Flex Point Placement
The flex point is the spot between where the tip is flexible and the heart is inflexible. This bend point is often too far down the vamp (or not close enough to the tip), and is the source of reed players blaming their reeds for not having enough heart. In fact, the reed has too much wood on the tip!
Symptoms of a flex point that is too far down the vamp include:
- Sluggish, poor articulation
- Uneven response across registers
- Warm but dull sound
If the flex point is too close to the tip, you might notice the following:
- Brittle, bright sound
- Chirps when slurring across break
- Chirps when articulating
- Poor response in low register
To find the placement of the flex point, use the “finger method” outlined above, making sure the reed is damp. Notice precisely where the tip bends away from the vamp.
The best place for the flex point of a reed will depend on what you are using. The photo below shows three possible flex points.
The perfect placement of this point is an area of great interest in my research. Please check out the design and research area of this website for up to date information. If you have any personal experience, please post in the blog.