Reeds can make or break your day. I worked on reeds and practiced for two and a half hours today. (By the way, I don't recommend using new reeds for your first practice session. Keith Atkinson had it spot-on when he said to get at least an hour of practicing in before starting reed work.) I'm not very happy with some cane I bought at the IDRS convention. This was on my burgundy batch of reeds. Not much success there. The cane I've been loving, K.Ge, is what I used on this latest batch (variegated blue). Of course, when I went to clip open the reed, I heard a tiny pop. I looked closely but couldn't see a split. 15 minutes of scraping later, the split appears from the tip down. GRRRRRRR!!!! My good cane! I'm normally the sort of person that tries to end every reed making or practice session on a positive note. Unfortunately, this was at the end of the 2.5 hours, and I just didn't have it in me to soak a new piece of cane and keep going. So there went my day.
We're playing Mahler 1 on our next CRSO concert. Getting a reed to play Mahler must be like having the heat and timing just right for a gourmet meal. You need a reed that will not let you down and the skill to execute those low, soft attacks. (English horn and oboe for me this piece.) I've got 10 days until the first rehearsal. I'll just keep scraping!