Saxophone Forum


by scm2012
(9 posts)
2 years ago

The strangest newbie question...

Well, maybe this question is common, but I searched and searched the web for an answer...

I am totally new to the sax.  Only been practicing for 3 days now.   I am very serious about learning this instrument..

Well, what happens is that within minutes of begining a practice session (I spend 45 minutes a day practicing)  my eyes begin to water.  Then for the rest of the night --watery eyes.   They are ok by  morning.

I have thought of some possibilities:
I'm blowing it wrong  (Though I'm getting good sounds)
I'm sensitive to cork grease, the reed, or some chemical residue on the brass.
I'm trying to hard.
Its a coincedence.

My only other experience with blowing into an instrument is the shofar (an antelope horn) -- when I was learning it I would spend upwards of an hour a day blowing it without a physical symptom.
 

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  1. by kelsey
    (808 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: The strangest newbie question...

    After playing 3 days your playing might make my eyes water? But seriously, could you be allergic to reeds?,

    Barry Kelsey

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    1. by scm2012
      (9 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: The strangest newbie question...



      Original Quote:
      "After playing 3 days your playing might make my eyes water? But seriously, could you be allergic to reeds?,

      LOL  maybe my playing is so soulful that it brings you to tears... Nah...  

      I a wondering about the reed allergy idea...   So far I have been wetting the reed in my mouth before playing -- first time it had quite a taste -- like something was on it..  I expected it to taste like wood.

      Tonight I wet the reed in tap water, and now I have practically no eye watering problem....

      I am not an allergic type of person... But I'm noting a burning tongue at this point... 

      This bums me out.  I never reacted to an instrument.   I want to be a sax player!

      Well, I can try some reed alternatives...

      So here is a question...  Do manufacturerers treat the reeds with a chemical, and is it worth just trying another brand of natural reed, or should I just try synthetic?

      Yikes!  I just realiszed something...  I am generally not an allergic type of person but I definately am allergic to grass --cant even mow my lawn.

      I looked it up -- sax reeds are made from cane -- "a giant grass"!

      This is practically silly...   I want to be a sax player.
       

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      1. by Saxquest
        (317 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: The strangest newbie question...

        Interesting that you say you're allergic to grass. I've never heard of a reed allergy, but its definitely possible. I'd try Legere Synthetic reeds. They are quite good. They were developed by an engineer who has created micro-synthetic tubes that mimic the material cane is made from. I would have to say of all the synthetic reeds I've tried, the Legere signature series has been my favorite. You can find these available for sale on line at www.saxquest.com. They can also last for years if well cared for. Best of Luck and keep us informed.

        Cheers,
             Mark Overton
             www.saxquest.com

         

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        1. by scm2012
          (9 posts)

          2 years ago

          Re: The strangest newbie question...

          Success!


          I went and bought a Fibracell medium soft reed -- music store guy said that was the one for beginners. (Did not see your recomendation for Legere befoe I went to the store...)

          The main thing is I played for 20 minutes on it and had no allergy symptoms.

          Not only that -- it seems to play easier than the original reed.  I mean by that I am getting a more authentic sax sound with it than I was with the natural reed.  Not saying I don't still squeek sometimes or wind up in the next octave -- but the tone is real good.

          Other nice benifit is it has no flavor :)

          Now I know people take sides on synthetic reeds -- but at this point I am a beginner and I'm only playing the 8 easy notes plus the octave key.   I have no idea how it will perform outside of those parameters.

          Stephen 

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        2. by scm2012
          (9 posts)

          2 years ago

          Re: The strangest newbie question...

          Well, back to reed allergies.
          Saxophone reed allergies do exist.
          But the teacher never heard of them, friends that know all about reed instruments never heard of them.

          Basically after several days on synth reeds without symptoms, i tried
          the cane reed and the symptoms came back..



           

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      2. by artificial1grass
        (1 post)

        2 years ago

        Re: The strangest newbie question...

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