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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi peeps

I know that in abox of reeds it is said you only get one or two decent ones but probably 4 out of five with me seem to produce quite a good tone but (especially in the lower notes) you get a sort of gurgling noise. Some days I even get this with my "A" reeds. It is a bit as though there is a bit too much spit along the way somewhere. However I seem to get this even at the start of a new (and dry!) session.

Is this some micro-placement problem of the reed on the mouthpiece or ligature placement/tightening? Is it something that a better embouchure, air support, technique etc will overcome? Or are there just reeds like that?

I have more than one mouthpiece and I have had this problem with each and have tried probably half a dozen different reed types (in the search for that elusive sweet tone).

All help and reports of similar experiences welcome.

Cheers from sunny France

Richard
 

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As a person who lives on what is argueably one of the most humid places on the planet, I have this problem much of the time.

You can:

1) Suck the consdensation out.
2) Put a bit of cork grease on the baffle and maybe the chamber of your mouthpiece. This discourages large droplets from forming.

Hope this helps!
 

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If it is a spitty tone, try polishing the flat surface of the reed on a piece of clean white paper. Put your thumb on the vamp and draw the reed towards the heel.
 

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There are two gurgling noises that can be produced. One is indeed the result of too much spit somewhere. A possible reason is a bad sealing between your neck and your mouthpiece. This gurgling noise is persistent through the whole range of the instrument, albeit less intense in the upper register or when playing very loud. The tips of hakunani are very useful. If the problem persists, you might want to change the cork so it seals better.

Another gurgling sound is often produced by a combination of a reed that's a bit too hard with a lack of air support. This sound is coming from the fact that the reed itself doesn't vibrate the whole time. Compare it with a motor that doesn't run fluently. This sound is especially noticeable in the lower range of the instrument.

Given your description, I would think the latter is the case. Try a less hard reed and see if you still have that problem. If your ligature is damaged and not pressing on the reed evenly, you might have the same problem.

And then work on that air support. I had it for a while with the reeds I use now. A better air support and stronger embouchure made that I can use these reeds without any problem.

Succes
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks you guys.

Seems like I was suffering a bit of a combination of things (other than the obvious lack of consistent technique).

I tried the reed polishing trick first on a very gurgly reed and this made a big improvement to the general tone and the smoothness of the sound but I still had the odd rasper.

I then sealed the mouthpiece neck joint a bit better with some (more) PTFE - the cork was just right with my Vandooren m/p but a bit narrow with the Link and I shall probably get a recork when I get a service. I also moved the lig a bit closer to the business end of the reed and my C minus reed suddenly got close to an A minus.

I haven't tried the cork grease trick yet - here in France it does seem to be raining all summer but high humidity isn't normally an issue. It must be tough out on Hawaii - my heart goes out to you with the sun, beaches, surf etc to contend with as well . . . .

A big thanks to you guys who know a thing or two - you must get fed up of answering the same questions over and over but I (and many others I am sure) really appreciate it.

Cheers

Richard
 

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I just had this problem of gurgling recently on the lower notes. In the my case the problem was the reed itself. I changed to another reeed and the gurgling was gone.
 

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The gurgling (in subtone only) on my Link was cured when I changed from Java to V16 reeds. I think it was the thin tip and the shape of the mouthpiece that was the problem.
 
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