Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Picking a reed

Spent a few minutes last night trying the various reeds I have in my box, deciding which one I'll use for the show. Pretty sure I'm going with one I call R4, which is the newest one from my batch of Rigotti cane which has been working well for me. I did a fair bit of practicing on it last week, to finish breaking it in. It has some brightness, and vibrates okay, but sometimes not well enough, and low register entries aren't totally solid. And intonation is no better than my other reeds. Except for C# in the staff, which some of the time goes way flat (>40-50 cents or more). Not an uncommon reed problem, I know. It could be clipped back, but I think I'm just going to deal with it. I find it interesting that that note on this reed can't be raised by lip pressure, or air stream pressure, the usual bassoon ways of fixing intonation. I'm experimenting with mouth shape -- kind of a French "eu" vowel sound shape brings it up. The tone color doesn't really match the surrounding tones, at least from behind the horn, but that's really the least of my problems.

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