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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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So I decided I was going to work on reeds awhile back and got 10 really good reeds going. I usually just play the box finding a bunch that work and move on. As usually I read some post about working on reeds and decided to try working on reeds like the ole' college days. The problem is I stayed with my batch of reeds too long. So I started working on a new batch. Here's the problem the old ones are tired out and the new was are still not ready. This working on reeds involves planning ahead. :) I think I'm just going back to playing the box and moving on with my life. No need to get emotionally attached to these silly pieces of wood.
 

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I don't know how much " work" you put on reeds but is seems to be a lot more than I do.

To me the first important decision was to come down in size until you came into the comfort zone of a reed that plays well without too much adjustment, if any.

Why would anyone start with a lollipop if what you need is a wafer? So, once you've done that, adjustment is minimal. If the reed is very unresponsive general adjustment to the core and if If need more buzz then just a few passaged of the tip onto a whetstone. I normally rotate 4 reeds.

Take them out of the package, soak them and play them to assess, arrange in order of playability. Sometimes they are good as is, sometimes they need adjustment, play the reed which need adjustment, quick use of a scraping knife and of the whetstone , replay, readjust if needed. Not more than 5 minutes later the reeds are as I want them.

Again, to me, the " secret" is in having made the choice of the closest to your taste type and strength of the reed.

Another thing is to clip the reeds that are now too soft , get yourself a good clipper and take a very small sliver of the reed out ( when wet) , play possibly give it a passage on the whetstone , this would give you some extra life on the reed.

I know people whom discard lots of reeds and people whom get a few hours of playing out of a reed. Yesterday I spoke to an very good alto player whom gets a 2 months worth of playing out of one reed.

It really takes all sorts. I read , some time ago, of this famnous Neapolitan clarinet player who played a lot in the states in classical orchestras he got years of playing out of a reed that he considered special.

It obviously takes all sorts.

Scott Robinson kept all his reds and made a hat out of some of them

 

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I don't know how much " work" you put on reeds but is seems to be a lot more than I do.

To me the first important decision was to come down in size until you came into the comfort zone of a reed that plays well without too much adjustment, if any.

Why would anyone start with a lollipop if what you need is a wafer? So, once you've done that, adjustment is minimal. If the reed is very unresponsive general adjustment to the core and if If need more buzz then just a few passaged of the tip onto a whetstone. I normally rotate 4 reeds.

Take them out of the package, soak them and play them to assess, arrange in order of playability. Sometimes they are good as is, sometimes they need adjustment, play the reed which need adjustment, quick use of a scraping knife and of the whetstone , replay, readjust if needed. Not more than 5 minutes later the reeds are as I want them.

Again, to me, the " secret" is in having made the choice of the closest to your taste type and strength of the reed.

Another thing is to clip the reeds that are now too soft , get yourself a good clipper and take a very small sliver of the reed out ( when wet) , play possibly give it a passage on the whetstone , this would give you some extra life on the reed.

I know people whom discard lots of reeds and people whom get a few hours of playing out of a reed. Yesterday I spoke to an very good alto player whom gets a 2 months worth of playing out of one reed.

It really takes all sorts. I read , some time ago, of this famnous Neapolitan clarinet player who played a lot in the states in classical orchestras he got years of playing out of a reed that he considered special.

It obviously takes all sorts.

Scott Robinson kept all his reds and made a hat out of some of them

That's the most awesome thing I've ever seen. I'll start collecting old reeds now.
 

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I typically play 90% of the reeds in a box. Every 4-6 months, I throw out the 3-5 reeds circulating and languishing in my old LaVoz reed holders.

The reeds get comfortable and broken in and play GREAT, and I will typically clip them once, occasionally twice and readjust them a drop with sandpaper and sometimes after clipping and readjusting, they happily get EVEN BETTER. I love it when that happens!

But they eventually cross that invisible line in the sand, when they are really just DONE. They got nothing left inside. Its generally not obvious. Its only after stepping a drop out the old-reed comfort zone, and taking a few brand new reeds out, trying them and slightly adjusting them that I realize the time was actually 2-3 weeks earlier to trashed the old batch of reeds and started the new batch.
 

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I typically play 90% of the reeds in a box. Every 4-6 months, I throw out the 3-5 reeds circulating and languishing in my old LaVoz reed holders.

The reeds get comfortable and broken in and play GREAT, and I will typically clip them once, occasionally twice and readjust them a drop with sandpaper and sometimes after clipping and readjusting, they happily get EVEN BETTER. I love it when that happens!

But they eventually cross that invisible line in the sand, when they are really just DONE. They got nothing left inside. Its generally not obvious. Its only after stepping a drop out the old-reed comfort zone, and taking a few brand new reeds out, trying them and slightly adjusting them that I realize the time was actually 2-3 weeks earlier to trashed the old batch of reeds and started the new batch.
a Reed Geek and the back inside cover of a method book makes 90+ reeds playable
 
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