45 at the sides, and my reeds are easy to blow on generally. The resistance in a reed is a combination of a variety of factors, and is generally set and adjusted by what one does in the scraping process rather than the length of the scrape or the gouge. If you look at the two different styles with a strong backlight, you can see the relationship between the various parts of the scrape. They all conspire together to give the reed its overall character. Whilst my basic design in every reed is approximately the same, the relationship between each of the main elements making up the reed can vary quite a lot, depending on how the various characteristics of the reed develop over the course of scraping and the first day or two of playing on that reed. I used the same gouge when I made shorter scrape reeds ( although my short scrape was a bit longer and slightly more complicated than the general short scrape is). The main thing when making reeds I think is to have as few variables as possible, because each bit of cane is going to be different from the last one anyway.

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