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Reeds Fun with a new box of reeds

TimboSax

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I've always used Legere reeds, but recently thought I'd try something different and am currently enjoying (shock horror) playing with cane reeds :)

I understand that there's good and bad in each box, but (possibly because I'm used to using a single synthetic reed), I've just been taking out one reed at a time, playing with it, and then when I fancy it, I replace it with a new one from the box.

I've just thought I might be being a bit daft here. Would it be a better idea for me to spend time when I get a new box to try out all the reeds, so I can identify good, medium, poor etc.? I can then work on the medium/poor to try and improve them, but at least I'll know which are good?

Is this so obvious that everyone does it and I'm just a bit slow to the party, or is it that maybe people don't do this and there's reasons why?

Asking for an idiot ;)
 

David Dorning

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Cane reeds don’t last as long as Legere, and might need a bit of playing in. So it’s a good idea to have 2 or 3 on the go at any time. That way you’ll get a feel for the variability of the pack and know when to start a new one.
 

nigeld

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I usually take two or three reeds out of the box and choose the one, or two, that I like best.
If any of them are horrible I throw them away.
 

TimboSax

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So trying all 10 out of the box is probably overkill? Thanks guys, saved me some time!
 

jbtsax

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My system I have used for years is to put all the reeds into a prescription bottle of water for about 2 minutes. Then I put them into a straight line across my desk. I play a long tone on each reed on the note B and then a Bb arpeggio from low Bb to high F and back down. If I like the sound and response it goes back in the first line. If it is just ok, it goes to the next line above the first. If it is poor it goes to the second line above the first.

I go through all the reeds two more times and they will either stay the same or be moved up or down. At the end, the reeds on the first row go into my Reed Guard and the rest are put back in the box. Eventually the keepers are ranked by number with 1 becoming my "pet" reed played sparingly and for performances.
 

TimboSax

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My system I have used for years is to put all the reeds into a prescription bottle of water for about 2 minutes. Then I put them into a straight line across my desk. I play a long tone on each reed on the note B and then a Bb arpeggio from low Bb to high F and back down. If I like the sound and response it goes back in the first line. If it is just ok, it goes to the next line above the first. If it is poor it goes to the second line above the first.

I go through all the reeds two more times and they will either stay the same or be moved up or down. At the end, the reeds on the first row go into my Reed Guard and the rest are put back in the box. Eventually the keepers are ranked by number with 1 becoming my "pet" reed played sparingly and for performances.
That's more or less what I was thinking of doing, with the possible addition of working on duff reeds with a reedgeek to try and bring them up to scratch. Then keep a few in rotation, as David and Nigel suggested.
 

TimboSax

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These days I open the packet, slap it on and play it. They must obey. Sometimes a quick scrape if they're stubborn.
And that's pretty much what I've been doing so far, but not having complete success with the obey thing. In fact I could go so far as to say some of my reeds are less obeying, more revolting :)
 

ellinas

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if you insist in playing cane ... and identify those that have a good core sound ... you can sound a lot better on cane. Articulation feels quite different also.....
the simplicity of legeres is ... phenomenal though ....
 

Colin the Bear

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And that's pretty much what I've been doing so far, but not having complete success with the obey thing. In fact I could go so far as to say some of my reeds are less obeying, more revolting :)
Change brands, strength, cut, lipgloss.
 

TimboSax

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if you insist in playing cane ... and identify those that have a good core sound ... you can sound a lot better on cane. Articulation feels quite different also.....
the simplicity of legeres is ... phenomenal though ....
Cane is definitely different, and I like it, but yeah, the legere simplicity is definitely a plus!
 

fibracell

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I wet, play each reed for 20 mins or so, and label each one with a number. If it plays really well, I give it an additional mark. A couple of real good reeds will be reserved for a gig or rehearsal. The others I rotate each practice session, no matter how they play. Sometimes a duff reed will eventually play well. I've never had any success scraping, adjusting or anything - it always seems more trouble than it's worth, and I'd rather get on with my practice.
 
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I too have mostly be playing legere, with the occasional blue box 3.0 thrown in to keep my cane hand in.

Recently I thought I would try D'daddario reserve, bought a sample pack of 4 reeds. A 1 x 2.5, 2 x 3, and 1 x 3.5. The 3s were great, I found them much better sound wise than my legere.

Bought a box of 10 and the first two out the box are all over the shop.

It seems strange that both of the 3 samples were good reeds, I wonder if they have a different methodology for selecting sample reeds vs. standard reeds. Hard to imagine.
 
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jbtsax

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I have found over the years that the more I practice, the more I notice slight differences in reeds and the more discriminating I become about which reeds are acceptable. When I was practicing 4 or more hours a day preparing for my master's recital it seemed as if none of my reeds played as well as I wanted.

I have decided the way to save money on reeds is to never practice so most of the reeds in a box play "pretty good". ;)
 

David Dorning

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I wet, play each reed for 20 mins or so, and label each one with a number. If it plays really well, I give it an additional mark. A couple of real good reeds will be reserved for a gig or rehearsal. The others I rotate each practice session, no matter how they play. Sometimes a duff reed will eventually play well. I've never had any success scraping, adjusting or anything - it always seems more trouble than it's worth, and I'd rather get on with my practice.
I find the Reedgeek very useful for flattening the reed. I thought for a long time it was an expensive gimmick, but eventually bought one and it really does help to improve the reeds that need a bit of attention.
 

TimboSax

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I have found over the years that the more I practice, the more I notice slight differences in reeds and the more discriminating I become about which reeds are acceptable. When I was practicing 4 or more hours a day preparing for my master's recital it seemed as if none of my reeds played as well as I wanted.

I have decided the way to save money on reeds is to never practice so most of the reeds in a box play "pretty good". ;)
In which case, lately my reeds have been bloody perfect :thumb:
 

TimboSax

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Very easy
Yep, I have one and followed some vid tutorials. Even just using it to flatten the reed makes a big difference, I'm still learning to use it in other places and seeing what effect that has.
 
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