Addressing the Balance Near or at the Tip of a Reed

By flexing the reed with your fingertips and upon visual inspection, check to see if one rail is heavier (thicker) than the other. Use the ‘Geeks rail adjusters by holding the tool almost perpendicular and adjust the heavier rail. This is also very effective to adjust the tip-corners of the reed; also known as the “ears of the reed.” By very lightly bending the right and left ears of the reed with you forefingers you will be able to determine if one side is heavier than the other. Note: Think of each ear of the reed as an airplane wing. Each wing needs to be identical for consistent air-flow and lift. When the reed is in balance with itself and the mouthpiece tip, the sound starts resonating better and your playing becomes very natural.

Think of the scraper radius as a pencil eraser. Hold the tool with your thumb and forefinger as a kid would hold a pencil eraser. The radius is designed to make pinpoint adjustments to any denser parts of the reed. Hold the reed in front of a light source and very lightly “erase away” and shape any darker, denser parts of the reed. REMEMBER: Let the weight of the tool do the work! One very important spot, on the reed, to balance is right below the tip, 1/8″ or so in from the left and right hand tip corners. Again, identify and remove the denser cane, so that the top of the heart displays a very concise, inverted “U” or “Christmas tree” shape.