Reed Making Benefits « Clarinet Reed Making

Reed Making Benefits

Better Reeds

That’s the whole point right!?  If your handmade reeds are not dramatically better, then chances are good the tools you are using are not allowing you to achieve the proper dimensions consistently or you haven’t found a type of cane that works for you.  It’s impossible to underestimate the difference good cane can make.  It’s not a question many clarinetists seriously consider because when playing commercial reeds they have no say in the matter. Successful reed makers find their own reeds are superior to commercial reeds in virtually every way.  I personally find I’m able to get a more vibrant sound with less effort.

On the other hand some players are in fact happy with their preferred commercial reed.  These tend to be the kind of players that ‘can make anything sound great’ or happen to have the playing characteristics that are well suited to match the cane type and dimension of their brand of choice.

Ability to tailor every aspect of the reed to your preferences

Want a thin(blue box style) blank with a V12 vamp and Morree taper, made with your cane of choice? No problem.

Longer lasting reeds

Reed makers almost universally agree that hand made reeds last substantially longer, with or without curing. The reasons for this are debatable, but it’s reasonable to assume that the higher quality of the cane has a large impact on reed life.  Reeds made with good cane do not waterlog as easily and tend to remain stable longer.

Every reed is the perfect strength

Clipping a hand made reed is different from clipping a commercial reed because when clipping a commercial reed your results are compromised by the fact that in addition to making the reed slightly shorter you are often drastically changing the tip shape.  By making the vamp slightly longer or shorter you have complete control over the strength. To some degree controlling overall vamp thickness is a factor but it has less effect on reed strength then most people assume.  A clip of a hairs width can make all the difference. Many players seem to think that adjusting the overall length comprimises the integrity of the reed, not realizing that a wide range of strengths can be achieved in a very small clipping range(a millimeter or so surrounding the ‘ideal’ tip area). With good cane and a little practice every reed can be the exact strength for your playing style.