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harder reed/better intonation

mallyjames

Member
Messages
48
Location
northern uk
hi all ;spring is here;the rain is getting warmer.will using a harder reed(moving up to a rico 3.5 from a 3)mean that my intonation will improve mainly in the upper register/palm key area.since moving up to a three from 2.5 i think it has .mally
 

Semiquaver

Member
Messages
102
Location
Hertfordshire, England
Harder reeds

Yes, I was very surprised at the improved tone I got with a harder reed. I had a go with a standard 2 1/2 Vandoren and 3 java. Previously I had been using a 2 1/2 Rico Royal.

The java sounds wonderful and will now get a whole box.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,583
Location
Lundy Island
Using harder reeds can help or hinder intonation in my experience. It make lipping notes into tune harder, but on the other hand if a problem is that you are "lipping notes out of tune", then it might help - but not the best solution, which is work on your embouchure and ear training.

I know that this is not the opinion of everyone so you may get some different answers which I absolutely respect, we are all different.
 

Semiquaver

Member
Messages
102
Location
Hertfordshire, England
Agreed Pete I am very keen to have a good sound. I cannot see the point in doing all the hard work if I sound rubbish. At a resent course I recorded my little ensemble and could not beleive how flat I sounded on some notes.

I was sure that I was in tune and playing the correct notes. What I had failed to grasp was that I was still using the cheap mpc that I got with my Trevor james horn. Teach suggested that I had grown out of it and needed an update including the reeds.

I now sound much better with my Selmer sloist c* and slighly harder reed.
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Everything always comes back to reeds and mouthpieces. The never ending question, that never gets completely resolved:(
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Everything always comes back to reeds and mouthpieces. The never ending question, that never gets completely resolved:(
Oh that is sooo true. I've been playing for five years and really thought I'd got everything to where I wanted it..until I joined a band! Now I have to play LOUD and all my hard-won quality tone has gone to the dogs and I find myself starting again looking for that reed/mpc combination that is just what I want. Anyone got a set of drums they don't need?:D

Moz
 

Djangette

Member
Messages
69
Location
Essex
Stick to tone Moz - a harder reed won't give you loudness per se.

Think about microphone and amplifier if need be ... if you're making a good noise why spoil it?

Intonation has nothing to do with reed strength - it's to do with the individual, the old reed/mp combo argument *sigh*

I know pros who use 1s to 2s (perhaps with trimming and rubbing) and youngsters who think it's macho to boast about using 4 plus lol ... it's about what you do not what you type isn't it?
 

tengu01

Member
Messages
732
Location
London, UK
It is the ever-vexed question isn't it?

I have found harder reeds give me easier access to high notes, but less low-down notes. My tone has improved more from training my embouchure better than by hardening my reeds. I came back down to a 2.5 when I got a mouthpiece which was a little wider than I was used to and decided to stay put and stop looking for a quick fix.

The rewards are that now I have easy access to my upper register but I can also go down low with the greatest of ease.

My purely subjective opinion is that you should find a reed which allows you to hit both ends of your horn reasonably easily and then work on register exercises that take you from one end of the horn to the other. Hard reeds are good for some, less so for others. There is much good to be had from being able to get those smoky, sultry low notes easily.

My 2c
 
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