I dreamt I received a long, flat wooden box in the mail. Inside the box were...
Cut the tips on my brand new contra reeds that I made over the weekend and they worked!! They’re a little wonky in the pitch, but so much better than what I expected that I still feel like strutting. Go, me.
Former declaration of loyalty to the 8 year old reed is hereby rescinded. Albion reed for muchos smackeroos turned out to be much nicer than the old one once I cut the tip. Old reed on recording sounds like one big raspberry. New Albion actually has tone.
Bought Susan Nigro’s Bass Nightingale off of iTunes. She is incredible. Contra playing like I’ve never heard. Average person could go to her concert and not spend the whole time snickering about a big flappy farty instrument blurting around on the stage. Disappointed to see that there are no liner notes attached.
I’m told my reeds are quite narrow, but they seem to fit in pretty well with Lou Skinner’s reed design. If you haven’t already checked out The Bassoon Reed Manual: Lou Skinner’s Theories and Techniques by James McKay, do so. It’s been invaluable, especially for contra. It turns out I’ve been using his Five Tests for years now and never knew it because they’d been shown to me by another bassoonist. My instrument before this was a Schreiber and I remember thinking that my Moosmann 200 felt very similar in key structure and sound. I think Fox Bassoons tend to respond better to a wider reed design, which may be part of why I didn’t appreciate the sound of those I tried. Anyway, here’s his diagram straight from the book:
Freelance bassoonist and carpenter of the reedy persuasion in Tucson, AZ.
Habits of Musicians
Have Bassoon Will Cook
The Pedantic Bassoonist
Double Reed Ltd.