Reed Doctor Intro

Playing reed doctor can be dangerous because whenever you try to correct a reed, 1-3 more problems are likely to come up. Here is how to correct your reeds without ruining them.

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Reed Doctor Diagram

Here you will find a list of every part of the reed that you can scrape and the results (positive and negative) that come from scraping those areas.

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Reeds That Are Too Open

Reeds that are too open will normally be flat and while it is largely determined by everything you do before tying a reed, here are a few strategies to help.

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Reeds That Are Too Closed

While the opening of the reed is mostly determined by the cane, gouge, and shaper tip, here are a few additional ideas on how to open up a reed.

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Reeds That Are Unresponsive

Reeds can be too hard in a variety of different ways.  Reeds can be unresponsive which makes the low register hard to play, reeds can be heavy which means they take a lot of air and you can not play long phrases, or reeds can be hard to control. If reeds are unresponsive: Scrape the tip starting from...

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Reeds That Are Too Flat

As a rule, you should always avoid reeds that are flat.  While they often times have a big, round tone, you will encounter intonation problems and your embouchure will get tired very quickly if you constantly have to raise the pitch. Try to never let a reed sit overnight if it is flat, but instead...

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Reeds That Are Too Sharp

A reed that is too sharp will often be shallow in tone and be too closed.  In that case, check out the post about reeds that are too closed.  Below you will find even more helpful hints to work on a reed that is too sharp. Scrape more out of heart – start with top...

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