Topic: Bassoon reed shapers

I am currently thinking about trying a new shaper for my reeds.  I am quite happy with my current one (a Rieger #2) for most situations but I am finding myself having to play a lot of second bassoon lately and would like something that might be more conducive to playing softer and flatter, especially in the lower register (maybe something wider than I'm using now).  What different shapes actually do is one aspect of reed making that I am reluctant to say I don't know much about.  I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions.
Thanks,
Bret Newton

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Re: Bassoon reed shapers

Hello Bret,

You might find the Rieger NN/Baer shape to your liking for second bassoon parts. It is a wide bodied shaper with a bit of a curve or belly along its sides. To me it is very nicely suited for second bassoon parts, being very responsive in the low register and a shape that is very easy to control. You can obtain one from Kathy Robinson at NJN Bassoon Products.

Gene Carter, Owner
Linden Reeds

Re: Bassoon reed shapers

Hello Brett,

My suggestion, if you're coming from a Reiger #2, is to try something that would be a less drastic change than Mr. Carter's suggestion of the Reiger #7 (no offense please, to Mr. Carter). Something in between, like the Reiger #13 (a Van Housen copy), would be in my opinion, more appropriate. It has a wider throat than the Rieger #2 that you're familiar with, with approximately the same tip width as the #2, and an only slightly wider blade area to the tip. The #7 (a shape that I tried for about a year) would be, in my opinion, quite a "mouthfull" if you're looking to change only the throat area width.
I agree with Mr. Carter about the general characteristic's of the #7 shape, and do not mean to undermine his opinion, nor his experience and expertise as a reed maker. I'm making this suggestion merely as a slightly less radical change based on my own experience with all three shapes.
   Sincerely, Charles McCracken

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Re: Bassoon reed shapers

Greetings,
I find this thread most interesting. Please pardon the question, but can someone go into a little more detail about the different Rieger shapes (besides 1, 1A and 2), their advantages, and what is commercially available? Since the subject of shapers, specifically Rieger is being raised here, and a couple of numbers besides the three I mentioned above seem to available, but not mentioned on various vendors' websites I have checked out, any feedback would be appreciated. If there is a thread about this somewhere on the IDRS website, I have overlooked it and I apologize in advance.
Cheers,

Sandy Pearson
Assistant Principal Librarian, New York Philharmonic

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Re: Bassoon reed shapers

I'm unfamiliar with the Rieger shapers (I use a Herzberg shaper) and your reed making technique. Myself, if I wanted a wider shape, I would just trim the reed shorter at the butt end before folding the cane and forming the tube. If you leave all your other measurements the same (i.e., overall length of the finished reed, wire placement, etc.), you'll make a wider reed without investing in new equipment.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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Re: Bassoon reed shapers

Hi Sandy,

There is a chart of many of the Rieger shapers on Justin Miller's site (www.millermarketing.com). For each tip the various dimensions are given. As to the "advantages" of each, those will depend to a large extent on your personal playing preferences and your instrument and bocal. What works very well on one setup might not be a good solution for another. If you are attempting to address a particular issue it would be best to talk to Justin or another well qualified vendor or performer and get the benefit of their advice.

Gene Carter, Owner
Linden Reeds