Anyone keep a "reed log?" - Page 2

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  1. #21

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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    OP, if you got the time, sounds great. Reeds are pretty expensive, so good to know how things are working out for you.

    Have you figured out on average how long a reed lasts you?

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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Quote Originally Posted by slackercruster View Post
    Have you figured out on average how long a reed lasts you?
    That would be either difficult to do, or have a very large error bar. Reed life depends on a great many factors, including the player's perception of when a reed is no longer useful.

    I've seen students playing with chipped/cracked reeds that I wouldn't play. If a reed gets too soft to respond the way I prefer, it is done - others might play them 'til they no longer make a sound.

    How loud do you play? I've had some great reeds that didn't last more than two loud sets.

    Your mileage WILL vary - bigly.
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  4. #23

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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Okay, I get your point about error bars. But they'd grow smaller, I think, as data set grew. Anyway, just a thought experiment. Your point about individual player differences taken.

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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Quote Originally Posted by chipmorrison View Post
    Okay, I get your point about error bars. But they'd grow smaller, I think, as data set grew. Anyway, just a thought experiment. Your point about individual player differences taken.
    And if you use more than one mouthpiece? Vary brands and strengths of reeds?

    I don't see error bars shrinking in a substantive way. Nope.
    Go for The Tone,

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  6. #25
    Forum Contributor 2015 Cosmos Ind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    I've been doing this for some time. My main motivation was to track my hours and also track reeds. I have a little log book and a spreadsheet I transfer it to occasionally to make pretty graphs. My hope is when I fill the book, I'll be a good player (currently on track for 2024 at this rate.. jeez). It has helped me keep track of what reed type I like the best. When you have 3 types cycling through, it's gets really hard to remember which ones have mostly good ones in a box, etc. I'm getting upwards of 50 hours on a good reed. I had been asked before how many hours I got and I had no clue. Also, when a reed starts getting up in hours, I can tell it's the reed and not my chops. Net time saver if you ask me considering futzing with reed time is kept low.


    REEDLOG.jpg

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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Very cool, Cosmos Ind. Those are pretty much the same reasons I do it, but you're way out ahead of me with your spreadsheet thing, and how long you've been doing it.

    As for Dr. G's concern about "error bars" in the little thought experiment I proposed (a cell phone ap used by thousands of players), I think it depends on the size and compositon of the data set. It's true that the data would be messy, but (and my knowledge of statistics is pretty elementary), over time, with enough data, the law of averages would kick in, and the error ought to shrink. Of course, as an invidual player, you couldn't conclude that just because the average life for, say, a Fibracell 2.5 is 75 hours then YOU could count on 75 hours. In other words, mean value would summarize a lot of individual variation, but the individual variation would still exist and be real.

    Of course this takes us pretty far afield from the original theme here, which started with me wondering if anyone else had gotten serious about keeping a reed log. Cosmos Ind, we're not alone!

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Quote Originally Posted by JPWGibson View Post
    I'm probably too OCD to get much use out of this approach. I would be overwhelmed by the number of variables. The way I would see it: there are two types of variables here:

    1) the essential (the reed per se i.e., both its cane, and the accuracy of its manufacture - the life of the reed before it's clamped to my mouthpiece).

    2) the accidental (in the Aristotelian sense - i.e., the things that happen to the reed after it comes into my possession).

    The essential variables would have to (in my troubled OCD world) take into consideration the inconsistencies present even before manufacture: environmental and ecological factors affecting the growth of the cane, and its potential to be an inherently good/bad reed. And these are data that I cannot even access.

    The accidental variables are almost too many to consider: did I play the reed in the summer - and if so, was it a particularly humid summer; or did I play it in the winter � and if so, was it a particularly arid winter? Was I going through a heavy biting period (i.e, out of practice or stressed about life), or did I have a nice, loose embouchure at the time? And as Dr G mentioned, I would have to ask myself: did I play much altissimo? If so, how high? How much fff did I play? Any slap-tonguing? Was I doing lots of long tone practice; and if so, how much of it was D1 and lower � and how much was, say, D3 and higher? And just how long were those long tones? Did I engage in any long-tone exercises in which I slap-tongued an altissimo D4 at fff?

    Ultimately, I imagine I would be left with the infinite regress of an exponential series of variables. The target simply moves too much to get a bull's eye on the data.

    Instead, I've concentrated my OCD tendencies toward getting my reed adjustment chops together. I read a lot on reed adjustment, and more importantly, I practiced for a long time - experimenting with different tools, and with tweaking different areas of the reed. I literally can't remember the last time I ended up with an unsalvageable reed � and they have all become gig quality since I learned how to tweak them.

    Combined with a storage method that works � for me � I've minimized the surprises and variables, and have precluded my need to turn to data for answers. Why catalogue the variabilities when I can mitigate them?

    But admitting that a reed is dead is still a tough one for me. Saying good-bye is sometimes difficult . . .
    This may be slightly OT, but could you outline the method you ended up using for reed adjustment and storage (tools, techniques and/or most useful sources you read)?
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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Quote Originally Posted by PoorButSaxy View Post
    This may be slightly OT, but could you outline the method you ended up using for reed adjustment and storage (tools, techniques and/or most useful sources you read)?
    PM sent.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    I don't think the fan blades on a jet engine get this much scrutiny.

    :-)

  11. #30

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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    I don't think I could ever be that organized enough to do that. I kind of stick to the 4 reeds that fit in my reed case. When one goes out, I just replace it.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Arundo Donax View Post
    I don't think the fan blades on a jet engine get this much scrutiny.

    :-)
    One would hope that the fan blades on a jet engine don't degrade as fast as reeds do
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  13. #32
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    Default Re: Anyone keep a "reed log?"

    Before playing, I have a warm-up repertoire where, if I'm using a new reed or mouthpiece, I can tell in advance how good the combination is. If it's not great, I may set the reed aside for use later with a different mouthpiece. I do track reed/mouthpiece combinations.

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