Topic: Reed stiffening through a single sitting
At the risk of asking a very fundamental question, I'd like to know if it is a typical experience of bassoonists out there to have their reed gradually get stiffer through a single sitting. Particularly when I play for more than 90 minutes or so, I find that the reed is significantly stiffer than when I started, and accordingly tends to be less responsive, sharper, etc. Also, I do a significant amount of playing as a doubler for theatre, and I've found that this is compounded when the reed is left out (still on the horn) at certain intervals, even just a couple minutes, even though I typically wet it with water before letting it sit for any stretch of time.
So what are the physics at work here? Is it that the reed is getting saturated with water? Or perhaps that it is actually drying out? Maybe the cane is too hard? (I know it's not too soft).
What do you all think?
New York City