May i have some Reed advice please!

xMelx

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Cambridgeshire.
Mel again!I have copied this from the old site just incase you all disappear here! as being new to the sax,it came with rico 2.5's and so this is what i have been learning with,i have tried 1.5's and 2's and i am uncomfortable with them,the upper register seems to be clearer with 2's but my low notes suffer for it,with my 2.5's = yummy tone (i wish to stay with these:rolleyes:)

However,a friend whom has recently started to play the clarinet advised me i am doing it all wrong as per what he has found somewhere on the web...

I wet my reed,ok i suck it for a moment,place it on my mouthpiece,and i play,that simple-is this wrong somehow? my notes are fine honestly.

It has been advised that i buy a pack of reeds,soak them all for what appears to be eons in water or other/alcohol,rub them with cardboard and play each one for 5 minutes per day consecutively until they are "broken in"This way it takes them back to nature and are easier to blow etc,etc etc...??:confused:!!!

mmmm,if i am wrong please tell me,my reeds last ages with the method i use.
Melx
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,045
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
Mel again!I have copied this from the old site just incase you all disappear here! as being new to the sax,it came with rico 2.5's and so this is what i have been learning with,i have tried 1.5's and 2's and i am uncomfortable with them,the upper register seems to be clearer with 2's but my low notes suffer for it,with my 2.5's = yummy tone (i wish to stay with these:rolleyes:)

However,a friend whom has recently started to play the clarinet advised me i am doing it all wrong as per what he has found somewhere on the web...

I wet my reed,ok i suck it for a moment,place it on my mouthpiece,and i play,that simple-is this wrong somehow? my notes are fine honestly.


mmmm,if i am wrong please tell me,my reeds last ages with the method i use.
Melx
Hi mel,

I tend to suck on my reeds for around 30 seconds - not long but long enough to get them moist.

as you are a beginner you will find that harder reeds will make it more difficult to get the lower notes and easier to get the higher ones. the situation is reversed when you use a softer reed. once your embouchure improves you will find it easier to get notes at either end of the normal range of the sax.

I would maybe drop a step from a 2.5 reed to a 2 or maybe a 1.5 until your playing and embouchure improves. I've been playing on and off for 15 years or so and still play on the equivalent of a 2.5 strength reed.

long tones/notes are ideal for building your embouchure and tone

boring at times but worth it.

It has been advised that i buy a pack of reeds,soak them all for what appears to be eons in water or other/alcohol,rub them with cardboard and play each one for 5 minutes per day consecutively until they are "broken in"This way it takes them back to nature and are easier to blow etc,etc etc...??:confused:!!!
I've not heard of soaking them in alcohol or rubbing them with cardboard either and can't see how either would take them back to nature.

there is a little booklet called the reed doctor which gives details on reeds and how to lokk after them, adjust them etc only a couple of pounds I think.


www.dg-music.co.uk
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Location
East Sussex
As posted on the other site, just suck them and play. I don't go with all this mumbo-jumbo about soaking them for prescribed periods followed by careful treatment over the coming weeks. It's a reed, don't get in a state over it.

Careful nurturing has some adherents, but you might prefer to be playing the sax, not cultvating a happy family of reeds.

Phil
 

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
Hi Mel,

I assume you are playing the alto. I started with Rico Standard 2.5s but now use Rico Jazz Selects 2m, which are slightly softer and give a better tone IMO. I agree about sucking the reeds just long enough to make them moist - never needed to do anything else. If you are getting strange noises it may be a dodgy reed, but more likely your embouchure, which just comes with practice. Good luck.
 

Calbo

New Member
Messages
2
I think the rubbing with cardboard is supposed to seal the ends of the fibres in the reed and prevent them getting waterlogged. This is supposed to make them last longer. Personally I don't thinki it makes much difference. And remember - the time you spend messing with the reed is time you could be using to practice.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
I'm with Phil on this. I just give my reeds a quick suck and then play them. If they don't work I get another out. My life's too busy to *&^ about with reeds.
 

tom9437

Member
Messages
177
Location
peterborough uk
some i know put the reed in a glass of warm water for a few mins.I just suck to moist and as said before if its no good i get another out.If you hold the reed up to the light the grain should be even across the width of the reed i believe they are a better reed. If i am wrong i amsure someone will correct me good luck and enjoy Tom.
 
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xMelx

xMelx

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Cambridgeshire.
Hi Sax starved,i am learning the Tenor not the Alto :) i don't tend to get split notes-unless my reed dies! it is my friend with the clarinet whom has this problem,i am glad everyone else just sucks them rather than soaking! x
 
OP
xMelx

xMelx

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Cambridgeshire.
Just to say Thankyou for everyones input,as i said i am learning the Tenor which was given to me late last year,i use the rico 2.5's,i have tried 1.5's and such but as i have learned with the 2.5's which were already in the case i'm finding it difficult to play anything lower than this...hence i'm back and happy on the 2.5's!xx
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Hi Mel, if your happy with the 2.5's then dont fix what aint broke! As they say. I just give my reeds a quick suck to moisten them and I continue to give them a bit of a lick every now and again just to keep them moist. Once I've warmed up and the sax has warmed up as well, I then just let the condensation thats in my breath keep the reeds just right. If I havnt practiced for a while the reed can get too wet, causing a bubling/ crackeling sound also excess moisture inside the sax. Once my practice is back to normal, the moisture settles down a bit too.
 
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