Tutorials

Jazz reed for smooth Jazz

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
There isn't a best reed - What suits you and your mouthpiece is what's important.

Rico, Vandoren, Marca most other makers make Jazz cut reeds. E.g. Rico Select Jazz.
 

XasGotan

Member
Messages
25
In addition to kevgermany's reply you may want to look at the Jody Jazz homepage: http://www.jodyjazz.com/
where there are examples of combinations of reed strengths with their mouthpieces that are likely to help you to create a certain sound, i.e. Stan Getz, or whatever you want to sound like. In addition to the appropriate mouthpiece/reed combination it is most important that you play long notes until your inbuilt feedback makes you sound like you want to sound. I guess the right reed and mouthpiece only help you to get there but they do not play the major role.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,664
In my opinion you will sound like "you" regardless of reed or mouthpiece choice. Just find a combination that you feel comfortable with and you'll be playing smooth jazz before you know it!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Agree with kevgermany about Jazz Cut reeds - American Cut reeds are going to sound more percussive and great for Rock/R&B/Funk and similar. Jazz Cut reeds should sound smoother/silkier if played well, but as Taz says, the sound will depend on your own playing style etc. A medium size mouthpiece (5 - 6* in soprano, alto and tenor will also help, rather than a wider tip opening.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,219
No problem!

Alexander NY's, Vandoren V16's, Rico Orange Box. American cut reeds are generally a flatter profile reed with a thicker end, as distinct from a Classical Cut (such as Rico Royal, Vandoren Blue Box) which are thicker at the start and go very thin at the tip. The Jazz Cut is somewhere in between so starts off flatter than the classical cut but ends thinner than the American cut, so is generally the most flexible reed.

Hope this helps. The American Cut is especially suited to mouthpieces with a long facing curve where flexibility may badly affect playing by closing the reed on the mouthpiece. The Classical cut is more suited to shorter facings and the Jazz more suitable for medium facing curves, though many folks adapt comfortably to the combination that they adopt, whatever it is. Recently I've been playing a Phil-Tone Equinox mouthpiece (longer facing)on my Tenor Sax and the NY reeds sound much better than my Marca Jazz reeds, even though they are the same hardness.

Kind regards
Tom

Having looked at what is online there is the main distinction between American Cut and French Cut. I would say that French Cut is almost the same as a Classical Cut. The Jazz Cut is almost described as a Filed reed (reeds CAN be Filed or Unfiled - the NY and V16 are unfiled), which can be either an American Cut (such as Alexander DC - Double Cut, or Rico Jazz Select Filed) or possibly a French Cut reed which has been filed.
 
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Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
Dodgy hair cut? Chance would be a fine thing! There's a thought - how many great sax players were bald?

More seriously and relevant to this thread, thanks for the info - it actually clears up a lot of confusion I had about reeds that worked with my Link 5* but not with the Dukoff D7 and vice versa.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,144
Dodgy hair cut? Chance would be a fine thing! There's a thought - how many great sax players were bald?

OP says Smooth Jazz: you are not allowed to play smooth jazz if you are: bald, overweight, grey haired, baritone player.

What about those reeds that grow in hotel lounges? are they any good?
 

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
521
1. Use a softer reed - I play alto and use Rico Jazz Select, grade 2 Soft. Ignore everyone else who seems to be playing a mouthpiece with a 27* tip opening and a grade 13 reed. Softer reeds mean you can blow less hard, relax your embouchure and get that all important subtone.

2. Try listening to lots of Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond (but please not his latin/bossa phase - aural torture - even banned in lifts, I hear...) and you will realise you don't want to play smooooove jazz at all - it is cool jazz you are after.

Enjoy. Don't try and be Coltrane.
 
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gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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I was beginning to wonder why this thread was here thought it should be in the playing or technical threads,all very informative though especially your posts Tom,where do you get all this knowledge from,it answers a lot of questions for me about pairing reeds and MPC's that I hadn't realised before,thanks Tom.Has anybody got any tips on loosening your emboushure I have developed a terrible problem in this area that I don't seem to be able to get rid of I know my emboushure is too tight because I get a sore bottom inner lip but don't seem to be able to change it anyone got any ideas.Love your choice of clips Mac............John
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Playing alto with the mouthpiece slightly higher should make you play with a looser bottom lip, and with more focus on the upper teeth. Try tightening the strap that you use so that the mouthpiece takes a more dominant focus and encourages you to have a more "passive" embouchure, and your inner bottom lip should have less chance to rub on the reed. I'll be on my alto a little later and will try and clarify the above, but just make sure that the mouthpiece sits slightly higher by your face. If it is too low it does lend itself to a tighter embouchure.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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3,435
Thanks Tom raising the sax on the strap is something I have been trying to remember to do and I know it's part of the problem I like the idea of taking more mpc in and wil try to do this,it's more a case of my teeth biting into my bottom lip...thanks again Tom.....John
 
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aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,144
Thanks Tom raising the sax on the strap is something I have been trying to remember to do and I know it's part of the problem I like the idea of taking more mpc in and wil try to do this,it's more a case of my teeth biting into my bottom lip...thanks again Tom.....John

There was an exercise in a Liebman book about harmonics (similar to Rascher's but easier). I found that quite useful.

Basically.
play a Bb (3rd line), then, while still blowing, close everything up to a low Bb and keep the sound.
play a F (5th line), then, while still blowing, close everything up to a low Bb and keep the sound.
play a Bb (above the staff), then, while still blowing, close everything up to a low Bb and keep the sound.

the same with B an C harmonics. This exercise improves the sound too and keeps wives at a distance.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Try opening your bottom lip more, or have it bunched up and in front of your teeth. It is best NOT to have your bottom lip over your teeth if you can help it. Sounds like the tightness is because you are using your jaw instead of your lip muscles to form your embouchure. You may need to use your lightest reeds.

Kind regards
Tom

Just off walking the dog on the Gower for a few hours...............
 
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