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Beginners reeds advice?


New Member
hello all, I am a 'mature' beginner to the Tenor Sax.

Have been accordionist, keyboard player for a few years now and fancied a change.

Although an 'oldie' now I still have a huge powerful set of lungs so never had any trouble blowing.

Looking for advice on reeds to use as a beginner and also looking for a teacher in the Coventry (UK) area.

cheers, Gordie


ex Landrover Nut
Reed strength selection is not really based on how hard you can blow, but how wide your mouthpiece is (this is the distance between the reed and the mouthpiece, not the distance from side to side) and how strong your 'chops' (lips/jaw) are.

Usually it's trial and error, and it's not helped by different makers using different strength systems. Depending on what mouthpiece you're using, a good starting point would be 2, maybe 2.5 and work up or down from there, depending on whether you find them too soft or too hard. Don't buy too many cos as your chops develop, you'll want something harder. Stick to one brand/type for now. Rico Royal work well for most things. If you go with vandoren, start half a strength softer. I'm assuming you're starting with a reasonable tip size - like a 3-5, or a Yamaha 4-6C, Selmer C*. If it's wider, start softer, maybe a 1.5.


Well-Known Member
Hi There! have a list of sax teachers - just click on the map for "West Midlands" and there are several possibilities. The advice is always speak to any potential teacher, se how you get on, and what their approach and musical interests are, and maybe arrange an initial lesson.

Reeds wise it all depends on mouthpiece and tip opening as KG says. A common beginner mouthpiece should be approx 0.070" - 0.090" (often a 4 to 6) - what do you currently use. There are lots of different reeds out there - it would be best to start withone of the softer "2" reeds - Rico Royal, Vandoren Java, Rico Jazz Select 2S or 2M, and it would be helpful to read up on possibilities are some reeds are harder than others,have more cane on the reed, and different cuts. If I was starting sax again I'd probably start on the Rico Jazz Selects - very consistent and with a good sound.

Kind regards
Saxholder Pro
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