Topic: Reeds cracking lengthwise - straight line - puzzling

Hi, I have a student in high school who is cracking about 50 % of the reeds he plays on straight down the reed, either just left or just right of center. It is happening with different brands/makers, including my own reeds I make for him - both oboe and EH. At first I thought it was maybe my gouging machine having a slight chip causing a weakness on one side...Nope. Happening with three different Branson's of reeds and mine.

The only constant is that this sophomore in HS likes really easy reeds due to his asthma. Is there a correlation with really soft resistance and this cracking? Incidentally it's happening with his EH reeds as well. I'm baffled.....thoughts? Too much embouchure pressure ? ( he plays flat otherwise).

Shawn

Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe/EH - Youngstown State University
Howland Schools - MS (director of bands); HS (Asst. Dir of Bands, Marching, Symphonic)

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Re: Reeds cracking lengthwise - straight line - puzzling

How quickly does a new reed crack?  First playing?  Early in life or late in life of the reed?

Reeds tend to crack when they aren't moist enough - how long does he soak the reed before playing?  Could his medication be making his mouth very dry, letting the reed dry out more quickly than non-asthmatic players?

Depending on the cane diameter and the size of the opening, he might have the reed too far in his mouth - if his embouchure pressure is on the spine in the heart vs. more on the tip - he might be putting unsustainable pressure on the opening.

Finally, is he "bending" the reed by putting downward pressure on the oboe and upward pressure on the lower reed blade because  his head/neck/jaw are at the wrong angle?

Last edited by king.wiemann (2015-12-16 09:57:53)

King Wiemann
Vestal NY

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Re: Reeds cracking lengthwise - straight line - puzzling

Good suggestions! Never thought about the medication drying the Reed too quickly. The cracking happens at all different stages. When he uses my reeds they are "mid life" but when he buys them the reeds are new and he is breaking them in.

Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe/EH - Youngstown State University
Howland Schools - MS (director of bands); HS (Asst. Dir of Bands, Marching, Symphonic)

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