Topic: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

I was wondering if anyone could lend some insight into why my reeds don't want to slur from a note which is pitched at 3rd space C or lower to a high B or C. It has proven to be a problem with my reeds and not my instrument.

I use 46mm Stevens tubes, #2 opening, and a Samson +1 shape. I tie at 72mm with the 46mm tubes. I scrape in a manner consistent with my training with James Caldwell, who used to say that his reeds were very similar to David Weber's reeds.

Thanks.

Last edited by Crispin's Creations (2009-09-12 08:24:28)

David Crispin
Crispin's Creations and Accessories
freelance oboist. Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
www.CrispinsCreations.com

Re: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

David,

Your "set up" sounds very similar to my own.  My first guess would be that the sides of the tip are not quite sealing completely.  If you find this is the case, I would try a slightly different tie-on length first, then maybe fool around with the sides of your gouge a bit.

Let us know!

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

Re: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

I agree with Jonathan. Martin Schuring advocates rails up to the bitter end of the tip, for just this reason. Also, make sure there is a spine all  the way  to  the tip  of the  tip, to  guarantee voicing of the  lows, per Tom Stacy. If you are not already using 10-10.5 mm. diameter tubes, you could try switching to those. The 10.5-11.0 mm. diameter tubes which David Weber favors make great reeds but they are relatively short lived. The slightly larger cavity in the reed (smaller diameter) could spell the results you are looking for. I put the finishing touches yesterday on a  reed made Friday   that worked perfectly for the first E minor exercise in the Stevens Hewitt Kroepsch violin lines. Low B with an ascending arpeggio all the way to high E thence to high G (third octave notes) Of course the question is: will  it work today? ;-)

Best,

john

Last edited by John Towle (2009-09-13 13:34:16)

Best,

john

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Re: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

Hi all -- Just to be clear, I advocate that the rails extend all the way up the sides of the reeds until the tip. The tip itself is thinnest at the edges though it does have a slight thickening or "spine" in the center, as John observes. I have seen some reeds where the rails stop at the top of the back, leaving the heart rail-less, which I think works less well.

As for David's problem...David, you don't mention what the pitch or the quality of the crow is. If it's low, that would confirm Jonathan's suspicion. Likewise, if the crow  is very loud or squawky, that would be a sign of some structural issue with the reed.

Thanks,
Martin

Martin Schuring
Professor of Oboe, Arizona State University
President, IDRS
http://www.public.asu.edu/~schuring/

Re: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

Thanks to all for your replies. My reeds crow 2 Cs, closer to a C than to a B, but usually a flatish C. Guess I should "get with the program" on that!

I've tied up a new batch of reeds at various lengths so we'll see if that helps.

In the past, I've tended to stop winding  j u s t  short of the end of the tube, and wonder if that's not the best thing. This new batch of reeds is wound all the way to the top of the tube.

As regards the reeds leaking at the tip, they always grap the plaque tightly... is that what you are talking about, Jonathan?

Last edited by Crispin's Creations (2009-09-16 07:55:25)

David Crispin
Crispin's Creations and Accessories
freelance oboist. Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
www.CrispinsCreations.com

Re: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

Crispin's Creations wrote:

As regards the reeds leaking at the tip, they always grap the plaque tightly... is that what you are talking about, Jonathan?

That's part of it.  I feel it is important (among other things, of course) to be sure there is at least a slight overlap of the blades all the way to the very tip.  I think most of us do this.  Some shapes can be too narrow at the tip for this to happen correctly, or sometimes you can trim the ears off too much.  I don't believe in clipping the corners of the tip, either.  If there is an overlap such as the one I describe, than it is possible (unfortunately) that the sides might not touch all the way to the tip, but still grip a plaque.  You have to look very closely at the tip of the reed -- telescope style -- to ensure that contact is being maintained all the way up.

I sincerely hope this helps!

Keep us updated.

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

Re: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

John, Johnathan, and Martin,

Thanks very much for your very sound reed-making suggestions, the implementation of which has improved my reeds! But it turned out that the problem of not being able to slur the octave from Bs and Cs WAS INDEED a problem with my oboe. I spoke with John Symer who told me that it was a common problem with Yamahas and suggested that I a) enlarge the upper octave vent and, if that didn't fix the problem, to b) extend the undercutting of the upper octave vent up farther into the cylindrical part of the vent hole. Enlarging the hole ever so slightly completely cured the problem and "b" was not neccesary. SILVESTRINI ETUDE #6 (Le Ballet Espanole) HERE I COME !!!!!!!!

David Crispin
Crispin's Creations and Accessories
freelance oboist. Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
www.CrispinsCreations.com

Re: Trouble slurring from Bs and Cs to the octave above.

I am so glad to hear you found your fix!

Cheers!

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