Topic: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I'm curious about something and I'd like to see what some people are already doing.

What shape do you use?

Do you bevel?

If you use different shapes for different purposes, please answer for every shape you typically use.

Thanks!

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I'm currently using an Ishikawa Shape, picked it up from Mark Popkin's collection of shapers ...sort of a narrow Moechler (goblet) shape.  I do bevel, using a knife, from approximately where the 2nd wire is placed to the butt...all 4 edges. Tube length is 27.5mm and average total reed length is 54mm.

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Hi Trent,

I use GSP from Bob Williams which is a Fox #2 shape.

I used to form and then do a Herzberg style bevel from 3/8" back, but I bought a beveling jig from Bob a few years ago which cuts a 30 degree angle from about 18mm back before you form. I do this on all four sides.
Derek

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Popkin shaper. I bevel using Christlieb's instructions (27 degrees on all four sides).

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

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Yes, I do bevel...using a dry-cane bevel technique that I learned from Abe Weiss long ago when he presented a masterclass at USC.  And I use the Herzberg flat shaper....

Richard Ramey

Richard Ramey
bassoonhipster@gmail.com
bassoonbonanza.com
javalinapress.com

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Trent;   since I now use the Fox #1 shaper, I do not bevel. When I was using the #3; I did ,a la
Mark Popkin . Just out of curiosity, does any one else still use nail polish(one coat color,one coat clear) as a sealer over thread? This has worked well for me for many years and never had a problem. At a buck a bottle at "Dollar Stores" or the local equivalent, it can't be beat.

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

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I use an Ishikawa shaper with a symmetrical bevel. For certain low register or chamber music situations I'll use the same shape but shift the cane after doing one side to widen it, not far off from a Christlieb Wide. I bevel way more aggressively when I do this.

Michael Macaulay
2nd Bassoon, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I have used a Pfeifer folding shaper with a Maxym tip for decades, and recently purchased a Bell straight shaper, with a shape very close to the Herzberg shape.   I used to bevel two sides, which was what Stephen Maxym taught, but have moved to the short bevel of Norman Herzberg.  That is partially the reason for the new straight shaper from Bell, although I must say that the short bevel works well on both. 

Brian Kershner

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I have been using a Reiger  #2 flat shape (from Miller Marketing) and am really happy with the results. Previously I was using a Baer shape and found it a bit stuffy for me now. Several years ago I was using a Knockenhauer with my Heckel bassoons. I only bevel on one side of each half of the reed, and that seems to work for me. I've found that my Fox is real fussy about shapes. Now I have an easy reed to play that has very good intonation......I might add that I have always done some sort of gouge alteration on the inside of my cane since I studied with Skinner before I came to Canada, and the Winnipeg Symphony.

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I use a Christlieb shape straight shaper from Fox, and I bevel on both sides. I play a late 4K and late 5K Heckel bassoons.

David Bell
Alexandria, VA
amateur bassoon and contra bassoon

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Bevel per Norm Herzberg. "Goltzer" shaper tip from Peter Angello (that should date this shaper), recently copied for a flat shaper by Paul at MD Products (who did a wonderful job). This Goltzer shape is very close to what Norm had--just not quite as wide at the base.

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I use a "Thunemann" shape from Rieger. I bevel, lightly, with a sanding stick on all four sides from the 1st wire down.

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Does anyone know any non-American reed makers? If you do, I'd be interested in getting them in on this poll.

The reason for this question is a discussion I had with another bassoonist about the purpose of beveling, and how the bevel relates to certain kinds of shapes (and why, in his opinion, you shouldn't bevel with certain shape types). So I was just curious. It appears that everyone here bevels to some extent, regardless of shape, and there is a BIG variety of shape types here, both of the kind that should be beveled and those that shouldn't (in that player's opinion).

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Fox 2

Yes

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

This is an interesting link, I use an old Pfeiffer/Walt shape, I do a slight bevel with sandpaper in a v shape in a wood block. I use a symmetrical ( Udo Heng), copy of that shape for French bassoon, it is wider and lower in pitch and works quite nicely, same bevel. Our contra player here in Spain really likes the other symmetrical copy of the Walt shape made by Fox, ( they call it the Harriswangler shape at Fox). I think he uses a bevel.The Fox shape is quite similar but a little narrower.
I find too much bevel can make a smaller tube, I try not to do too much bevel or I lose volume from the smaller tube. ( I could also be really full of it, but I have messed with it a lot).  I guess I still qualify as an American, but, I play in Europe.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I would not call myself an American Player. I did study in New York and Boston, but I also studied in Europe, and have been greatly influenced by Dutch, Austrian, and French musicians. Perhaps I'm a bassoonist in the middle of the ocean.

