Saxophone Forum


by Kitch22
(98 posts)
10 years ago

Dark Reeds

I play alto sax with a Custom Z and currently a Meyer 6M (which I'm quite satisfied with). I've been hunting for that perfect reed for quite some time now. My current choice of reed is La Voz med. I take private lessons and my teacher recently suggested me to switch to med from med hard. My teacher is really trying to get to play with a much darker sound (as my sound is more brilliant and edgy, so to speak). What type of reeds would best give me a dark, yet powerful sound? Thanks for the help.

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  1. by YanagisawA-901
    (312 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Dark Reeds

    a reed can only do so much..but its you that do the rest, a reed is only an extension of your sax, but your sax is an extention of you..you need to learn how to play your sax, intead of tryna get ur sax to play with you.. my choice of reed however is a 31/2 - 4 vandoren java.. but opening up your throught, and thinking of "ooooo" when you play gets you darker.. and vibrato, since were monophonic instruments we need to add somthing to give our tone depth, vibrato does that

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    1. by spottspidermunki
      (55 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Dark Reeds

      i would suggest a vandoren reed of some sort. they're all pretty dark. if its legit ur playing, then try a vandoren classical (bluebox) 3. maybe a 3 1/2. for jazz i'd go w/ the vandoren java. Joel

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      1. by Spike
        (248 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Dark Reeds

        i've been using lavoz recently, but the search for the perfect reed never really ends. just try some of everything

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    2. by Kitch22
      (98 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Dark Reeds

      I recently tried some Vandoren Trads in 3s, and I wasn't impressed all that much. They do make your tone a lot darker, wich is good, but the sound is hampered and isn't full to me. Also tried Hemke 3s. Not as good dark-wise (still darker reeds though), but better fullness and expressiveness. Rico Royals are WAY too bright for me. The last reed I've tried was a Vandoren ZZ, which beet them all. It was decently dark and had great responsiveness and fullness, similar to La Voz, but a touch more dark. I'm wondering about V16s, Javas, and and or a type of Alexanders. What would be better to give me that dark, yet real robust and powerful JAZZ sound that I'm still hunting for. Tell me what you know about all of those, and the types of Alexanders. Thanks for all the help, guys.

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      1. by YanagisawA-901
        (312 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Dark Reeds

        i personally use the vandoren javas and theyre awesome for me, not too dark, but not too bright, it all depends on ur setup and how u want to play it, and itll adapt.. i tried the v16's, didnt like them at all, they seemd like the whole box were "duds" if u kno what i mean. i guess maybe it depends on ur mpc. and ur lig...my sax teacher uses v16's and he kicks ...., so maybe i just have poor support or somthin, haha who knows, try em tho, see if u like em

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        1. by SeargantSax
          (2 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Dark Reeds

          Reeds are important to playing the saxaphone but it also depends on the technique of the player. I luckily found a really good music teacher and my technique has dramatically improved in the past 2 years I have been with him. But anyway, a few years ago before my contest solo in the Spring, I was playing with what I believed to be my dream reed! Soul Reed! It had been slightly chipped on the end, getting very thin and was nearly black on the inside. I was able to receive a 1 superior rating in my solo and the day after, I picked up the horn and began to moisten it, the Reed of My Dreams spilt into two pieces and the rest just fell to the floor. I was devestated at first but when I found a good teacher and a better brand of reeds all my reeds sound like that dreem reed and probably a lot better.

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          1. by Hexaclon
            (90 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Dark Reeds

            Hey kitch, try out the gonzalez reeds, they sound dark and big with a great body. At least it works 4 me.

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          2. by ANDREA
            (2 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Dark Reeds

            i'd be interested in trying out the Gonzales reeds, I'm currently using a vandoren blue box 3 for classical and java 3 1/2 for jazz. Which strenght on Gonzalez is comparable to a 3 vandoren Blue?

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          3. by golferguy675
            (600 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Dark Reeds

            I recently switched to Alexander Superial DC reeds, which are plenty dark and great for jazz. I find also that every read plays, so I'm pretty much off Vandoren now. There's special instructions for the care of them, but it's no hassle.

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          4. by golferguy675
            (600 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Dark Reeds

            You use a harder reed for jazz than legit? That's very unusual. Are you using different m/p's for each? Your jazz m/p chamber should be bigger than the one you're using for legit, so you would use a thinner reed.

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          5. by Hexaclon
            (90 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Dark Reeds

            Hey, I though that the Vandoren Traditional (Blue Box) ran harder than the java ones. Is that true? Andrea: I would say a 3 1/2 on Gonzalez would work well.

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          6. by golferguy675
            (600 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Dark Reeds

            Not really, Javas have a lot more wood in the heart, then it tapers to the sides.

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          7. by saxgrobie
            (86 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Dark Reeds

            I use Vandoren 4's and they work well for me. I really really really hate Rico's. They are nasty and flimsy and just plain icky. (Yes, I just said icky) I have had a few too many problems with them. Kelsey

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