Saxophone Forum


by rednecksax
(24 posts)
9 years ago

reed preparation

I've been thouroughly dissapointed in the quality of my reeds as of late and i was wondering what y'all do to prepare reeds.

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: reed preparation

    I take my BARI reed out of the reedguard, strap it on and go. For the occasional cane reed, I practice with it for about 10 minutes and put it away - regardless of how good or awful it plays. Do this a few times over a week or so and you'll have a sense of what you will end up with. Only then, consider tweaking the reed based on what issues remain. Get Larry Teal's "Art of Playing Saxophone" for a thorough discussion on reed prep. Any other advice you receive on the subject will probably be straight from his book.

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    1. by tenor562
      (297 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: reed preparation

      i just take my v16 out of the reed case, wet it for a minute or two, flatten it on the table, and pronto, it works. Today was the only day I had problems. It's probably because of the horn. I was playing on a 23, and I normally play on a T62II, and there's quite a differnece between the two.

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: reed preparation

        "flatten it on the table"? Do you use a LaVoz reed guard? If not, you really should. It keeps the tip flat and minimizes the waviness. They're cheap and work great. I've not tried the glass plate technique for storage. Maybe cane purists like to do that - I'm a heretic as I like to use synthetics.

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        1. by KCSaxGal
          (46 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          I'm thinking of trying out a few synthetics. Is there one you would recommend for legit?

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        2. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          yea, I have a reed guard thing, but I don't know if it's lavoz. It seems that the reeds aren't entirely flat when I take them out, but they work well when I flatten them out by putting them on the flat part of the mouthpiecce, (the table?) I can get the most out of my reeds by that, but I'm not sure if I'm right.

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        3. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          Oh. The mouthpiece table. Not a bad idea! For legit (on all SACTB), I use BARI hard strength or Fibracell Med Hard or Hard if it needs to be a more mellow sound. I like the way BARI's feel on my lip better than the Fibracells. I wish BARI had a "hard +", though. The BARI Star reeds have a little more resistance to them, but the low end response isn't as good as the regulars. Can't beat cane for legit soprano. I double and triple at church, so I rely on synthetics heavily. For my more open jazz mouthpieces, BARI mediums work great.

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        4. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          I don't really use hard reeds. Is someone who uses harder reeds have a stronger embouchoure? how does it work. I play 2.5 reeds, and they work ok, but what's the plus of playing harder reeds?

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        5. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          Well, BARI hard play slightly easier than a traditional Vandoren 3, but I think that it's ease has more to do with it being truly symmetrical and balanced. That's why some cane 3's play easier than their similar 2 1/2's. Variation and balance. Remember that the reed and mouthpiece match-up must fit the user. It does take a stronger embouchre to play a harder reed for a given mouthpiece - it doesn't necessarily mean a person playing a 3 is a better player than a person playing a 2 1/2 - only that their embouchre is more developed (assuming they are producing good tone). My findings are that with harder reeds, you get better intonation, better tone quality (less "buzz"), a better spectrum of amplitude (generally, you can play a harder reed louder and quieter than a softer one), and a better platform for vibrato. It is, indeed easier to make a sound "easier" with a softer reed, but if you go too soft, the sound quality begins to suffer. Every person has their own preferences and individualized embouchre and technique, but for most standard legit mouthpieces, a person should work towards being able to play a 3. I have a hard time imagining anyone playing at a professional level with a 2 reed and a C* facing, though I imagine there are several playing exquisitely with a 2 reed and a G facing. These are generalities. It is very possible that you're set up with a 2 1/2 will serve you the rest of your life. Only under private instruction can you be properly advised if you should attempt a different set-up.

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        6. by bronzemonkey992
          (22 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          the best reed holder is the one by selmer. It holds 10 reeds on a single sheet of glass. Can't get any flatter than that!

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        7. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          I've looked at the Selmer reed holder, but can't fathom paying $50 for a piece of glass in a small case. You think it's a major improvement over the LaVoz guards? Seems like a good home project, though I imagine Selmer will tell you that they use a specially formulated glass from the Var region of France...

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        8. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          " I imagine Selmer will tell you that they use a specially formulated glass from the Var region of France..." haha, good one, probably...

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        9. by KCSaxGal
          (46 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          I think I might steal the piece of glass out of a small picture frame and use rubber bandst. Then I can just stick it in a zip lock bag.

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        10. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: reed preparation

          I wouldn't recommend synthetics at all. It works out well if you double, buy you'll never get as good a quality of sound. On what piece do you play a 2.5? If it's jazz, it's probably ok; that or a 3. If it's legit, you should be at least at a 3. Eventually maybe a 3.5. The plus of a heavier reed is more resistance and life, and a richer and darker sound. If you start playing 3s, it'll be little hard for the first few weeks, but your eoumbechre will get stronger, and it won't bother you.

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