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Vincent Ellin wrote:

I would not call myself an American Player. I did study in New York and Boston, but I also studied in Europe, and have been greatly influenced by Dutch, Austrian, and French musicians. Perhaps I'm a bassoonist in the middle of the ocean.

"Trans-Atlantic" bassoonist. A classy accent that never really existed.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I don't have a classy accent for sure, I talk like a New Yorker in English, and an Austrian in German....

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Well... Accents aside, I can include my observations about most Spanish bassoonists I have sat beside. Danzi reeds ( Miller has those),  are quite popular here, also the Rieger #1, 1a and 2 shapes are quite popular. Many bassoonists prefer a narrower ( in the middle), higher voiced more soloistic reed. I prefer less flare in a reed, more wood in the middle, more bass. Spanish orchestras are on the low side for Europe, in general A=442. My orchestra, funny enough, plays at A=441. Our past director also often demanded quite extreme dynamics, very ppp to very fff, so I often, (not always), will play a program with more than one reed ( in general a 3 light wires for quiet, 4 thicker wires for a louder more resistant reed). Quite often our student orchestra subs have a problem playing quietly enough, the pros know better and we have some excellent subs. I think, in general, the bevel is common practice, but this is just the people I have worked with. I am most fond of the French school of playing, Maurice Allard etc. my friend Alex said I have a NYC playing style, whatever that is, I do look for a fairly dark, but very focused sound, and have found the Walt shape is excellent for what I look for. I seem to have a rather nasal Midwest accent in English and my oldest says, more than an accent, I always sound sarcastic in Spanish.
Saludos!

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Rieger 1A folded shaper is what I use the most. Used to have cane gauged to 1, 4 mm that needed beveling to get better results. For a while now I gauge to 1.3mm and  bevel only a tiny bit over the last 8mm of the tube (as far as the bocal goes in), since it would take too much volume out of my tube. Somehow, this works well for me.
Am an Austrian, who studied in Vienna working now in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra....weird Austrian-Singlish accent.

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

On this thread.....how is the Thunemann shape compared to say the Reiger 2. And exactly what are the dimensions???

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

Thunemann shape is weird. It comes way in at the first wire/collar and then comes back out very abruptly to a totally straight and WIDE tube area. I guess the idea is you get your fulcrum from that notch inside.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

I only bevel the bottom 1/4" of the butt of the reed.  Only so the two sides meet perfectly.  I've seen a V shaped device made of wood using sand paper that will do it for you.  I use Hertzberg & a modified Pisoni #1 to be even narrower at the tip.  I crush the tube and use heavy string to round what is left on the mandrel.  I then while still damp use Cyanoacrylate which will penetrate the crushed portion.  After one day you can ream.  No string wrapping needed.   The blades will never slip.  Lawrence Rhodes

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

All reeds must be beveled.   Properly shaped cane has the same dimension on the bark side and the gouged side.  When the tube is formed, the gouged side is "inside" the bark side, thus it must be narrower in order to fit.   In essence, beveling re-shapes the gouged surface of the cane.    The bevel must accommodate the specific shape.
Two conditions must be met.
1.  The sides of the tube of the reed must have a flat surface interface to be air tight and strong. 
2.  The bevel must create a fulcrum at the first wire.   That allows us to tighten all three wires without damping the blades of the reed. 
I have devoted an entire chapter of my reed making dvd to the bevel.
abesbassoonreeds.com

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Re: A two question bassoon reed-making poll

All reeds must be beveled.   Properly shaped cane has the same dimension on the bark side and the gouged side.  When the tube is formed, the gouged side is "inside" the bark side, thus it must be narrower in order to fit.   In essence, beveling re-shapes the gouged surface of the cane.    The bevel must accommodate the specific shape.
Two conditions must be met.
1.  The sides of the tube of the reed must have a flat surface interface to be air tight and strong. 
2.  The bevel must create a fulcrum at the first wire.   That allows us to tighten all three wires without damping the blades of the reed. 
I have devoted an entire chapter of my reed making dvd to the bevel.
abesbassoonreeds.com

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