Tools of the trade

I sometimes run across stuff when shopping that make me go “oh yeah, that’s a good reed making supply” or something. So here’s a post with something like that.

Students often ask me what to get for binding up a reed when forming the blank. I saw this at Ace Hardware and it was just about perfect. I’m sure you can get it in a grocery store as well, or under slightly different names. This spool would last a single reed maker a very long time.IMG_20190309_150559[1]

On forming blanks and cracking cane

For a number of years now I’ve utilized a cane processing and tube forming method that has resulted in zero cracking in my blanks on a very consistent basis. I did a rather recent unscientific experiment to see if one aspect of this process was beneficial and it seems like it is a critical component of keeping the cracking from happening. (more…)

Starting cancer treatments again

In March of 2019 I was diagnosed with a metastatic recurrence of my cancer. I will begin new chemotherapy treatments on April 10. Chemo can take quite a toll on the body, and at times I may get behind in reed orders, but I plan on continuing on working, teaching, and making reeds during treatment. I appreciate each one of my customers, many of whom have been ordering regularly from me for years! I appreciate a bit extra patience with sending orders out as I get into these new treatments (and hopefully beat this thing for good this time).

Going Wireless!

With a lot of new really inexpensive wireless guitar options on the market now I thought it was to solve the mechanical problems of hardware mounting to be able to run the electric bassoon with a wireless transmitter that was actually viable. (more…)

A New Reed Making Video

After 4 1/2 years my original “The Making of a Bassoon Reed” video has over 37k views, and is one of the most watched bassoon reed making videos on Youtube. I’ve grown as a reed maker since then, and purchase new equipment to make reeds from the tube cane stage, as well as make my process more efficient. So with those changes I thought it might be worth making an updated reed making video. I started filming the process last summer but got interrupted before it was done by my cancer diagnosis and treatment. But I finally had an opportunity to finish filming the final pieces and do a narration of the process as before. Again, this isn’t a tutorial video and if you don’t know anything about reed making I’ll probably talk about things that won’t make any sense, but that’s not a big deal I don’t think.

I’m back in production

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Last week I received my bassoon back from Germany and I’ve recovered enough from surgery and chemo to begin working again. I don’t have the endurance to work as many hours in a day as I used to, but the reeds are coming out well.

I should have reeds available for sale by March first!

Order buttons will be active when I have reeds ready to ship with no wait.

I made a bassoon floor lamp

Finished product first:

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Oh one of these days I’ll post the building process.

Effects Pedals for Sale

I have several effects pedals for sale. All have been well cared for, work well, and have minimal cosmetic wear from typical use. I think all of them have velcro on the bottom. Reasonable offers considered.

Please contact me directly if interested.

EHX Frequency Analyzer ring mod, modded; added LED, CV input, Expression Pedal input, Input>CV Routing option: $175

EHX HOG with foot controller: $325

Optical Tremolo, single knob controls rate: $60

Heavy ThingsĀ  Box (Sansamp GT2 clone, amp simulator): $50? Make an offer

Subdecay Baby Quasar phaser: $170

Subdecay Spring Theory reverb: $100

MXR Carbon Copy analog delay: $100

Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina fuzz: $100

Liver & Onions (Lovetone Meatball clone with switchable fuzz): $300

Cancer diagnosis

If you missed the small notice on my shopping page, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer on May 30, 2017. My wife also gave birth to our second child this last week (July 10) so my life is very occupied with helping with a newborn, my 4 1/2 year old daughter, and managing side-effects from chemotherapy.

I am still making reeds and teaching, however my reed delivery time is closer to 2 weeks as of this writing as a result of these circumstances. I hope to get a bit more ahead in preparation for the fall when demand for reeds will go up.

If you are interested in following along in my cancer treatment, my wife and I have set up a caring bridge page here. I will not post updates about my health to this blog.

So what’s it take to really practice effectively?

Michael Lowenstern knows.

This video is done in the same kind of vein as my reed making video I made a few years ago. After presenting the finished product, Michael shows an unfiltered (although sped up to avoid absolute boredom from the audience) glimpse into his practice method when working up a difficult passage. With the clock displayed clearly for all to see, he works up a passage using a metronome and builds the tempo close to performance level. It’s a bit more than 30 minutes of him practicing and shows beautifully what 30 minutes of focused, intense, and correct practice looks like.

Students of all ages should watch this. This guy does it right.