SYOS

Playing hard reeds quietly

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
A couple of months ago I bought some different strength Vandoren V16 tenor reeds to try. I liked the strength 2s but couldn't get on with the 3.5 and 4s as they required so much puff. I thought that I'd give them another go today but found I needed to blow so hard to get a decent sound out of them that I was playing really, really loudly. Given that I'm constantly having to rein back my sound in order not to drown out the rest of my band I was wondering how to play one of these quietly. Or do I just stick with the 2s?
 
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Lloyd

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
If it's good enough for you...

I was at a residential course last September and one of the tutors was raving about harder reeds to hit the high notes. You don't agree?

How was Tywyn?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
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12,656
Location
McLean, Virginia
If it's good enough for you...

I was at a residential course last September and one of the tutors was raving about harder reeds to hit the high notes. You don't agree?

How was Tywyn?
That's fine if you don't want to play low notes or quietly .

(Haven't been there yet)
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Location
Leeds
This is going to depend a good deal on your mouthpiece tip opening size. A mouthpiece that a 2 reed is comfortable on is never going to suit you with a 4. For instance, for me personally, a 2 feels comfortable on tenor at about .125" (9*). A 4 feels about the same on about .080" (5). Huge difference there. Sounds like the 3.5-4 is too hard for you on your mouthpiece. There is a lot of middle ground here, maybe 2 1/2 or 3 is good for you. The thing is to find what plays comfortably on the gig.
 
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Lloyd

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
Interesting. I'm using an Otto Link Tone Edge 6*. I've no idea what tip opening this is but I just liked the sound when I tried it.

I've just looked it up. It's a .095" so maybe a slightly narrower mouthpiece might suit a harder reed.
 
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thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Hi Lloyd without repeating what the others have said, don't get sucked into the system which says as you get better you should play harder reeds. I have just changed to Jody jazz HR 7 and play Alexander Superial 2's on them, when i played my Meyer 6M i was using Rico royal 3's and Alexander Superials 2,5's. So i came back down in reed strength but have a much better sound ( i think anyway ) Once that reed is on nobody sees what number you are playing but they certainly hear what you are playing. Stick to the 2's. Good luck Phil
 
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Lloyd

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
Hi Lloyd without repeating what the others have said, don't get sucked into the system which says as you get better you should play harder reeds. I have just changed to Jody jazz HR 7 and play Alexander Superial 2's on them, when i played my Meyer 6M i was using Rico royal 3's and Alexander Superials 2,5's. So i came back down in reed strength but have a much better sound ( i think anyway ) Once that reed is on nobody sees what number you are playing but they certainly hear what you are playing. Stick to the 2's. Good luck Phil
Thanks Phil,

I wasn't really looking to change anything, I was just surprised that after 18 months of daily practice I still couldn't blow a hard reed competently. I'm feeling less inadequate now however I do feel a bit of GAS coming on; it's been several months since I bought anything!
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
I use reeds that many would consider ridiculously soft. A Vandoren #2 for me is the limit for comfortable playing, and I actually quite like them. I also have seen many comments that encourage the use of harder reeds as one becomes more experienced. This is not a sporting contest. It is all about producing the kind of tone that best meets one's expectations, and I couldn't care less if someone chides me for my choices.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
I found that slightly harder reeds helped with higher notes - much cleaner tone. Was using a 5 opening with 2.5s, upgraded to 3s on the advice of my teacher. But then I changed to a wider mouthpiece (8*) and the 3s went away to be replaced by 2s, which are working well, so no harder for me unless I need it.
 
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