Date: 2019-08-06 19:44
Four things influence pitch: length, width, reed opening, and scrape style.
Length: Since you're using 46mm staples, then staple length isn't an issue. Staples that are rounder in shape tend to play more open and flatter than staples that are more oval, so you might try a different staple.
Width: The shape of the cane is a primary determinant of pitch. If you're using cane that is already gouged, shaped and folded, then it is difficult to change the shape. There are four things you can do to make the reed narrower:
1) File the reed blank after it is tied so that you have a narrower reed. When you do this near the tip, the opening will be smaller so you will need to make these reeds shorter to have proper opening. Start by narrowing the throat area, 5-10mm away from the string.
2) Slip the blades. This has the same effect as No. 1, but you can decide to do it later in the process. If you don't tie your blanks with an overlap, then slipping the blades sometimes doesn't work because they might tend to move back.
3) Try different cane that has a narrower shape.
4) Shape your own cane. You will need shaping tools.
Reed opening: This is a function of the curvature of the cane. If you clip your reeds short, then sometimes the greater opening will keep them flat.
Scrape: Scraping the back of the reed tends to make it go flatter, especially if your scraping style includes deep windows. If you keep the back a bit thicker and thin the sides of the heart/blend, that will maintain a higher pitch. Also, if the blend between tip and heart is gently sloped, that also can lead to lower pitch. A steeper slope at the heart/tip line will keep the pitch higher and more stable.
When the cane is softer, that also will let the pitch sag quite a bit, so the scrape on softer cane needs to be thicker in the back and with a longer tip to balance. When you buy gouged, shaped, and folded cane, the hardness of the pieces can be quite inconsistent. Shaping your own cane will allow you to buy gouged cane that is more consistent in terms of hardness and curvature.
Bay Area, California
Post Edited (2019-08-06 20:15)