Overall, I want to share my observations on cane hardness, ease of use, and effort it takes to reach a reed I like. We sell several different brands of cane, and at three different levels of processing. We offer GSP (as noted above, that’s gouged, shaped, and profiled) cane, so that you can make reeds just with hand tools. We also sell gouged cane, which has been split, pre-gouged, and gouged.
A balance hanger is a useful tool for the bassoonist to play standing up. It helps you to balance the bassoon, with its weight distributed more evenly between both hands. If encouraged or required to play standing, this will help make your job easier.
So a few weeks ago, we at Hodge Products had the opportunity to host Udo Heng, oboist and owner of the Reeds ‘n Stuff business (RnS), located in Germany. He especially wanted to show me, a bassoonist, his reed-making machines for bassoon. He was hoping I could recommend them to my boss for sale here…
What’s up with all the different ReedGeek tools? They all kind of look the same, and they all seem to do the same thing. So what gives? ReedGeek’s rise in popularity, and the reason for its design overall, was the fact that it could function like a reed knife, but lacked a dedicated “blade” which was banned from carry-on luggage during air travel.
This blog post is aimed at students who are fairly comfortable with the processes of adjusting your reeds (I started adjusting in my second year of playing, just for reference, and that was possibly early), their parents, and anyone else interested this. What this blog post is not is a tutorial on how exactly to use these tools.
I played eight reeds in every line of reeds that we sell. This was to determine what were the best and most consistent qualities across each line. My hope is that by going through this process, I can guide you to the reed that you feel could be the best fit for your needs or those of your students. Included is a chart to help you identify the traits you are looking for with as much information as I can give you.
This post is aimed at young (perhaps second year) bassoon students, their parents, and those who have not yet learned to make bassoon reeds. The following list of tools includes those I always carry to rehearsals and when teaching private students, just in case of a reed emergency. All of these items are relatively easy to find and come in handy for maintaining your reeds. They will also be used in making your own reeds. I’ll describe the uses briefly here.