The 3 types of resistance on woodwind instruments

When you play a woodwind instrument, you can experience a certain resistance, which can either be positive, irritating or missing.

Positive resistance
The positive resistance gives you a kind of support and security. It feels a bit like if you would lean forward and would almost tip over, but the wind will give you enough support, that it does not happen. It is like a glass wall, which prevents you from falling. You can give as much air into the instrument as you like and you know that you have always full control over the sound.

This resistance is caused by:
1. a stable reed and a good proportion between the reed strength and mouthpiece opening.
2. narrow bore and appropriate mouthpiece opening
3. well sealing instrument

Irritating resistance
Many Instruments are rejected or exchanged because of a bad feeling. There is always a reason for this to happen. But don't get frustrated. All of these issued can be fixed!.
Your instrument has a bad feeling, too much or an irritating resistance if:
1. you have to press the fingers hard against the keys.
a) This could be a sign of leaks on the instrument.
b) There might be a crack

2. You might have very sound-absorbing padding on your instrument. read more

3. Hard to play the instrument.
a) Reason: The bore might be too small for your taste Read more
b) You might play a mouthpiece with a too-small opening for this bore.
c) You might use a read which is too hard

4. Sound of one or all notes is stuffy
a) this could be a problem with the acoustic of the instrument. b) The bore -tone hole proportion could be problematic. This can be fixed! c) You might have very sound-absorbing padding on your instrument. read more

Missing resistance
This is usually a sign of an instrument with a too large bore. This is very common among old instruments. Read more

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