LMC Thursday: Reed Trouble Shooting & Adjustment

Exploration Questions

  • What reed adjustments can I make to improve pitch and response?

  • Which tools do I need to adjust reeds?

  • Where can I buy reed tools?

On the fourth day of LMC 2019 we discussed reed trouble shooting, adjustments for fixing intonation and response issues, and which tools may be used to adjust reeds.

Handouts: Reed Trouble Shooting, Reed Making Packet & Reed Care

Reed Anatomy

Students learned the terms for the different parts of the reed and how each area might respond to scraping.

  • Spine: Thick section running down the center of the reed.

  • Heart: Heavier portion of the reed near the tip.

  • Channels: Along either side of the spine

  • Rails: Along the edges of the reed

  • Collar: Where the bark and blade meet

  • Turban: Wrapping on a reed

  • Butt: The base of the reed

  • Corners: The thin areas at the side of the tip

Buying Reeds & Tools for Adjustment Online

  • Where to Buy Reeds Online

    • Blue Moon Bassoon, Bocal Majority, GoBassoon, Midwest Musical Imports

  • Where to Buy Tools Online

  • Troubleshooting Reeds

    • Start with the wires, they are the easiest to change back if you don’t like your adjustment - Use the Wire Chart to help you decide which wires to adjust

    • Lightly sanding the tip can help with response and clarity

    • Sanding near the collar can help with low note response