Reed irritation on lips and jaw

Dear Mr Friedland:

Hi. My wooden Vandoren reeds give me quite a rash under my lower lip and down toward my chin. I switched to Legere plastic reeds which and the rash is not as severe, but I don’t like the reeds as much. Have you ever heard of something like this? My dermatologist was not very helpful.

Dear SS:
Of course I have heard of this many times in many different manisfetations. And of course, your dermatologist would not be very helpful unless he played the clarinet on scabrous lips. You expect these guys to know anything ? I think not.

Here are some suggestions: make sure those filthy van dorens (they’re not called VD for no reason) are clean and are dry prior to putting them in your mouth. Use anything including liquid soap,to the germ killing alcohol they ask you to sanitize your hands with. Let them dry, and then rewet them in your mouth. If they taste bitter like alcohol, you have not allowed them to dry. These reeds travel to many parts of the world.

When a youngster I spent many a new franc and hours trying Van Dorens at the factory on Rue Lepic. All they said, was” Marquez cette boit”, meaning mark the box with the VD name before you take this dudes money.

You have most probably a mild case of contact dermititis. If it spreads over your body, contact your doctor immediately, if you can find him.

Yes, legere or other plastic reeds are cleaner than VD or other cane. They are made in sound-proof rooms, sterilized by eunuchs. Their playing ability has not been determined. But, for this cleanliness, you pay through the nose, or you better had, as it’s better than through the hands.

Brush your teeth and rinse with the nonalcoholic rinse. In fact, it is not a bad idea to soak the reeds briefly in a small amount of this rinse, before or after you rinse your teeth.

Good luck with that diseased cane.

best regards, sherman friedland

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