Topic: Store bought reeds

I've been invited to present a session at this year's NJMEA conference (New Jersey Music Educators Association.)

I thought it might be helpful to present a session on how to adjust bassoon reeds that students are actually using, using a minimum of tools and techniques. I'd also point out the similarities between double reeds and single reed mouthpieces.

I'd like to know from either teachers or students, what suppliers are being used by middle and high school bassoonists.

If you reply and your supplier offers different brands and/or models, please be specific.

Thanks a bunch in advance!

Harry Searing
Bassoon, Contrabassoon, Heckelphone
Faculty: Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division (NY), Montclair State University (NJ) &  CUNY (NY)
President, LRQ Publishing - featuring the bassoon music of Francisco Mignone

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Re: Store bought reeds

Hi Harry:

The most common store bought reeds I see used by high school students are Jones reeds.  I believe they are usually medium or medium hard.  I am not sure what stores they are getting them from but they are certainly plentiful and I know our local store here in Flagstaff sells them and one other brand (I don't recall which) but most of the students buy the Jones.  Good luck with your lecture.  Kent

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

Re: Store bought reeds

Hi Harry,

I've been trying different brands to recommend to my younger students and the best I've tried was a Chartier reed.  It had very similar dimensions to the reeds I make and played pretty well right out of the tube.   I did only try one, so don't know if they are consistent or not.

Mark

Mark Ortwein
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
OrtweinWoodwinds.com

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Re: Store bought reeds

Thanks to both Mark and Kent for quick responses (I've got to get crackin' on my lecture.)

Come on, everybody - keep the replies coming!

Mark - wow, Chartier? I think that's what I started on in junior high school over 40 years ago! Of course no one ever told me about keeping them in something other than those plastic tubes. I couldn't understand why my reeds were brown and had "this white fuzzy stuff" growing on it after just a couple of weeks! Yuch!!

Harry Searing
Bassoon, Contrabassoon, Heckelphone
Faculty: Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division (NY), Montclair State University (NJ) &  CUNY (NY)
President, LRQ Publishing - featuring the bassoon music of Francisco Mignone

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Re: Store bought reeds

For 15+ years I've been using reeds from Dorothy Nielsen [at first, those from Scott Vigder, and more recently the white-wrapped ones she sells.] These seem to work well for both me and my students (although I will adjust mone a bit more for increased responsiveness). Either of these reeds costs about $5-6 each more than the Jones or Measom reeds, but I think they're well worth the increased expense.

I punch three 1/4" holes in each plastic reed tube for my students, until they finally purchase a vented reed case -- this helps prevent the chronic moisture problem.

Bill

Dr. Bill Dawson, bassoonist and teacher
IDRS medical consultant
Past President, Performing Arts Medicine Assoc.
Author of "Fit as a Fiddle: The Musician's Guide to Playing Healthy"

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Re: Store bought reeds

The Chartier reed was only about $6 (total) and needed very little work.    I even played it in the orchestra some.    Maybe it happened to just be a good piece of cane.  I need to try more to see for sure.   

Mark

Mark Ortwein
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
OrtweinWoodwinds.com

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Re: Store bought reeds

Jones reeds are of poor quality in my experance. I used rico and la voz but la voz reeds tend to "die" sooner. the best reeds are fox (med) reeds. with some water and plyers you get the best sound. i just go to http://www.wwbw.com/ and get about 4 every 5-6 weeks.


Mr.Bassoon
9th grade bassoonist/Alto saxaphoneist

Last edited by Mr Bassoon (2008-01-20 16:48:00)

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