Blade Length

The default clipped blade length is 28mm from the top of the first wire to the tip.

Leaving the blade longer than 28mm widens the shape of the reed and weakens the lever action created by the wires and internal bevel, requiring a rounder tube to prevent the tip opening from collapsing. This may cancel out whatever benefits a wider shape provides.

Clipping shorter than 28mm narrows the shape of the reed and increases the amount of cane available to scrape, therefore making the reed stronger and sharper. However, this is problematic and should be used as a last resort. The thumbnail pattern and tip bevel must be recreated as the clip distorts the existing balance.

The material in this learning module comes from The Banana of Life: Peeling Away the Mysteries of Reed Making for the Bassoon by Rian Craypo and has been edited for clarity by Jessi Vandagriff. Please do not share or distribute this information to those not using the decision-based learning model. Used with permission.


Scroll to top