Topic: Reed finishing help needed

I'm working on a new reed, but I've run into a problem I can't find a solution to. Don't know what I did to cause it.
The overall tone is good, and the low and high notes respond well, but from middle D through middle G don't speak easily. If I play non-slurred individual notes they speak, but when holding a note it'll just stop responding. It feels like the reed closes up.

How doI fix it? It's so close to being a perfect reed. Help!

Thank you.

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Re: Reed finishing help needed

Check your instrument first, then be sure the bocal and the bocal vent are clean. Next be sure the reed is not leaking on the bocal. If it is seal the back end of the reed. Good luck and let us know what happens.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com

Re: Reed finishing help needed

is the shape a narrow shape to begin with?

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Re: Reed finishing help needed

Thank you for the suggestions.

There wasn't any leaking or issues with the bocal.
The width of the reed is the same as my old good ones. But then I thought maybe I squeezed the back wire too much, so I adjusted that a bit and it there seemed to be an immediate improvement, but the problem came back.
So, I just looked at the reed and smoothed out some imbalances, improved the crescent shape, and thinned out the edges.
It was a leap of faith, and the problems seems to have been resolved.
Not sure if what I did was logical or not, but it worked.
We'll see how it plays tomorrow.

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Re: Reed finishing help needed

this is interesting, but no leap of faith solves technical problems.
there is some technique that you used that worked--that is the underlying fact.

what you did, worked.
but it would be very helpful to write down what did succeed for future reference.

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Re: Reed finishing help needed

Actually I have had a similar problem a few times. What usually seems to be the culprit is the bottom blade being thinner(weaker) than the top. Depending on your embrochure  thus will cause the reed to collapse. The key as you found out is BALANCE.

"Difficulty is not the issue, either you can play it or you can't." V.Horowitz

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Re: Reed finishing help needed

the only other thing i can think of is if there is a hairline crack in some section of the blade that you just can not see would account for that out of whack problem IF all of the other notes speak.

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