Saxophone Forum


by mark4583
(9 posts)
9 years ago

Best reeds for beginnr?

What would you suggest brand and N0# reed for a beginner Alto Sax? Is it the lower the number the easier to play and a brighter tone, ? thanks

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  1. by definition
    (963 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

    About 90% of my students are started on Rico orange box 2.5 for a few reasons. They are pretty cheap, they are fairly consistant, and they are easy to get. My more advanced students many play Rico Roysals, and Vandorens. I personally shell out the extra dough for the Alexanders, but recomend the Rico orange box if you are begining on alto sax. Stick with those and the stock mpc(unless its REALLY bad for a while, then go to a nice HR mpc, and when you have are comfortable doing so, move up to a size reed that is harder if you want

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    1. by tenor562
      (297 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

      When I started, I started on a box of Rico Royal 2.5. It's not really what brand of reed, more the strength. Any Player could get a note out of any brand, as long as they got the appropriate reed strength. A Vandoren 2.5 is harder than a Rico 2.5. Woodwind Brasswind has a chart comparing reed strengths for brands. The Rico orange boxes are ok, but I'd start on a rico royal, they're not just much more. However, if you're a true beginner and crack reeds really easily, stick with Rico Orange. On reed strengths, the harder you go, the less response you get, and the softer, the more. After you play for a while you'll want to move to harder reeds because the softer ones won't hold up well in durability. Harder reeds tend to last longer in my opinion, just require more air. You're embouchoure will tighten up over time, and it will be to your best to move up in strength to make sure your tone start sounding ugly. -tenor562

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

        I totally agree. A # 2- 2 1/2 reed is a good hardness to start out with. I've used a lot of orange boc Rico reeds over the years, but they're not the most consistant. They're cheap and available. I really like La Voz reads, but they're harder to find anymore. When I was in Jr. high and high school band, I used to use a La Voz med. soft, or medium. I just ordered some through wwbw. I've used Rico Jazz selects and Rico Royals which I like, Vanduren Java, V16s and a few others. Most recently i have been using the Vanduren V16's but the last box I got really SUCKED!

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        1. by Dabg8
          (7 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

          I would say that if you are starting out playing, that the rico orange box #2 2.5 would be the best bet. Once you are in high school start experimenting with different brands. Currently in college I have been playing vandoren blue box for some time.

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        2. by mark4583
          (9 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

          Maby I should add a little info about myself, Playing the Sax is something I wanted to do all my life, but Im a late bloomer. I graduated High School in the 70's :-) I just told myself why not do something I always wanted to do, I dont invision myself going gold with my 1st cd, I just want to be able to sit home after work and play a little and relax, and if i happend to have some god given talent in me, all the better. Thanks for all the responses to my posts

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        3. by mrd
          (137 posts)

          9 years ago

          For Mark4583

          I certainly understand your situation. I played for 10 years when I was a younster, in the 50's and 60's. I dropped the sax/clarinet for organ which was rediculous as I could have added an instrument rather than stopping what I had been trained in. I am now 60 years old, and realized that I was foolish and just purchased another tenor to begin again. I therefore know your feelings, and am amazed at what we learn, when we reach the "age of wisdom". We sometimes become wise, and then, usually, regret what we didn't do. Anyway, if you wish to communicate further it would be interesting to compare efforts. My email address is mrdb@adelphia.net if you wish. Best of luck otherwise. Dan Evans

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        4. by FredCDobbs
          (77 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

          Mark: I started three years ago, at the age of 51, with no musical background whatsoever. I can now improvise on simple cord changes against primitive blues riffs and also more complex tunes if I just stay in the key. Nobody's coffee cup stops in mid-air, but it is music, of a sort, and it's me. Find a good teacher, and try to practice at least an hour a day. Practice is the issue: after a 12 hour killer day, it cam be pretty hard to pick the horn. But then, you can add time on the weekend. This is a great site to keep track of, there are very experienced people here, and much can be learned. Most important is to keep going, and don't look back. Best of luck with the sax.

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      2. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

        I would have to agree. about the cheap Ricos in the orange box. I know a lot of people overlook them, but I bought some Vandoren V16 2 1/2's for my tenor a couple months ago, and they were JUNK! I was playing some jazz with a few cats down by Detroit, and there was this 17 year old kid who also played tenor who really amazed me! I was cussing Vandoren reeds and he says here, try one of these and handed me a cheap ole #3 Rico. Hell, lol then my sax blew like 9 year old boy playing with matches who just set his house on fire! (That's good, in case you were wondering! ) I would start out with something fairly soft like a # 2 or 2 1/2. on a mouthpiece with a moderate facing, no more than a #5, or a Selmer D.

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        1. by The Ford
          (2 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

          I aggre with you, i use rico 3's with my alto and it gives a pretty "nasty" sound. another read i really liked was the rico jazz selects, but the few i had didn't last very long

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        2. by The Ford
          (2 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Best reeds for beginnr?

          I aggre with you, i use rico 3's with my alto and it gives a pretty "nasty" sound. another read i really liked was the rico jazz selects, but the few i had didn't last very long

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