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Make your reeds last 5 years!!

fibracell

Senior Member
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616
Check out this interview with Ricky Sweum. There's some interesting stuff here about long tones, intonation using drones, and keeping your reeds permanently soaked in Listerine, which can make your reeds last years.

I tried keeping reeds permanently soaked in water once, but didn't like the hygiene :eek:, and they simply seemed to loose their crispness and sound. :(


http://www.bestsaxophonewebsiteever...phone-playing/audio/Ricky_Sweum_Interview.mp3

He talks about reeds at the end around 30mins into it I think...

Rob
 

Colin the Bear

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If keeping your reeds soaked in alcohol made them last some players would only ever need to buy one.
 
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zelda

On the border
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British Columbia interior, Canada
Thanks, Rob. The humidity is really low in winter here on the prairies. I just went down to the man cave in the basement to check my humidity gauge. It's reading 34%. Really dry and I've been worried about fret sprout on my guitars; the necks shrink and the metal frets stick out. I'm firing up a humidifier tomorrow. That was an interesting listen. I dug around and found some Listerine and a small jar. Going to try it right away.
 

milandro

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the Netherlands
I like to practice by using drones and use it to become aware of the possibility of any chord. Some of my friends and colleagues in the community band where I play use to practice the harmony lessons that our band leader gives us. These lessons are difficult to bring into practice if you attempt to do that within a musical piece while they become a lot more clear on a one chord drone.

Practicing on drones helps you building a vocabulary on all chords and makes it possible for you to elaborate in keys where you not usually would practice.

I disagree on the reeds treatment.

Reeds are not dying because they are dissolved by bacteria, fungi or yeasts and Listerine is not capable in itself of keeping reeds from being mechanically stressed beyond the capability of the fibres or to do anything to these fibres to be rejuvenated.

True that an extremely dry reed will die before of a well soaked reed but simply because reeds become more brittle when dry that they are when wet.

Of course most well played and rotated reeds are, under normal conditions, not drying completely even when they appear to be dry in a normal climate, and by playing, because of the moisture we have in our mouth them they quickly rehydrate.

A reed that is kept in a very dry environment, and air conditioning contributes heavily to dry conditions, will tend to be very dry to the point that it might lose its natural elasticity.

So, several players take to keep reeds continuously moist so that they can take a reed and use it quickly without rehydrating it first. Moisture and heat are a bad combination conducive to the formation of fungi and yeasts moulds.

So it becomes necessary to put something into the water to keep it as close to deadly for these things as possible without poisoning the person who is using the reed.

Various spirits (vodka being one of the favourites) alone or in combination with other liquids, also Listerine, are used for this purpose.

On the other hand, immersion in water for only few minutes prior to playing, under these conditions achieves pretty much the same result and in hot water it is even better (try a cup of tea :) ).

The Jar full of reeds routine is, in my opinion, nothing else than one of the so many apotropaic rituals that many performing artists follow.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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The Jar full of reeds routine is, in my opinion, nothing else than one of the so many apotropaic rituals that many performing artists follow.

Guilty (vodka user).

We've all got rituals (apotropaic or not).

I feel somewhat ashamed, though, that an Italian living in the Netherlands is using English words that I have to look up (Mrs W had a good stab at it, unsurprisingly).

I keep my reeds swilling around constantly in a spot of vodka but I guess that if you could kill the mouth bugs that destroy reeds after each playing session then you could store them dry. I'll leave that for someone else to try.
 

milandro

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:) well, I know that Mrs. W has in her professional capacity a way with words such as these.

I did study things like history of religion and anthropology (next to languages and other unrelated things, as you know.....) so that tends to leave some traces in the pompousness of my expressions >:)


I love the hat!:clapping:
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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:) well, I know that Mrs. W has in her professional capacity a way with words such as these.

Indeed. I usually defer to her when it comes to word stuff.

I did study things like history of religion and anthropology (next to languages and other unrelated things, as you know.....) so that tends to leave some traces in the pompousness of my expressions >:)

:) Pompous? Na. I like learning new words.
I love the hat!:clapping:

Cheers! (Faversham Hop Festival 2013)
 

PaulM

Member
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143
Locality
West Berks
Deep in the heavily soundproofed West Berks saxophone reed test laboratory I've been evaluating Listerine to see if the different flavours have an effect on sound quality. Here are some preliminary results for the Cool Mint variant.

- Use of this flavour is best done when you are feeling sad because the colouring leaches into reeds turning them blue.
- Cool Mint treated reeds appear particularly useful when playing tunes with a note sequence like D A F D in them, especially if the lyrics also contain the words "Woke up this mornin''
- You may find you are able to discard your sunglasses and beret as using one of these reeds will instantly make you capable of playing cool jazz and any of the tunes from kind of blue perfectly well without these unnecessary props.
 

Jeanette

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Cheshire UK
Deep in the heavily soundproofed West Berks saxophone reed test laboratory I've been evaluating Listerine to see if the different flavours have an effect on sound quality. Here are some preliminary results for the Cool Mint variant.

- Use of this flavour is best done when you are feeling sad because the colouring leaches into reeds turning them blue.
- Cool Mint treated reeds appear particularly useful when playing tunes with a note sequence like D A F D in them, especially if the lyrics also contain the words "Woke up this mornin''
- You may find you are able to discard your sunglasses and beret as using one of these reeds will instantly make you capable of playing cool jazz and any of the tunes from kind of blue perfectly well without these unnecessary props.
:) Looking forward to reports on other flavours.

Jx
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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Berkshire, UK
Can you give us a report on the effect of Opal Fruits with reeds?
 

PaulM

Member
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West Berks
Can you give us a report on the effect of Opal Fruits with reeds?

An admittedly quick evaluation has conclusively demonstrated that Opal Fruits are a bad idea for the serious saxophone player. The reed rapidly becomes waterlogged and then the player begins to dribble uncontrollably. Surely nobody would be surprised by these findings. What do you expect from a product that's "made to make your mouth water"?
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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Berkshire, UK
Well surely you could presoak your reeds in a tangy Opal Fruit flavour for a citrus flavor when playing?
 

old git

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If you make your reeds last five years, think of the misery created. Belgian children, crying with hunger because VanDoren have sacked father just before Christmas. The EU currency in free fall. It's no good, I can't continue typing as tears fill my eyes............................
 

Jeanette

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If you make your reeds last five years, think of the misery created. Belgian children, crying with hunger because VanDoren have sacked father just before Christmas. The EU currency in free fall. It's no good, I can't continue typing as tears fill my eyes............................

Here have a tissue and pull yourself together...........

Nobody is going to be out of work, if we don't have to buy so many reeds more money for Belgian chocolate and beer:)

Jx
 

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