How do you tell if your reed is unresponsive or responsive?

The degree of response a reed has is an intrinsic element of each individual piece or cane. Identify this characteristic early in your process by having a proper tip bevel and using the F#3 indicator test. Rolling out the embouchure ever so slightly in pp/ppp allows you to extend the taper even further, as successful dynamic taper combines flexibility of embouchure and of the reed.

MOST REEDS TO NOT RESPOND WELL.  It is too easy to sacrifice intonation, strength and resonance in the (futile) search for perfect response on the majority of reeds. Maintain good practice habits and measure your reeds against a constant (normal embouchure and air expectations). Know when you have reached the optimal balance of all factors and therefore when to stop scraping, as the reed has reached its particular potential.

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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