The weather in Minneapolis took an upward turn overnight last night. Our temperatures are now in double digits above zero for the first time in weeks! With a dramatic change in weather you might find a change in your reeds.
I don’t know if anyone has come to any scientific conclusions on how reeds react to different weather changes, but for most of us we just know that when the weather shifts, so will our reeds. We just don’t always know how they’ll change. There are some things you can do to even out the bumps though. These tips might also help you when you travel to a slightly different climate or altitude than your home. Your Mileage May Vary.
Try soaking up your reeds briefly, then just putting them away. Give them a chance to adjust to the new weather pattern without stressing them by playing. You’ll find they’ve acclimated to the new conditions the next day.
Long term, you can spend more days in the reed making process. I find that a reed that has some time to settle as a blank before beginning the finishing process, and given frequent but short playing sessions for the first week after finishing, will usually be more stable over weather changes (and last longer) than reeds made and finished in just a few short sessions. For single reed players, this translates to a gradual break-in process for new reeds out of the box.
For more tips, visit the Tips and Resources section of our blog.
Puchner bassoons represent the pinnacle of bassoon design, manufacture, sound, and performance. Made of only the highest quality curly mountain maple that is seasoned for a staggering 18 years! You can expect a powerful and flexible sound with ease of response in all registers – and it plays in tune. The fully featured keywork is meticulously made to be ergonomic and fluid.
Call now for a trial.
We’re pleased to announce the arrival of new batches of Rigotti and Lorée oboe tube cane! Two of our most popular brands of tube cane, the Lorée and the Rigotti cane are extremely consistent from batch to batch and provide reeds with warmth and stability. We find little variation between batches – most of the cane is very straight, golden in color, light modeling, and easy to work with. We continue to work very closely with our vendors to provide our customers with the best quality cane. Each batch is hand sorted by our oboe specialists to ensure quality control.
Visit our webstore to order today or give us a call in the shop at 800.926.5587.
Still have additional questions regarding our tube cane selection? Visit the Tube Cane Guide for a detailed description of all the varieties we carry. And remember, Jeff and Steven are always in the shop to answer any additional questions you may have!
Brass wire is one of the crucial components of a bassoon reed. Its placement and how it’s put on the cane have a profound effect on the way the finished reed plays. We offer several gauges of wire, and depending on many factors, you may actually want to try a mix of different gauges. You don’t need much wire for any single reed, so even a 2oz. spool can provide enough wire for dozens of bassoon reeds.
The gauge for brass wire for bassoon reeds will typically be between 21 and 24 AWG. The higher AWG (American Wire Gauge) number the thinner the wire. Thinner wire will take up less space on the reed and theoretically allow freer vibrations of the reed, especially when used at the first wire position. If, for your reed design, the wire is too thin, it may not support the cane enough, and it can more easily break if you need the wire to be tighter. Heavier gauge wire will be more supportive, but may dampen the vibrations of the blades, especially on the first wire position.
Some reed makers I have spoken with will use all the same gauge wire (I personally use 22 for everything), while others will use thinner wire for the first wire closest to the blade, while using heavier wire for the third and/or second wire. Feel free to experiment and see if you find enough of a difference to use different gauges!
As for where to put the wires, there is no consensus in the reed making community on where the wires should go. The wire placement is largely a component of the reed shape, as the wires create the support structure for the fulcrum of the reed that helps keep the tip open.
Once you’ve made your reed, adjusting the wires can be a simple way to alter the playing characteristics of the reed.
Happy reed making!