IDRS Journal Supplement
Chops: Lost and Found
We are pleased to announce that our article, Chops: Lost and Found, was published in the International Double Reed Society Journal in April 2021, Volume 44, No. 1. Click here for supplemental information.
The Stay at Home Bassoonist
Here’s a list of productive things you can do to pass the time while staying at home
- Clean your tone holes
- Clean your bocal
- Clean the dust off your bassoon
- Vacuum your bassoon case
- Check your bassoon for leaks
- Clean sticky pads
- Refresh your pads
- Check the whisper key
- Make reeds
- Adjust your reeds and check their tuning
- Make sanding tools
- Schedule a re-pad overhaul or restoration service for your bassoon
- Practice warm up exercises
- Practice the dreaded double tongue
- Create your artistic vibrato
- Practice your scales
- Practice your trills and turns
- Practice Nasty Passages
Announcement About Arundo Reeds and Cane
We want to inform you that Arundo Reeds and Cane is no longer in business. If you or someone in your bassoon network is interested in purchasing the company, please fill out the Contact Us form on this website.
Our goal is to demystify the reed, the bassoon, and the player’s problems. In 2015 we introduced a valuable reed tuning method and reference material called the Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning. It is the result of nearly 50 years of research, innovation, professional reed making, major symphony orchestra performance, recording and teaching. Every bassoonist from the novice to the professional will benefit from new insights to help tame “the unruly beast.” From those who have previewed and helped in making this publication possible, it has been described as an “Incredible work. The more I look, the more I learn.” The universal comment has been “WOW!”
Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning… Third Printing!
The Quick Guide is available for purchase from double reed specialty shops and on Amazon. Click for more information!
Thanks to a strong worldwide response, “Quick Guide” had its third printing in January of 2022. Mark Eubanks has created a step-by-step recipe for tuning and adjusting bassoon reeds based on decades of research expanding upon his previous publications. The Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning is packed with information to help the bassoonist go to a problem, test it and fix it. This publication presents a new, proven method to check the tuning of every note on the bassoon. It also includes a synopsis of bassoon reed design elements that affect tuning, and additional tuning factors, including bocal and instrument adjustments and tone production issues. We will continue to update material on this website as we develop new tests and procedures. Your questions and comments are always welcome!
How’s Your Reed Today?
Here are six tests that you can do in five seconds or less (for each test) that tell you a lot about your reed:
- The flip test
- The ear test
- The wire test
- The tap test
- The crow test
- The corner-of-the-mouth test
Click here for the Quick Tests and Answers
What’s New / Ongoing Research
We apologize that we did not include the F-G trill test in the Quick Guide, and find that it is a very valuable test. Learn more…
We recently developed a new testing method for the fine tuning of the middle register notes. Learn more…
New research is being done on “fixed chamber” reeds and other ongoing experiments with cane evaluation, etc.. Learn more…
How to perform reed tuning ear tests (for the right hand notes).
Teacher’s Supplement to Quick Guide
Even a beginning student would benefit from learning reed adjustment techniques right from the start. Click for more information
From “The Double Reed” Vol. 40, No. 3, 2017 IDRS
Mark Eubanks’ Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning removes speculation from the final stages of reed finishing. This reviewer used the Quick Guide herself, guided two students through the text, and had both a graduate and and an undergraduate student work through it independently with multiple reeds. In all cases, the results were impeccable and long-lasting.
Eubanks’ Quick Guide offers advanced, complicated concepts in an easy-to-follow format with clear digitally printed, color illustrations. The print material is waterproof and, at 15 pages, intentionally small enough to carry in a bassoon case. The content provides twice as many tuning tests as the 1986 edition (and subsequent 1991 supplement), each containing more thorough
and numerous solutions.
Most interesting for me, was taking reeds I was happy with and enjoyed and taking them through certain tests which they failed. Normally I would not have scraped any more on these “finished, good reeds,” yet they had failed his test and I wanted to really test this book out. It turns out that I am so accustomed to overcoming shortcomings of reeds, that when I really got them locked in so they passed his test, these “great” reeds were actually MUCH easier to play.
“Students are singing your praises of the Reed Book: one called it “deep” which is quite a high complement! Something for all of us.”
Skeptical of his method? Buy this book and at least give it a try. It has really improved my reeds in so many ways.
“What a wonderful addition to the literature on bassoons and reed making!”
“You have created a masterpiece! I am making more consistent reeds and the reeds are coming into shape more quickly with less work.”
“The results I’m getting are amazing…Your step-by-step process gets me there much quicker! The more I use your test procedures the more nuances I can tease out of my reeds.”
I owe much of my longevity to your books and knowledge of reeds, without them I would be clueless!
“Hope people will start using your manual; it really, really works!”