Topic: Do bassoon reeds ever leak?

Dear Listers (and Listerines),

Being an oboist and no expert on bassoon reeds, I ask...

Do bassoonists ever have a problem with their reeds leaking air from the line of contact between the blades of the reeds, the way oboe and English horn reeds sometimes do? In other words, does air ever leak from the sides of the blades?

If so, what methods exist for solving this problem?

Thanks,

David Crispin
Crispin's Creations and Accessories
freelance oboist. Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
www.CrispinsCreations.com

Re: Do bassoon reeds ever leak?

Hi David:

Yes bassoon reeds can leak on the sides but I am guessing it is not as common as on oboe reeds.  This usually happens when the blades are slipping too much.  We usually correct it by changing the way the blank is made so it doesn't happen on the next reed.  This happens in some of my students' reeds when they are first learning to make reeds but after they have made a few, leaks are not very common.  If I notice a reed leaks just after clipping the tip of a blank, I wouldn't even work on it and would trash it.  I have seen some store-bought reeds leak after the reed gets really old and is starting to fall apart but these reeds deserve to be tossed anyways.  So in my experience leaks are not very common for bassoon reeds.  Others may have different experiences, however.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Do bassoon reeds ever leak?

They also slip when the shape is not properly lined up when the blank is assembled. This can happen also when there is a small flaw in the shaping of the cane. Not very common but I have had it and I have seen it.

Share

Re: Do bassoon reeds ever leak?

Right Vincent.  Sometimes the shaped cane my students purchase has not been shaped very accurately.  A little sanding will make the sides even but it will narrow the shape slightly which may or may not be desirable.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Do bassoon reeds ever leak?

Thank you gentlemen. Your comments are consistent with the fact that I've never heard of a product for treating leaking bassoon reeds.

David Crispin
Crispin's Creations and Accessories
freelance oboist. Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
www.CrispinsCreations.com

Re: Do bassoon reeds ever leak?

Mine leak from the tube more often than from the blade.  This comes from an improper bevel, so you end up with a line of open space between the reed wall and the bocal at the section of the tube that comes in contact with the bocal.  This has to be corrected in the tube forming stage if it's severe and might be corrected by reaming the reed if it's not very severe.  It's always an issue with my reeds to make the bevel just right... I always seem to need to go back and fix it after I form the tube, before I wrap.  One of these days I'll get it.

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