Topic: Shaper Tips

I just switched from a Gilbert 1 shaper tip to the Jeanne tip (the standard one) to get my reeds to open up a little bit.  I am still having a hard time getting my reeds to not necessarily open up but to stay open (I promise I am not taking too much off).  The altitude is partially to blame in Denver but I am using 9.5-10.0 cane to compensate.  I feel like I have exhausted all other variables that would cause the reeds to close up.  Any recommendations?

Thanks!

Laura
Lcjansen2@gmail.com

Share

Re: Shaper Tips

Laura,

I would, if I were you, investigate your gouge.  Valarie Anderson (the maker of your shaper tip), suggests a gouge of .60 in the center and .48 (or heavier) at the edge (measured just behind the ears on a shaped piece of cane), for the "standard" Jeanne tip.  Of course, your altitude will be a factor here as well, so I'm sure you'll have to experiment a little.   

I tried this shape recently, and found that it had a bit of a "flared" tip.  You may want to narrow the shape just a bit with an emery board (just at the ear region) right after you tie the reed, before it has been clipped.  This could also improve the opening.

Good luck!

Jonathan

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com

Re: Shaper Tips

Well, I think I will chime in on this one. The altitude that I normally play at 95% of the year is about 9000 feet up. For a while I was using a Brannen X and for the past few years a Weber C shape. I think Jonathan's observation about the "flare" is right on. My shape does not do that at all. Since at such a high altitude you need to scrape the reed more to get the same amount of vibration, I have been having more luck with my gouge at around 58-59 in the center and at least 48 on the sides. I tend to take a bit more out of the upper back which helps prop the opening a bit.

Make sure that when you tie a blank you open it up if you are not going to make the reed at that moment. I find that storing it unscraped makes the opening smaller. Also, I have had no luck with cane so narrow. I use 10-10.5. Any narrower and my sides just cannot keep the reed open. Try and keep a bit more in the center of the reed also, but because of the altitude it will still be less than a reed made at sea level.

Hope this helps.

Joe

Last edited by makingob (2009-02-10 20:23:49)

Joseph Shalita
Principal Oboe State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra
Owner: www.makingoboereeds.com

Re: Shaper Tips

Yes thank you! All of this information is really helpful.  I have found that in Denver I will find solutions to problems (reason why I bought the Jeanne last year) and reeds will be great for about 6 months and then suddenly overnight NONE of them will work and I will need to start problem solving again...this makes me want to move to sea level where the seasons don't change and it is not snowing in the morning and 70 in the afternoon.  I appreciate your advice and think it should really help me out.

Share

Re: Shaper Tips

There are so many factors to consider and all of the suggestions submitted are really great.  I recently tried something that seems to help with that same problem.  I had been tying my reeds so that the top thread lines up even with the end of the tube.  I experimented with tying the reed going just past the tube and others just before the end of the tube.  The ones that were tied just BEFORE the end of the tube kept their opening much better. They seemed to be a healthier reed as far as the opening goes. 

Also, Cheryl Wefler in her "Principles & Techniques for Oboe Reed Adjustment" offered an idea.  She said that some oboists after shaping their cane will bevel the ends of the cane (the part that is covered by the thread) so that the thread will wind smoothly and not show a bump.  I don't know if you do this, Laura but Cheryl says in her book that beveling the cane like that weakens the blank.  She also recommends removing the ears before tying which could affect your opening.


BTW, I keep a reed journal with specific information on what I do on each reed.  I log in info such as tie length, cane, diameter, shaper, staple, etc.  Since I have a lot of different colors of thread, I then identify each reed by its thread color.  Sometimes a reed will not blossom for me right away so when I find a reed I particularly like, I'll check the journal and notice what I did differently on it. 

Hope you find a solution to your question, Laura!

Oboe, English horn:  Amarillo Symphony, Chamber Music Amarillo, Amarillo Opera, Shepherd's Trio
Blog:  http://janet.thelaniers.net/
Composition & Arranging Website:  http://janetlanier.com
"Ever notice how orchestra pits shrink through the run of a show?"

Re: Shaper Tips

Hi Laura,
Janet's suggestion is right on in my opinion. With the altitude, I find that I have to make sure that I tie the reed with the thread almost a turn under the end of the tube. If the thread goes further up, the reed will not vibrate for me. You might also try not scraping the reed as far back. Leave 5 mm. of bark at the bottom and see if it helps the problem. You will probably be able to take a bit more out of the back to compensate. How are the sides of your gouge? Are they thick enough? At this point and for the past 3 years I have been using a Weber "C" shape and it is giving me fantastic results.

Hope this helps.

Joe

Joseph Shalita
Principal Oboe State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra
Owner: www.makingoboereeds.com

Re: Shaper Tips

Ah, yes. Cheryl Wefler. Essential to remove the ears before tying. Good to know others refer to this fine publication.

Joe, I have been much using the Weber 1B tip, but then I am at sea level on California's central coast, also with great results. Would the 1C work as well as the 1B at sea level? What are the differences between these two tips at your altitude & at sea level?

Many thanks.

Best,

john

Best,

john

Share