Squeezing the second wire from the sides will raise the pitch of the reed and make it darker in sound by damping its vibrations. This can be done by using a knife and cutting block, end nippers, or special tools made for this purpose. Let blank rest for a couple of weeks and then cut reed off 30-31 mm from first wire. Measure from the bottom of the wire, not from the center. Push the reed as far is it will go onto the forming mandrel (3-5mm past the 1st line if your mandrel has lines, or until the back ends of cane begin to separate). %PDF-1.3 Taking your thumb and pressing on the end of the reed on both sides is one way to try to judge this. The first of these is E flat in the staff fingered only with the whisper key and the first and third fingers of the left hand. Tightly wrap the blank with string from the bottom of the reed to just above the first wire. When thinning the tip of the reed with a knife, always scrape towards the middle of the reed. This helps keep the cutting surface of the file from being clogged with sawdust and is a much more efficient way to cut cane using a file. Tighten all wires and let blank dry a minimum of one day. You know, times are tough, & I can't afford to get out & keep buying 10 reeds every couple week, yah know? ©2020 by B.O.S.S. The sound of the reed will darken as the sides are thinned in relation to the center. 2. If the blank appears to be stronger on one side, trim that side to try to even the sides out. Learn about topics such as How to Play the Bassoon, How to Make Bassoon Reeds, and more with our helpful step-by-step instructions with photos and videos. 4 0 obj stream ). Every bassoon player knows just how important a good bassoon reed is. If your bassoon didn't come with a seat strap, you can either buy one or make one using an old belt. 8. The reed has two tapers from back to front and from center to sides. Holding the cane around a mandrel. Try to avoid making the back of the reed thinner then the area in front. It is extremely difficult to make a bassoon reed. The critical notes for checking a flat reed are E and C# in the staff. Also, for large bassoons, cutting tone holes obliquely is necessary to keep the space between tone holes within an appropriate range. Leaving personal sound preferences aside, a good reed will be well-balanced – in order to play and vibrate properly, it should be evenly scraped and symmetrical in shape and thickness in … I alternate using my knife with a file or sand paper when scraping the reed. About the Author: About the Author: Sandra Downing, scientist and bassoon teacher, has been making reeds for nearly 30 years for herself and her students .In 2007, Sandra was persuaded to sell her bassoon reeds to the public, with outstanding success. Soak&caneand&twinefor&1hour.& Bassoon Learn everything you want about Bassoon with the wikiHow Bassoon Category. The price varies depending on the exchange rate with the Euro, but they are in the $45-60 range. Now using narrow-nosed pliers, squeeze the first wire (top) at the front and back of the reed… You may be surprised and the reed may play at this point. This helps prevent the cane from breaking from the inside out and also gives you a curved surface on which to scrape on. Retighten all wires and wrap reed. Work slowly and try not to get frustrated. I like my tip opening to be around of an inch or 1.5mm. It takes a long time to learn this undertaking. I use a diamond triangle file for taking cane out of the back of the reed. It is possible to ream a wet reed with a diamond reamer if necessary. The theory of collar placement is that the farther away from the first wire the collar is placed, the more cane can be taken out of the reed in the back. The tip is most fragile area of the reed. You cannot make a flat reed harder by scraping the cane! Always have a plaque inserted into the reed when scraping, filing or sanding. 3. Trimming the Reed to Weaken and Flatten its Pitch. Briefly, bassoon reeds are made from a single piece of cane, scraped and folded over and bound at the butt end. Bassoon Reeds. Forming Bassoon Reeds with WW Profiled Bassoon Cane Womble/Williams profiled bassoon cane can give you excellent resul Make sure to push straight into the reed and DO NOT rotate while inserting. Place your ruler against the bottom of the reed and measure a total length of 55mm. I'll have plenty of time to learn with summer coming up in 2 weeks. Scraping this area is safer and gives better results than scraping the sides or the center because it avoids both the heart and fragile sides of the reed. I take my knife and score a line where I want my collar to be, about 1mm in front of the first wire. Beginning reed makers tend to scrape the sides of the reed, especially at the tip, excessively. The wire placement and cutoff length is critical so please use the dimensions indicated below. Fasten the base with wire to hold it in a cylindrical shape. Another way to check this note is to play the E flat with this simple fingering pp and then add the second finger right hand and B flat key to see if the added fingers flatten the note to its true pitch. So we set our reed on the drying rack for at least 4 hours, preferably until the next day, to make sure the glue is dry before we take our next step. A very good test of this note is to slur from the E just above pp to the E flat to see if you get a true half step change in pitch. The reed ends up with a heavy center and becomes a reed that tends to play sharp and ugly if it plays at all. This is not very likely but possible. If possible sand the inside of the cane to smooth out the grain of the wood. Soak your blank for a few minutes then remove it from the water. 6. Tightening the wire will: Dampen the reeds vibrations. Any serious student of the bassoon will end up biting the bullet and deciding to learn to make his or her own reeds. The steps are too many and too complex, so you will need a private teacher to show you the steps. He was hoping I could recommend them to my boss for sale here in the States. Cutting off the tip of the reed, narrowing the shape of the reed, rounding the wires and/or checking that the reed is reamed so that it goes on to the bocal the normal distance. 1. Fiddly, yes, but difficult - no. This will help keep the cane from tearing at the tip. Making the wire rounder by squeezing the sides of the reed, where the wire is, will: Open the tip of the reed. Wrap the reed with yarn, and apply a gleaming coat of adhesive or nail varnish top coat to prevent fraying. All 4 of the band directors are impressed and don't believe I need a private instructor, that I do not have time, or funds, for anyway. The reed will play flatter in pitch and gain resonance. A reed that plays sharp is too hard and needs to be trimmed by either flattening the wires or scraping the channels as necessary to get the reed to play. You must remove the plaque from your reed to perform this procedure. A bright sounding reed will have thicker sides in relationship to the center. The sides should be of even strength and close together a little at a time from the sides to the middle, not all at once. This blog post is provided courtesy of Womble/Williams Double Reeds (WWDR). << /Length 5 0 R /Filter /FlateDecode >> If too much wood is taken out of the back, the register from middle C to F, a forth above will be adversely affected and very hard to keep up to pitch. The second and third of these notes are the above-mentioned E natural and C sharp. 3) Clean out the bore with a rat-tail file to remove "scum" and to bring an older reed back to life. 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