Beginner reed change during playing


Well-Known Member
Frankston Victoria Australia
Hi ladies and gents .....Happy new year.
Well Ive got a question for the more experienced beginners or professionals out there.
Its regarding lip strength.
If youre playing a gig and you get a really tired mouth and are having trouble maintaining tone/tune /not squarking.....(if this happens to pro`s)?????) you opt to put a softer reed in to maintain control.
If I found I wanted or needed a softer reed during a gig then yes, I would put one on, but would also make a mental note to use a softer reed to start the the gig next time.
When I get a tired mouth while playing a gig, I make a mental note to spend more time practising! The gigs I play, there's no time to change a reed, so it's a case of pucker up and bear it.
Endurance is one of the benchmarks that lets me know my embouchure is in good shape. When I have a performance and I haven't been playing or practicing very much, I will use a reed with less resistance from the start.
If you're getting tired it's either lack of practice or the wrong set up in my opinion. On alto I can play solo for four hours in the afternoon busking and be up for a gig in the evening. An hour a day minimum to keep your chops fit. It's a common fallacy that the harder the reed or bigger the tip, the better the player. It's supposed to be easy.....eventually
I'm guessing from your post that you are new to playing with other musicians, in which case it's easy to extend yourself without really being aware that you are. You find your reed seems harder or sometimes may even die because you are biting on it, and overblowing. Try to recreate on a gig the same intensity as the practice room. And viva versa.
As they say in the add. Relax dear it's only a commercial. :gathering:
PS. Nota quick versa. The other way around.LOL
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Tired mouth or not the only reason I ever change reeds during a gig (which is rare) is because the one I'm using is getting too soft, resulting in loud and high notes stopping on me (the one in the middle of the solo in The Letter is a prime candidate), or causing me to play flat up high. Come to think of it, playing flat up high is also likely to be the result of getting tired, but a slightly stiffer reed seems to help rather than hinder intonation up top.
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