Topic: English horn reeds

Does anyone have any thoughts on making low notes speak better?  I'm having trouble w/ low e and d.

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Re: English horn reeds

Maybe the instrument is out of adjustment.  It seems that the lowest notes always point out the problem first.

Darlene

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Re: English horn reeds

For me, if instrument is not out of adjustment and response on low E and D is a problem, it's usually in the blend/plateau between the heart and the tip.  I scrape VERY lightly just behind the tip for a quicker response.  If that doesn't solve it I double check the thickness of the back of the tip and thin it slightly if needed.  Another idea is to thin the very edge of the tip on both blades by drawing it lightly across 400 grit sand paper.  I hope that helps.
Lynn

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Re: English horn reeds

The resolution of the problem might be different if low E and D are "stuffy"  once attacked, as opposed to the situation in which they are not stuffy, but rather only the initial attack is difficult.
If they are stuffy, in addition to looking at whether the instrument is in adjustment and all pads seal, particularly in the "rocker" mechanism,  take a look at the height at which the pad above the tonehole which closes for low C rests.  If it is too low it can create stuffiness.  Some instruments have an adjustment screw for its height; if yours does not, a repairperson can make an adjustment.  Also look at the height of the pad over the tonehole which closes for D, as that is relevant for the stuffiness of E.
If it is only the attack which is the problem, and you have made the reed adjustments which have been described in other postings, then consider whether the opening of your reed is the problem.  Although we need an open reed for low notes, if your reeds are regualrly too open they will require too much constant lip pressure which interferes with the attack on low notes.  You can try pinching down the moistened reed with your fingers for a few moments, or slipping the blades of the reed; and when making new reeds, try a different brand of staple or try cane which has a larger radius (and hence, smaller opening).  If the reed opening tends to be too small, try the opposite.
And finally, try different bocals.

Last edited by chester (2006-09-25 05:08:02)

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