Hey, that's ok Trent, no worries, you like to keep us on our toes and I can be quite scattered sometimes. The suction test is more a habit and it is more to check the integrity of the reed assembly, make sure there is a good bevel, etc. It is not to check the seal on the bocal, since my finger is there instead. I do that test after the finger test, but only if I suspect a leak at the base. I have seen lots of student reeds with a lovely round opening that piss air through the tube. Students will often start reaming the back, have it perfectly round and wonder why it is still hissing. (Yes, I also realize the bocal tip and reamer dimensions can also be in conflict and if the two pieces of cane are not even it will leak at your finger, but generally, if it doesn't seal on your finger it's a good clue that's not it). Yes we do blow on a reed, but unlike the rest of the parts of the bassoon, ( besides the bocal), the reed doesn't have any pads to blow out, so, unless there is a flap in the cane, ( possible, but not likely), a leak goes both ways, a leak is a leak, a hole us a hole. I also find it easier to do a suction test on a reed instead of blowing my brains out with a pressure test. What are your thoughts about the degrees on the bevel? I was hoping someone would comment on the degrees of the angle before my next reed session.
Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.