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Reeds Reedgeek 'Universal' Reed Tool

jbtsax

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I am reviving this thread to share my experience with the Reedgeek. I had a lesson on reed adjusting with my mentor the other day, in which he demonstrated this tool. In less that 10 minutes he took a new reed out of the box that was way too hard to blow, stuffy, and unresponsive and made it one of the best reeds I have played on in a long time. The Reedgeek is rectangular shaped with very sharp corners that are used to "scrape" the cane. On one end is another set of smaller corners to scrape smaller areas of the reed. He left his with me for a week to practice with. A local music store sells them for $40 which could be recouped quickly if one can make every reed in a box play well.

I am excited to try some of the techniques he showed me. He said that his teacher could pinpoint the spot on the reed to adjust the response of individual notes, not just certain registers of the sax.
 
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Jay

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1,342
My teacher recommends one. I haven't got one yet. He says he always smooths out the back of any reed with it, and then spends the occasional rainy Sunday afternooon rehabilitating reeds in the 'not playable as they came out of the box' pile.
 

Jay

Well-Known Member
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1,342
I'm doing OK with sandpaper for now - hadn't thought about my Swiss army knife....
 

Rob Pealing

sax in a kayak (apprentice sax tamer)
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1,106
I can see that for good players this sort of reed prep is important, but for the raw beginner to both music and the sax, like me, how important is it?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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5,953
I can see that for good players this sort of reed prep is important, but for the raw beginner to both music and the sax, like me, how important is it?
Not remotely.

(Other opinions may be available)

Since it's not important to me does that make me not a good player?
Hmm...
 

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,182
The idea only some of the reeds in a box will be good reeds is something I still have problems understanding.

As a beginner I would assume that if anyone was going to find one reed easier or harder to play than another then it's going to be someone like me - someone who just doesn't have the experience and knowledge to play around any problem a reed may have.

Except, if the comments are to be believed, I should have encountered at least one bad reed by now, especially as I don't buy expensive ones. But I haven't. Some last more than others, but that can be down to a million different things. I've stopped using mouthwash to clean/wipe reeds, for example, as that seems to destroy their longevity.

I'm going to suggest something now that may result in the pitchforks being dug from the back of the garage and the pitch tar being reheated for one last mob riot, but, well, could it be that 99% of so-called 'bad' reeds are actually perfectly okay reeds that happen to meet a player who's having one of those days and needs something to blame?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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5,953
You may well be right.
There are those also who throw a tantrum if everything isn't 100% perfect. Some of us just get on with it.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
Reeds do vary. some players get so locked in to a particular one they can't play anything else, and when the one reed dies, they take weeks to adjust. Need to learn to play what you get. And also find a consistent one - Marco Jazz are pretty good, so are Rico Select Jazz. But I guess there are others out there that are just as good.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,088
The idea only some of the reeds in a box will be good reeds is something I still have problems understanding.

As a beginner I would assume that if anyone was going to find one reed easier or harder to play than another then it's going to be someone like me - someone who just doesn't have the experience and knowledge to play around any problem a reed may have.

Except, if the comments are to be believed, I should have encountered at least one bad reed by now, especially as I don't buy expensive ones. But I haven't. Some last more than others, but that can be down to a million different things. I've stopped using mouthwash to clean/wipe reeds, for example, as that seems to destroy their longevity.

I'm going to suggest something now that may result in the pitchforks being dug from the back of the garage and the pitch tar being reheated for one last mob riot, but, well, could it be that 99% of so-called 'bad' reeds are actually perfectly okay reeds that happen to meet a player who's having one of those days and needs something to blame?
If you don't believe you need one don't buy one!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,096
Reeds are "dead wood". Organic products have a natural variance. I've stopped buying boxes of 10 and buy in 3's or 5's. It's very apparent that the machining varies from reed to reed in a box of 10 and from box to box. I got fed up with getting the odd box of 10 being to stiff or too soft. 3 I can handle.

If you look at the back of the vamp, some are lop sided and have different sized tubules. Also the veins in the blade can be tight. loose, symmetrical, lop sided or non existent. Rico reserve use the lower inter nodal part of the cane which seems to give more consistency. They also use a slightly different cut all of which you can feel and hear.

Most reeds will play but some of them sing. Some sing right out of the box. Some sing after an hour or so. When a reed feels like it has died, I clip a new edge and scrape to taste.

I must admit I seem to have less problems with my alto reeds since I refaced my mouthpiece. I have very few problems with Baritone reeds using an old Selmer S80 and only clip and scrape to get a little more out of them due to the price. Same with tenor. Once I found the right reed, sop and clarinet play out of the box and need little adjustment.

Alto is my main and I suppose I am more fussy because I know how bang on it can be, and aim for that.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
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25,922
I would have thought it is more important for a beginner, not that I am advocating buying one. I just find the odd reed is much harder to blow or sounds stuffy compared to some of the others, I guess I should be able to blow through it but generally stick them back in the box.

Jx
 

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
Messages
3,182
Have you tried synthetic?
I haven't tried that many different reeds yet so I still don't know what I'm looking for or even how much difference they really make (oh, bugger, the pitch forks will be out again if I continue down that road ;) ), so splashing out £16 on a single reed seems a bit pointless at the moment.

I have some V16s 2.5 here to try next (I'm using Vandoren Trad 2s at the moment) but I'm not changing until I finish the song I'm working on.

As for reed tools, they make complete sense to me - if you want or need absolute consistency in your instrument (for session players and 'names' I would think this was a pretty high priority) - it's the idea that around 10% of natural reeds are so bad they're barely playable that seems somewhat implausible.
 
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