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Discussion Starter #1
Do you sometimes obsessively keep playing with a bad reed just to show him who's boss ?
 

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I tend to play them too long because I don't want to break in a new one.

Sometimes a new reed that seems bad will break in and become a good one, other times it's just a waste of time to keep trying.

Notes
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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No. I bend the tip until it breaks, so I cannot even consider using it anymore.
 

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If I have a bad reed that I can't get to work, I do what my professor nicknamed "the wall test."
Basically what Dr. G said but against a wall.
Sometimes a few reeds stay good for weirdly long, though, but that's not any kind of problem with me.
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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I tend to use good reeds too long and they decide to die in the middle of a set. The way I handle my reeds ensures a long life but sometimes you just have to be more aware. When any reeds get too old and show a peculiar 'webbed foot' type of wear at the tip, I just can them right there. This happens as the 'pith' between the fibers wears, leaving little pointed ends that you can feel before seeing them. Typically by the time a reed shows this wear, the cane is already brittle and worn out.
But more to the question, if a reed is not within my comfort zone I will not play it on a gig. If it has promise but is just a little hard, I'll keep messing with it and see if it will 'come-in' over time and become a player, but there is no way I'll play in public on a bad reed. This is another good thing about synthetics if you can ever find one that halfway works for you - they stay pretty much the same for their whole life. Every time you prepare to play, you save time by just putting the reed on, checking out the horn and you're done - no hunting for 'the one'. And the horn can sit there for hours and it doesn't matter - the reed is ready.
 

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Nope. Life's too short, practice/playing time too valuable. It sucks, what with reeds being $5+ each these days, but I wind up throwing out the ones that are flat out "bad." I am enough of a cheapskate that I will keep some of the so-so ones around to practice on, but the total duds get tossed (angrily) into the waste basket.
 

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Once when I had a 6-week run of 7-night a week shows, I kept the same reed on my alto - the last week was really just to see if I could do it because it was obvious the reed was past its life expectancy, but I kept that reed on through the last curtain. Then of course, I unceremoniously threw it in the trash... It WAS a good reed, but I've never done that again. Now I rotate them every day, sometimes more often.
 

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Nope. I perform a sandpaper ritual and afterwards the reed does my bidding.
 

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Once when I had a 6-week run of 7-night a week shows, I kept the same reed on my alto - the last week was really just to see if I could do it because it was obvious the reed was past its life expectancy, but I kept that reed on through the last curtain. Then of course, I unceremoniously threw it in the trash... It WAS a good reed, but I've never done that again. Now I rotate them every day, sometimes more often.

This is quite possible, I did the same with a LaVoz Tenor reed on a 6 week cruise gig, was a VERY good reed. I don't think it ever completely dried, I did keep it rinsed..It also died a noble death after the last and final show. Now I use synths for a more consistent tone.
 

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Nope. I perform a sandpaper ritual and afterwards the reed does my bidding.
I see now there are at least two ways to interpret the OP’s question. I was taking it literally, as have some others, to mean play the reed past its lifetime. I s’pose one could also interpret it to mean “rework” or adjust a bad reed when it is new, to make it perform.

Bandmommy, what do you do with reeds that have lived a long and full life, and are in decline? Do you continue to use them for old time’s sake, or do you let them go? Ever use old reeds for art projects?
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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No. I bend the tip until it breaks, so I cannot even consider using it anymore.
Way too gentle....I smash em into pieces....they pay for the pain....
 

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Kind of? my Fibracell reeds tend to play great for several months!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting replies...
Of the four tenor reeds I have in rotation right now and that have gone through a breaking in process, one is very good, two are fairly good and one is awful. Yet for practising I go with the awful one most of the time.
I guess I want to save the good ones for performances.
 

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I see now there are at least two ways to interpret the OP’s question. I was taking it literally, as have some others, to mean play the reed past its lifetime.
It was kind of ambiguous and could be interpreted either way. But I keyed in on the work "bad." If I have been playing a reed long enough to wear it out, that means it is (was) a good or great reed. My answer in any case is NO. If it's a bad reed starting out and doesn't respond after a couple of playing sessions and some sanding/scraping, then I toss it. If it was a great reed but is wearing out, then I might try to get one last gig out of it, then maybe play it a bit more on a practice session. But when it reaches the point it's totally worn out and bad, it gets tossed.

I don't see any point in playing a bad reed. No masochism for me!
 

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I see now there are at least two ways to interpret the OP’s question. I was taking it literally, as have some others, to mean play the reed past its lifetime. I s’pose one could also interpret it to mean “rework” or adjust a bad reed when it is new, to make it perform.

Bandmommy, what do you do with reeds that have lived a long and full life, and are in decline? Do you continue to use them for old time’s sake, or do you let them go? Ever use old reeds for art projects?
I play them until they completely wear out then toss in the trash. No reason to try squeeze one more session out of an obviously dead reed.
Within 5 minutes I can have a freshie go through the ritual and get back to business.
To play a bad reed out of the box just to see if it will eventually wear into a good one would not be possible. Old Witches like me HAVE to perform the ritual...
 

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Most reeds play for me, at least after putting in some work with a Reed Geek. Otherwise I just throw them away. Why should I play with a bad reed?
 

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I play them until they don't play anymore. Or they break. Usually they need a little upkeep during their life span. But working on reeds too much has a tendency to make them wear out faster.

I play all the reeds in the box, until they die. I haven't subscribed to the good or bad reed thing for a fair while now since I found reeds I like. If they for some reason started to suck (cough cough D'Addario) then I would move on to something else.

If you've got a box of 5 reeds that are a tad harder out of the box then you normally play, by the time they are gig ready and nice and broken in they all pretty much sound the same. I feel like a lot of peoples trouble with reeds is buying reeds that are too soft, they play well within a day or two of breaking in and then they degrade too fast.
 
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