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Accessories Reed Geek

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Messages
5,269
I’m a reed nerd. I used to use a knife and couldn’t see the point of anything else, but I bought a ReedGeek about a year ago, thinking that enough people seemed keen on it for it to be worth trying. It is great - well worth it in my opinion.
 

Fortyniner

Member
Messages
45
Hi, I was interested in the Reedgeek and looked online for one but they are seriously expensive. I thought it looked familiar so I got a 10mm square HSS toolbit from my workshop and tried scraping the flat side of a reed with it. It worked very well and made it a lot more playable, which was great being very much a beginner. I found it made the higher octave a lot easier and better tone too. You can easily see the areas that are not flat when you use the tool as shown in the video promoting these things. Anyway if you haven't got a Reedgeek you can buy a 10mm square HSS toolbit on eBay for about £5. I think you'll find it does the same job. If you want a sharp edge to scrape the wings of the reed then use an oilstone to put a edge on one end of it.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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Messages
3,543
Wow you're so right! I can't even remember how we call then in french, but I used such tools on a lathe when I did workshop in school as part of our engendering topics. A long time ago. Today I doubt many learn how to use a lathe... :rolleyes:
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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Messages
3,543
Talking about lathe, I bumped into this earlier and I love it:


He does more than that. Gives me even more ideas about what I'll be doing when I'm retired!
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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Messages
3,543
My goodness; what a progressive school it must have been!
40 years ago it still meant something and we tend to forget that those technologies aren't completely obsolete. In fact 3D printing is based on those earlier technologies. Understanding how a lathe and a milling machine works among others is rather useful in many technical contexts.

The virtual reality keeps our kids away from 'reality'. They can't even consider getting their hands dirty and I think it's a serious problem. Sooner or later, they will have to dig into the mud or worse... I hope I'll be there watching! :rofl:
 

vries1

Member
Messages
244
Coming back to topic... any experiences regarding the differences between the "Classic" and the "Black Diamond G4" ReedGeek?
 

Saxmaniac

Member
Messages
43
Old pro players used to clip their reeds by holding it against the edge of a coin of the right diameter and burning the excess away with a cigarette lighter. I have tried this as an experiment and it does work though probably not as well as a good quality reed trimmer. I only trim newish reeds where the tip is too thin giving a thin reedy tone and only take a tiny amount off. Often the reed needs "playing in" again after that or a little cane taken from the top where it meets the stock to compensate for the altered dimensions from clipping
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,231
Old pro players used to clip their reeds by holding it against the edge of a coin of the right diameter and burning the excess away with a cigarette lighter.
I know that trick, I used to use a silver dollar and a zippo.
Don't mess with reeds anymore these days, just blow them into submission ;)
 

MikeMorrell

Netherlands
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Messages
1,382
I don't (yet) have a reedgeek. I used to play around with reeds more than I do now. If I ever had the feeling that a reed wasn't playing well or sounding OK, my main tools have been sandpaper, emery cloth and a clipper.
I've had a PPT mpc for a couple of years but I haven't used it very often at band rehearsals or concerts because I felt I needed to practice more on it at home (which I haven't done). Whenever I played on the PPT, I'd occasionaly 'squeak' notes (on the attack), especially after playing for a while. My conclusion: more practice needed. But I recently (again) noticed how much better the PPT sounds than my standard/easy (ESM) mpc so I decided to just play the PPT as often as possible and learn how to play it without squeaking.

At a recent concert, I decided to start out with the PPT for a few solos and if things got too bad, I'd switch to the ESM. While 'warming up' the bari player - who was just filling in for our regular bari player for this one concert - heard me playing and asked me whether he could give me a tip. "Sure" I said. He then produced a Reedgeek that he'd had for a couple of weeks and scraped the flat side of my reed. I could see the stuff that was coming off. As if by magic, all the squeaks were gone and I easily played the whole concert on my PPT. I'm not saying that a razor blade or flat knife wouldn't have done the same job but I was seriously impressed! This was the same reed that played/sounded just fine on my ESM. I can only conclude that my PPT table is more sensitive to non-flat reeds than my ESM.
 
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Ne0Wolf7

Member
Messages
525
It could also have to do with your reed "mating" to the ESM. Some mouthpeices are made with an intentionally concave talbe that the reed is supposed to swell into as you play it to make a good seal. It coukd be that the ESM is made that way but the PPT is made with a flat table.
 

ellinas

Senior Member
Messages
868
Reedgeek seems to work for me. So far I'm saving good reeds that don't play that well after 1-2 times. Shaving the bottom is easy and they play like new.

Great product

Now I need to experiment in "fixing" dull ones .....
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,543
Now I need to experiment in "fixing" dull ones .....
I did that for a short while, with relative success. I managed to obtain reeds that I found more responsive. @Jazzaferri set me on that track by sending me some reeds he tweaked.

But since I discovered the Légère, I tend to drift away from cane and only play the Légère. At least on tenor which I play more than anything else these days, by lack of time mostly...
 
OP
BigDoug

BigDoug

Member
Messages
54
Thanks for the response. These things seem to be so expensive for what is, after all, a little piece of steel. Is it not possible to simply shave the reeds with a Stanley knife blade .......... my current method ?
 

ellinas

Senior Member
Messages
868
Many things are possible... Even sandpaper works. BIt I don't have time to do this. Reedgeek takes me 10 seconds to recondition a swallen Reed. The difference is big. I'm not sure how to fix a stuffy one
This takes practice ...
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,269
If you want to flatten the bottom of a reed then ReedGeek is great. I have never regretted getting one.

If you want to adjust the reed then the ReedGeek is OK, but personally I prefer a knife.
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
1,810
I have one, the original one. Yes, it's too expensive - but isn't everything, and I certainly can't make one. You can do everything this does with either a knife or a piece of glass paper. This is easier though, and you can carry this on flights etc as they say on their promo stuff - it isn't a blade.

The best part is the flattening ability on the back of the reed - easy, quick - can be done on-stage if necessary.

Someone mentioned the old army trick of using a coin and burning the tip - this makes the reed harder or course, whereas the ReedGeek is all about cane removal and therefore softening, or just sorting it not being flat or symmetrical.
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
1,810
So this is the issue (or one issue) with reeds wearing, flailing, sounding muddy? The flat back warps and isn't flat anymore?
Not the muddy part, just the seal on the table of the mouthpiece. They can warp with use, but I always give the back a scrape or two when new to make sure that it is flat. The ReedGeek won't take cane off if it is flat, so no skill needed unlike a knife.

The stuffy or muddy part is near the tip, which can also be altered with the ReedGeek, though you need to learn a bit for this. I prefer my glass paper for this.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,556
Play your reed for 10 minutes then take it off and holding it up to a light hold a sharp straightedge across the reed just where the vamp starts and slide it back to about 1cm from the end. If any light shows it’s not flat. Do the same with the straightedge along the reed starting at one edge and going to the other.

when I was adjusting cane most of my reeds were slightly concave when dry and flat after 5-10 minutes playing. If a reed started to play in a stuffy way I would check the back and almost all the time there would be slight swelling starting under the vamp and continuing back towards the tail. A quick flattening with the reed geek made it better.

the 90 degree cutting edge of the reed geek leaves a much smoother finish at a micro level than a knife. If one burnishes a slight roll onto the edge of a knife to make it work like a cabinet scraper it will leave a much better finish on the cane.
 
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