Chronic Flatness

Are your reeds chronically flat?

  • The front third of the reed is likely not well structured, or it is too thin too close to the spine.
  • Try playing on both sides of the reed to see if one is better.
  • Check the trimmed reed length.
  • Confirm your profile measurements.
  • Instrument maintenance – leaking can cause intonation/resistance issues.

If your playing situation (new group/type of ensemble) or role (now playing second bassoon instead of first) has changed, consider these adjustments:

  • Use a narrower shape
  • Make a longer, shallower internal bevel
  • Use a shorter bocal (this change will affect tendency notes the most)

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.

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