Topic: Top of oboe reed will not close
I have been making reeds for about 2 years. However, for about the past 6 months I have been experiencing a recurring problem with every single reed that I make. All of my reeds end up appallingly open at the tip. They will not close no matter how hard I try to squeeze them. Sometimes they are so open that they will not even crow, or they just sound like a goose (only one pitch) when I attempt to crow them. Oftentimes when they do crow, they will have a low crow; I can usually never get them to crow a C. Also, the sides do not close as you look up past the heart of the reed. I will say this another way: the sides of the tip do not touch when looking at the reed from the top-down. If I clip off the portion of the tip that has loose sides in an attempt to cut off the loose sides and fix the problem, the sides of the clipped reed then become loose. As a result, my reeds are basically unplayable, being that they require a great amount of air and are always flat.
Sometimes after I tie the reed, de-bark it and clip the tip, the opening seems normal-sized and the sides seem to close. However, after letting my reeds sit for a few hours, they all seem to go back to that same archetype: horrifyingly open and low-crowing.
It doesn't seem to matter whether I gouge and shape the reeds myself or whether I order the cane pre-gouged and shaped. I have been using the Gilbert gouge and the Lucarelli and Brannen-x shapes. All of my reeds end up looking the same. I do not think it is the staples I have been using because after trying some of my teachers' staples that had previously worked for her, my reeds still had the same problems. I think it could be something that has to do with tying. I have experimented with tying the reeds tightly and loosely, but neither way seemed to make a difference.
If anyone has been through anything like this with oboe reeds, your input would be greatly appreciated! I have been to a few teachers but the problem has pretty much stumped them. Thank you in advance!