Topic: How many reeds do most bassoonists maintain and rotate?

I am an adult amateur bassoonist and keep about 20 reeds in playing condition and play 2 different reeds per practice session.  How many reeds in playing condition to other bassoonists maintain at a given point in time?

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Re: How many reeds do most bassoonists maintain and rotate?

10 for me. When one or two fail me I put them on probation until the weather changes before giving them the boot. I will soak up one reed for a rehearsal/concert typically. If it really isn't working out I'll soak up a different one and put that one on probation.

I used to keep a reed case of 24 reeds, but at any given time only about 10 of them were really functional. I went all the way down to 6 but found I was slightly uncomfortable with that number.

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: How many reeds do most bassoonists maintain and rotate?

I aim to have 5 reeds ready at any time, but that sometimes drops as low as 1 or as high as 10.

Matt Nickel
Bassoon and Contrabasoon, Red Deer Symphony Orchestra
MM, University of Michigan

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Re: How many reeds do most bassoonists maintain and rotate?

Reed making is like bassoon playing.   When you do it every day, you improve.   Miss a day…not so good.
Focus on maintaining your skills, no matter how many reeds you have.

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Re: How many reeds do most bassoonists maintain and rotate?

I keep nine in working order. I play each of them a little every day. Before a concert or rehearsal I soak up four. Whichever one is the worse goes into the trash the next day. I usually play on my second or third best reed for rehearsals (I try to play on a different reed every rehearsal) and save the best one for concerts.

Abe Weiss wrote:

Reed making is like bassoon playing.   When you do it every day, you improve.   Miss a day…not so good.
Focus on maintaining your skills, no matter how many reeds you have.

I second this. I've found so long as I make one reed each day I rarely have a bad reed day.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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