Topic: Cracking Reeds

Dear Forum:

I have a question about cracking reeds. I have a student who will break at least one reed a week. All the other oboe students do not seem to have this problem. At first I thought it was dry climate so I tried humidifying the reed case (put a small square if moist sponge in the part of the reed case where there are no reeds). This has helped a little but she still cracks reeds often. This happens to both her purchased, handmade reeds and the reeds she makes herself. Any tips? Could she perhaps be biting the reed with her teeth or her embochure too firm? As an aside, the reeds always seem to crack in about the same place (just off-center), and her sound is still a bit stuffy (which could come from pinching the reed).

Any suggestions?

Misterballzed

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Re: Cracking Reeds

I know this sounds simplistic, but tell her not to bite them! I had a student that literally bit them to make the openings smaller. His reeds would crack often and it was very annoying. He just couldn't apply the concept of being very careful with the reeds.

Re: Cracking Reeds

I guess it's hard to see if a student is doing that or not... I figured one possibility is that when she rolls in her lips that she's being too firm on the embochure, she's probably doing that to get her pitch up. I'll ask if her teeth are actually making contact with the reed or not. But now that you mention it I notice her trying to open the reed back up a lot after she plays. She also closes her throat too much but I think that's another issue... thanks -

misterballzed

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