Topic: One last question...

Okay, I know I'm asking alot, but you all have been such great help, I think you can really save my kiester on this one. 
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I've got a freshman who's switching to bassoon from clarinet.  My school only carries these garbage Emerald reeds, because they're the cheapest brand around.  Now, I would normally just make the girl a reed myself, but my band director specifically wants her to experiment with different brands of store-bought reeds before jumping into a handmade one (probably because I'm graduating and won't be around to make them anymore so he wants her to experience what she's going to have to deal with next year, and possibly get her into the mindset that she will want to learn to make her own someday). 

Now, what brands of reeds would you recommend to a student who has never touched the bassoon before in her life?  I personally started on Jones reeds and found them, well okay-ish, they made noise at least, which is more than I can say for the Emeralds we carry.  The problem I had is that they sometimes didn't do what you wanted, they liked to crack notes and give you lots of double octaves.  If there's any way to avoid this and stay under about 15 US, I would kiss the ground on which you walk.  Oh! they have to be available in stores...thats the one caveat.  I need to get her one by next tuesday the 29th of January, as this is her first lesson with me.

Thank you all so, so very much for all your help,

Noriel D. Valdés
     Wayne Hills HS Bands (Seniors '08!)
          Double Reeds Section Leader
          Wind Ensemble - Principal Bassoonist

Re: One last question...

Noriel,

There are lot of good handmade reeds out there that she can purchase for $15 and under. 

When I first started on bassoon as a freshman in high school (late 80's and I transferred from flute), all I had was store bought reeds.  I tried emerald and many other brands, but none of them were very helpful.  My band director had received some information from Scott Vidger, so I purchased one of his reeds - made a world of difference.

I would recommend having her shop around various people that made handmade reeds.  I know I, personally, never charge more than $15 for any of the reeds that I make.  And I think Scott Vigder has reeds available for around that price, as well.  You can also find good reeds through Nielsen Woodwinds.  I'm sure there are many others in IDRS that can help you, as well.

Best of luck!
Steph

"Music is a moral law.  It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything  It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful."  -- Plato

Re: One last question...

This was a discussion just a couple of weeks ago.
The Chartier reeds are the best of any commercial reeds I've tried and are only about $6-7.   The dimensions are very similar to the reeds I make and the reed I bought needed only minor adjustments.

Mark

Mark Ortwein
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
OrtweinWoodwinds.com

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Re: One last question...

I have heard that some like reeds from Singin Dog.  My students generally make their own so I have no experience with them and they are a little more but if they are good I imagine it might be worth it.

http://www.singindog.com/html/bassoon_reeds.html 

Another person on the forum mentioned Albion gold brand from Forrest music was the best they tried.  And another also mentioned Nielsen.

If you want to go higher in price there are many more possibilities I can give you.  Kent

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

Re: One last question...

Price is the main issue here.
This girl is switching from clarinet, and her parents are already getting pissed at me that the reeds cost so much more.  Obviously they are under the impression that bassoon reeds are the same deal as clarinet reeds (the girl wasn't to the caliber where the kind of reed she was using would have made any difference) and they simply want her to get them from school, which would be a mistake.  I hope to teach them otherwise the same way I had to teach my own parents.

My main thing with this is to get a reed that simply, first and foremost, plays easily right out of the tube.  Her parents are objecting to my giving her private lessons (I'm a senior guy, she's a freshman girl; you can fill in the blanks as to what her mother's afraid of...) so I'm not going to be around too often to tweak her reed for her.  I'm not sure how to put this into words, though.  I need a reed that will be conducive to playing the bassoon for the first time.  Anyone who teaches brand new kids, especially switchers, please tell me what you reccomend.

Noriel D. Valdés
     Wayne Hills HS Bands (Seniors '08!)
          Double Reeds Section Leader
          Wind Ensemble - Principal Bassoonist

Re: One last question...

I would try those Chartier reeds that Mark recommended for $6-7 then.  Sounds like a great deal and if Mark liked them they must work well for a store bought reed.

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

Re: One last question...

yeah, i'm trying to find them, but it looks like they can only be special-ordered...i may buy some to have around, like as personal spares (if they're that good...) and then just give one to the girl.

Noriel D. Valdés
     Wayne Hills HS Bands (Seniors '08!)
          Double Reeds Section Leader
          Wind Ensemble - Principal Bassoonist

Re: One last question...

If you don't mind ordering on line this would be a good option http://www.wwbw.com/Chartier-Bassoon-Reeds-i80761.music

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

Re: One last question...

I'm putting in another vote for the Chartier reeds. When I was struggling with my own first attempts to make my own they kept me going.

Rich Gordley

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Re: One last question...

I buy reeds from Forest Music in Berkley, CA.  Their reeds work well.  I buy them and adjust them for my student.  They all play, but of course some are better than others. I lack the time to make my own reeds availabe to my students.  This is a quick solution.  They cost about nine dollars apiece.

Larry Fulton

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Re: One last question...

yes! I used the forrests reeds too while I started.  But my issue with giving them to someone the first time they start on the instrument is that they come very tough in comparison to most store bought reeds, and she's not going to be able to play easily on them.  That and my band director isn't too keen on me getting her anything from online, he wants her to be able to buy them quickly, like from a store.

What do you all think of the Marlin Lesher reeds?  A store in my area sells them for $10 a pop, and considering that my school's Emeralds are $7, its reasonable in price, but are they worth buying?  I started a student on Lesher's oboe reeds and had some very good results (she's now first chair in our concert band, actually).  Are their bassoon reeds as good?

Last edited by btzmacin (2008-01-27 11:09:23)

Noriel D. Valdés
     Wayne Hills HS Bands (Seniors '08!)
          Double Reeds Section Leader
          Wind Ensemble - Principal Bassoonist

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Re: One last question...

Hello again BTZmacin, I would definetely recommend Paul Buttemer reeds for a student who is switching for the first time to bassoon. Paul's Triangle-Well model reed can be played by professionals and is very consistent. paul@pbreeds.com will take you to him. Good luck to the student new to the bassoon. I switched from clarinet to bassoon at age 15 and never looked back. Sincerely, Gerald Corey

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