Date: 2017-09-10 15:43
Beatrice, you are describing philly or Mack-style American scrape reeds.
European scrape reeds are very different and the embouchure used is necessarily different, as well. There is a lot more muscle in a German or UK embouchure, and the sound is a lot more varied as a consequence.
I like a bit of both. There was for a time a frequent poster here from Canada (Robin?) who described how his reeds weren't exactly short- or long-scrape, but somewhere in between - he would lengthen the scrape as needed to free up the crow, but tried to leave as much cane (including bark) as he could, both for the longevity of the reeds and for the robustness of his sound. That is closer to where I live, musically.
This is just my opinion and absolutely no offense is intended to anyone; I think that there is a certain uniformity of sound, a focused sweetness, that long-scrapers strive for and that short-scrapers cannot abide? It is truly a beautiful sound, but endless beauty can be very wearing after a time. Ultimately it is limiting and does not allow full freedom of expression.
Pro players seem to be able to make their characteristic sound on almost anything playable and that goes for experienced amateurs too - yes, we all strive for perfect reeds but we make do with anything that can take air, even if it sounds like a buzz-saw. Almost nobody else notices the difference. I'm sure this is true for you as well.