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Reeds Reed Realization

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
Interesting article Ben,
This hadn't occurred to me, though I play Hahn carbon fiber reeds, I do notice days where it's easy blowing or hard to start notes.
I do notice free blowing conditions on (cold) wet days, where as hot steamy conditions, in some asian countries, like Singapore it's like blowing through wet tissue and hard to play.
In these situations would a thinner reed make any difference?
Next time I'm in this situation I'll test it out.
This might be another topic, but I notice very free blowing when my emotional/mental state is also free.
After a short layoff I find usually the sax is free blowing initially, though the tone is weak, with more playing the tone returns, but often the free blowing aspect decreases, so I'm not sure what's happening there!

Thanks for your articles
 
Messages
159
Alright, I'm not sure about the wet tissue reed question, though I think that might be describing warped reeds, like they weren't held flat during their humidity adjustments.

As far as the freeblowing topic, I am pretty confident I can further the discussion there because I've dealt with the same exact issues previously. A lack of that freeblowing feeling is often the result of embouchure interference, or, in other words, too much embouchure pressure distorting the reeds shape and making it more resistant. This is exactly whats happening after a short layoff. You start out with a nice loose embouchure and after some playing your embouchure begins tightening to control intonation as your vocal tract and abdominal forced exhalation muscles begin to tire. So, basically the embouchure tries to pick up the slack of what your vocal tract and air support should be doing. Like I said before the embouchure pressure distorts the shape of the reed, often pushing the corners of the reed up and in, making the reed more resistant and also affects the tone taking away from purity and clarity. So, instead of just going at it after some time away, do a nice warm up of long notes, take a break, and come back. That should help you play longer and help your abdominals and vocal tract continue doing their fair share of the work load.

As far as the relaxed state of mind goes, I do have a guess there as well. Mental tension (or fatigue) can result in muscles not responding at their prime. Again you could be suffering from similar fatigues as mentioned above or you might just be playing with more embouchure pressure from the get go. Mental tension can also equal physical tension.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
One thing to checkif you find your reed feels quite different from day to day is both the position of the reed and the position and tightness of the ligature.

If the reed or mpce table have any flatness issues differeing pressure on the reed can create or eliminate leakiness. Moving the lig position can change the stiffness of the reed as can moving the reed in and out relative to the tip
 
Messages
159
One thing to checkif you find your reed feels quite different from day to day is both the position of the reed and the position and tightness of the ligature.

If the reed or mpce table have any flatness issues differeing pressure on the reed can create or eliminate leakiness. Moving the lig position can change the stiffness of the reed as can moving the reed in and out relative to the tip
+1 Generally moving the ligature forward will make the reed play softer and moving it back will play it harder.
 
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