Sunday afternoon, I played in a concert of Chamber music, which was played and received well
All of the rehearsals were played on the same synthetic reed, all of my preparation on this same artificial reed, never having moved it from my mouthpiece, for about three months.It is still on the mouthpiece.
I may play it again , perhaps remove it , wash it and the mouthpiece and then go on.Maybe I should frame it.
After all of the hype, advertisement, cost. which promise endless use, no problems whatsoever and continuous playing. perhaps it was time to try the theory.
As a clarinetist who has spent a lifetime of fiddling with clarinet reeds, every aspect of reeds, I decided to take all of that “endless” business and put it to good use.After or before all, these reeds need no moistening prior to play. While there are some who do not believe this, to try the theory, one must accept the premise: they do not need moistening and/or other breaking in procedures.
After you make your choice, using a non-metalic ligature, fastening the reed to your moiuthpiece, you are ready to “rock and roll’ as the current parlance suggests. And so it went in my case. And in my clarinet case. After every practice session, and rehearsal, I would simply replace my mouthpiece cap, remove the mouthpiece as is, and put in back in the case with the rest of my clarinet, Gradually, it became a part of my clarinet. (Initially, I was cautious, always practicing my usual warmup procedures, but I would just continue on and rehearse what had to be rehearsed. Getting used to the procedure is gradual, but quicker than one might think, It is so much more preferable to simply put the whole clarinet together and simply play .
I shall not go into more than half a century of complete insanity of reed choosing, preparation, acceptance or rejection in equal amounts. Or the trials and tribulations of my wife in listening to every concert, every note and then answering the extensive Gestapo-Type Interrogation through which I would put the poor woman after every concert, starting with “Was it in tune”, and “what about the reed”? (The fact that Linda has the finest ear and musical sensitivity I have ever experienced, happens to be true.)
After this concert I realized that I had played the entire episode on one single reed.
I suggest that all of you might try the same exercise, which might save you hundreds of dollars and avoid the embarrassment of picking,curing, assessing, shaving, cutting, trying, drying, praying hoping and avoiding.
All of these many things are most probably habitual, regardless of what you are using for a reed. It is possible you will find, to avoid this time-consuming process of acceptance and rejection, trying and waiting , curing, and shaving, and all of the music-consuming senseless procedures we do as clarinetists.
It is possible. That reed will remain on my mouthpiece . (My wife Linda, at each concert.)
Stay well.Play better,