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SYOS

Altissimo And Reeds

If You Play Altissimo With Confidence, What Grade Of Reed Do You Use?

  • 1.5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2.5

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • 3.5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,066
Following on from my Dexter thread and his incredible ability to play altissimo, I'm wondering what grade of reed those of you who can play these notes with confidence on a tenor use. I'm wondering if there's one grade that's more popular with players than any other.

From reading interviews and kit lists of players I really like, the overwhelming winner of reed grade popularity is 3.5 or equivalent. I'm wondering if this trend will also be reflected by players on here, too.
 
Last edited:

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,902
It's a rather strange question. The reed you use depends on what mouthpiece you're using rather than any desire to play altissimo. So in my case that's anything between a 2.5 and a 4. I used to play 5s on baritone but I no longer have that mouthpiece.
 

fibracell

Senior Member
Messages
602
I heard that reeds blow out quicker if you practicing altissimo and overtones. So you should only practice them on your worst reeds?
 
OP
Veggie Dave

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,066
It's a rather strange question.
The first thing I should have said was 'on tenor' as which type of sax is rather important.

As for mpc etc., from my readings the most common combination on tenor appears to be 7*/8 mpc with a 3.5 reed, at least for funky players and the more aggressive Jazz players.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
13,358
i do not choose a reed strength for altissimo, I don't quite the relevance.

For me the important things are being able to Herat the pitch before you play it, good air support and most important is a consistent reed, which is why I like the Legere Signature (which I endorse)

It's the same with multi phonics and overtones, if you know that the response will be the same after changing reeds but not having to adapt your embouchure, it really helps and I find that hard to get with cane reeds.

Edit:

For what it's worth I use 2.25
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,002
Another factor to consider is that the strength varies from one brand/type of reed to another. Which is why Nick & Pete specifed this exactly.
 
OP
Veggie Dave

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,066
i do not choose a reed strength for altissimo, I don't quite the relevance.
It's not a question of finding a reed specifically for altissimo - although it would be nice if there was such a thing as a reed that was perfect to use to learn altissimo. If only... ;)

As it would seem that many players never really venture into this realm, their set-up doesn't have to be playable from low Bb to high A (or higher). Up to now I haven't really bothered with anything above high D, either, because I haven't really needed it. I have, however, worked hard to make sure I can hit bottom Bb with confidence.

But now that I've started to realise how important those notes can be and want to explore using them. When I started looking at my favourite players, most of whom do venture into those high realms, one of the things I noticed was how many of them played a 3.5 or equivalent reed (I also noticed that none of them seemed to go harder than 3.5 or softer than 3) so I wondered if this trend was shared by Cafe members who also regularly play altissimo.
 
OP
Veggie Dave

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,066
Another factor to consider is that the strength varies from one brand/type of reed to another.
It's not a scientific analysis so it doesn't have to be that exact. ;)

Nick plays around the 3.5 mark, Pete is no where near it. That sort of accuracy is fine for me as I was just musing rather than looking for a definite answer.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
13,358
The other thing I forgot to mention is that for confident altissimo I also need a reed to stay exactly the same from one day to the next.
 
Last edited:
OP
Veggie Dave

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,066
The other thing I forgot to mention is that for confident altissimo I also need a reed to stay exactly the same from one day to the next.
I'm practising at the moment and this is one of the things I'm finding is a real block. Absolute consistency from the reed and the player is really crucial. At the moment at least there's no fudging the note - you either play it or you don't.
 
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