Tip Bevel

Beveling the tip is a technique for getting a really good taper at the tip of the reed. This is the most important place on the reed, and a proper taper here is critical for response and strength. Create a 45 degree angle in the front 1/2 millimeter.


Direct the knife or razor straight into the plaque without making a scooping motion.

Ben Kamins Example 1:

Ben Kamins example 2:

To preserve this bevel later in the finishing process, when using your file, roll it up on its edge as you approach the tip of the reed so that it doesn’t thin any part of the very tip of the reed.

Common Tip Issues

This tip bevel is too shallow and will produce a stuffy, sluggish response and a weak, collapsing tip.
This tip bevel is scooped and will produce hesitant attacks in p/mp dynamics, especially in the tenor register.
This tip bevel has a cut, bump, or another imperfection and the reed’s response will have a hitch.

For more information on how the tip bevel relates to the reed as a whole, see this video from Rian Craypo. She addresses tip bevel tapers at 8:29.

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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