How It's Made: Bassoon Reeds October 11, 2015 20:37 3 Comments
Making homemade bassoon reeds is a labor-intensive process that takes weeks. An RFReeds bassoon reed begins its life in the Var Region of southern France as a 20-30 foot tall arundo donax plant. Our Rigotti bassoon cane is shipped directly to us from France and our Danzi bassoon cane makes a pit stop in Milan.
We order the cane by the kilo, and a few days later it's Bonjour and Buongiorno, respectively. At this point, it's time to chop wood!
When we receive the tube cane, we inspect it for anything that could affect the quality of the product. If it passes inspection, we split the tube cane into thirds or quarters. Our assistant quality assurance analysts are paid in kibble because of lax labor regulations.
After a month or more, the blank is soaked again, the tip is cut, the reed is scraped, and then play tested. It is again left to rest and dry for a day before being play tested again, with further adjustments being made. If the reed does not pass this inspection, unfortunately, it is rejected and sent to THE LAMP!
After we've disinfected the reed and allowed it to dry, it is boxed up using recyclable materials. We found that cane shavings are a natural, strong, and light alternative to bubble wrap or packing peanuts!
And there you have it. The multinational enterprise of handmade bassoon reeds. Who knew assembling a bassoon reed would involve French/Italian cane, Canadian, Dutch, and German precision manufactured machines, Pennsylvanian bees, Narnian Duco cement, and South Carolina elbow grease? That would make one interesting stock photo.
Bassoon Reed Care 101 September 13, 2015 14:56
Following these few simple, but important steps will drastically improve and extend the life of a bassoon reed.
- Soak it properly.
- Two to three minutes for a regularly-used reed.
- Five to seven minutes may be necessary for a new or seldom-used reed.
- Don't over-soak! Arundo donax is a porous plant and can soak up too much water!
- Some bassoonists soak up to the first wire instead of full immersion. This is personal preference and you can experiment to see what works best for you.
- Let it dry.
- Once you've finished playing, use your thumb and forefinger to gently wipe the outside of the reed.
- Use a reed case. Many manufacturers ship their reeds in plastic tubes. That kind of biosphere can result in mildew! Reed cases give the reed room to properly dry.
- Flush it out.
- Run your reed under a faucet to flush excess residue. Over time, a bassoon reed is naturally prone to residue build-up. This is very normal, and can even have a positive effect on the reed's response and sound. Too much residue will detract from a reed's playability and must be flushed periodically.
- Your reed is delicate – water, air, and bocal are the only earthly elements that belong in your reed.
- Let it rest.
And that's it! These self-evident truths will keep your reed up-and-running and playing beautifully.
Welcome! August 28, 2015 21:54
Welcome to the RFReeds blog!
As this is our first post, I would like to talk about what you can look forward to in upcoming posts. We will be discussing how to adjust reeds you just received from us, potential reed problems you may face from day-to-day, as well as a number of other topics! We are also hoping to have guest blogs, and videos as well! Come back again soon to see the newest blogs and info! And remember: use the code back20 to receive 20% off your next order!