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Reeds Reed soaking

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Ive found I like to soak my reeds for between 12 to 24 hrs before playing them
no longer mind you or they get too soft and dont play well when too wet or water logged

Does anyone else like to do this???
I find If I only soak for a minute before playing the reed is not as responsive.!!!

Your comment would appreciated
regards
Allansto:)
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
I just get them out the box and play them! :thumb: if they're duff I chuck them in the drawer (not sure why - bit of a hoarder I suppose lol!), and I always rotate several good ones. :D
 

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
Messages
573
I used to do the same as Artylady,just play reeds straight from box,but i do soak them for a while now and find them more responsive for playing,and also rotate good reeds.Bumnote.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,011
My experience is much different. My practice is to wet the reed for just a few seconds in the mouth and then place it back in the reed guard while I assemble the instrument. By the time the sax is put together the reed sitting in the reed guard has soaked in the optimum amount of moisture, the tip of the reed is straight and flat, and it is ready to be put on the mouthpiece and played. This is especially handy when you play 3 or 4 reed instruments on a gig and have a lot of set-ups to get ready in a short period of time.

Occasionally when I am at home I will substitute clear water for the saliva to do the wetting. On rare occasions when I have been distracted and left reeds in the water for a long period of time I have found that the reeds become waterlogged and play very "tubby" and unresponsive. When the cane turns a darker color is a good indicator that the reed has absorbed too much water.

The La Voz reed guard I am referring to is pictured below.

 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Yeh thanks nick
I know you love to soak in vodka
And ive taken that on board
I water my vodka down a bit though 90% water 10% vodka
sacrilage to you i know
question from me is......... how long do you like to soakem?
Allansto
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
My experience is much different. My practice is to wet the reed for just a few seconds in the mouth and then place it back in the reed guard while I assemble the instrument. By the time the sax is put together the reed sitting in the reed guard has soaked in the optimum amount of moisture, the tip of the reed is straight and flat, and it is ready to be put on the mouthpiece and played. This is especially handy when you play 3 or 4 reed instruments on a gig and have a lot of set-ups to get ready in a short period of time.

Occasionally when I am at home I will substitute clear water for the saliva to do the wetting. On rare occasions when I have been distracted and left reeds in the water for a long period of time I have found that the reeds become waterlogged and play very "tubby" and unresponsive. When the cane turns a darker color is a good indicator that the reed has absorbed too much water.

The La Voz reed guard I am referring to is pictured below.

There are also the reed guards with humidifiers in them. Suppposed to play straight out of the guard.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Vodka.

You know it makes sense.
I thought you once said "...it makes shenshe..." ;}

I soak mine in a 90/10 distilled water/whisky mix for 5/10 mins - soaking the whole reed, not just the tip. The sound is much more responsive and more flexible for me if I do that. I do find that playing "straight out of the box" is more likely to lead to squeaks and an inflexible sound which I do not personally like. Also do not like the taste of only spittle or water, and prefer some alcohol in the mix. I do find that soaking some of them for too long can seem to muddy the sound somewhat but agree with Nick Smirnoff that these reeds may be too soft anyway.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Oh yeh you must soak the whole reed I feel as this allows for an even expansion of the cane.
As said If they soak for more han 24 hrs yes they become waterlogged and the tone is like playing under water.
 

DJade

Member
Messages
31
I've read somewhere that you're supposed to soak them for a good while, put them on a flat surface (I use a mirror), stroke them with the back of your fingernail from the shoulder to tip, let them dry out completely, and when you're ready to use them either pop them in the mouth or give it a quick soak in some water.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi There!

The following is useful advice to follow: http://www.superial.com/mainten_breakin.html As far as possible it is adviseable to avoid just using saliva to wet the tip of the reed as it does damage the reed. Several of us soak reeds in a mixture of boiled water and alcohol (I use 80% water & 20% whisky) and it is best to soak the whole reed for a minute or so before playing - helps avoid squeaks, gives a better tone and the reeds last much longere on the whole (mine last 8 months or more, just doing this simple preparation).

How you prepare reeds is a choice, and some people do little or no preparation, and just play them "straight from the box". Where possible it is useful to have a few reeds on the go, and rotate them in order that they have recovery time. Otherwise you can easily end up getting through reeds at an alarming rate.

Kind regards
Tom
 
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Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
How do you get distilled water from a kettle?

I suppose you could put a plastic bag over it when it's boiling and try and run the distillation into a container.

I see you've it edited it to 'boiled' instead, that makes more sense.
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I calculated that "Faffing about" takes me approximately 40 mins a year reed preparation, and about 60 seconds per day to wet reed and put it on sax. As I play approx 320 days per year, the total is 40 mins + 320 mins = 360 mins; A grand total of 6 hrs per year. This is 6 hrs out of a total of approx 550 hrs playing time per year.

6/550 = 1.1% of my sax time. Goodness me, what a Faff! If I was able to remove that 40 mins and stopped moistening my reed at all then I could play 556 hours, rather than 550, and save another 1.1% off my valuable sax playing time...............................;}
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
I calculated that "Faffing about" takes me approximately 40 mins a year reed preparation, and about 60 seconds per day to wet reed and put it on sax. As I play approx 320 days per year, the total is 40 mins + 320 mins = 360 mins; A grand total of 6 hrs per year. This is 6 hrs out of a total of approx 550 hrs playing time per year.

6/550 = 1.1% of my sax time. Goodness me, what a Faff! If I was able to remove that 40 mins and stopped moistening my reed at all then I could play 556 hours, rather than 550, and save another 1.1% off my valuable sax playing time...............................;}
That's six extra playing hours for me then :thumb:

what I don't get is the bit about saliva damaging the reed - bit difficult to avoid that isn't it? (or have I missed something!) :confused2: :D
 

breathless

Member
Messages
270
After extensive research I've found that if I soak myself in half a bottle of Glenfiditch whiskey I can just about get a reed out the box but I play just as good if not better than Stan Getz himself. The surprising thing is after a bit more soaking it didn't matter if I had a reed in at all.

Chin-chin!

Lee.>:)
 
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