Tutorials

Reeds Reeds

Messages
41
Location
Shetland Islands
Right, after purchasing me second-hand "Boozy Squawk" last Wednesday and having the flu over the weekend, I finally got round to changing the reed today. I'm just blowing into the mouthpiece on its own at the moment (neighbour had a couple of days off work so thought I'd break them in gently to the idea of me having a sax LOL).

Now apart from cleaning the horrendous pink lipstick off the mouthpiece (no taste some peeps - I would have chosen a much deeper red colour but there you go) and hoping that I've put the new reed in correctly, I've noticed that it seems harder to blow. Granted, it may be that I'm still getting over the lurgy.

The reed that was in it originally, complete with pink lipstick, was a Rico Royal 2.5. I've whacked in a Rico Royal 1.5.

Do these thingies take time to bed in? Why was it harder to get a sound out of? Or is it cos I'm just getting over the lurgy?

Also, anyone know where I can download a finger sheet from?

Ta very much peeps!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Hi there, did you remember to soak the reed before putting it onto the mouthpiece and is the ligature too tight/in the correct place. Is the reed ok. Its not uncommon to find a completely useless reed in a pack. It doesn't happen too often but it can happen. Did you damage the reed whilst handling it, or have you damaged it in the most common way, by sticking the reed into your shoulder whilst trying to look at your fingers?

I'm sure there must be something on Petes site but I didnt have time to search it for you

Try this fingering chart I hope it helps.
 
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OP
U
Messages
41
Location
Shetland Islands
Hi there, did you remember to soak the reed before putting it onto the mouthpiece and is the ligature too tight/in the correct place. Is the reed ok. Its not uncommon to find a completely useless reed in a pack. It doesn't happen too often but it can happen. Did you damage the reed whilst handling it, or have you damaged it in the most common way, by sticking the reed into your shoulder whilst trying to look at your fingers?

I'm sure there must be something on Petes site but I didnt have time to search it for you

Try this fingering chart I hope it helps.
Sugar, I just whacked it in, lined it up, tightened thingies, sucked it in me gob for about 30 seconds ...

... how you soak them then? I am literally stuck up here with one sax, searching for a teacher and one Abracadabra book!

After posting original thread, I did see other thread on reeds (apologies peeps).

Ta for finger chart.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Some people just suck the reed for about 30 seconds, some drop them in water for several minutes, some use alcohol (I think that's probably just an excuse) as long as the reed is "softened" it should be ok. As for reed placement, just make sure that the tip of the reed is level with the tip of the mouthpiece and don't tighten the ligature too tight, just enough to hold the reed still! Its all trial and error The more I try....the more errors I make! :thankyou:
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,983
Location
The Athens of The North
I wash new reeds under the tap. After that I just wet them in my mouth before playing. The 1.5 should be a lot easier to play than the 2.5. Since you are not having much luck playing just the mouthpiece, it might be a good idea to try playing the sax instead. Grease the cork and always fit the mouthpiece to the neck before fitting the neck to the sax.

Jim.
 
OP
U
Messages
41
Location
Shetland Islands
I wash new reeds under the tap. After that I just wet them in my mouth before playing. The 1.5 should be a lot easier to play than the 2.5. Since you are not having much luck playing just the mouthpiece, it might be a good idea to try playing the sax instead. Grease the cork and always fit the mouthpiece to the neck before fitting the neck to the sax.

Jim.

Oooh heck, haven't ever removed the mouthpiece from the neck.

Next "and your starter for 10" for the thicko newbie - how do you grease the cork? I've left a message for one of the sax players up here in Shetland but it is school holidays so they may be away and will try the other one again tomorrow - I can see I have a lot to learn before even playing Boozy Squawks!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
This may sound obvious, but remove the mouth piece using a screwing action whilst you pull it gently and then apply some cork grease to the cork. (Remove the neck from the sax first) If you don't have any you could use lip balm or vaseline or a similar type of product. You can also grease the joint between the neck (or crook) of the sax and the main body. This all helps to keep things lubricated and removes the threat of straining a joint. Whilst your at it, it doesn't hurt to lubricate the keys on the sax occasionally. If Boozy Squawks has not been maintained then using some nice clean car engine oil, you can drip a tiny amount onto the keys. You will notice little joints in the rods where the keys pivot. Just drip a tiny amount using either a pin or a tooth pick as an applicator and then give the key a good wiggle to work the oil in. Make sure you don't use too much cos it don't arf get messy!

Have fun.;}
 
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OP
U
Messages
41
Location
Shetland Islands
Cheers Pete

Off to bed now! I did consider Vaseline but thought I'd better wait until one of you lovely chaps assisted. I suspect nowt has been done to likkle Boozy Squawks in the last 15 years. I'm going to err on the side of caution and wait until I hopefully get teacher and let them have a butchers.

Failing that, after paid tax man (ah the joys of being self-employed), may send it off for a service. Well, I only paid £80 for it anyway (but I still like it).
 

Mikec

Member
Messages
201
Location
Buckinghamshire, UK
As someone else pointed out, reeds vary considerably in their blowing qualities. Try another one; and, in a spirit of pragmatism, if the 2.5 is easier to blow, then use that! (It could be that it's a very pliant 2.5, while your 1.5 is rather stiff, and will take time to soften.). As you're at a very early stage, the important thing is to make sounds. You'll find after a week or two that it comes more easily, as your muscles get the idea of what they're supposed to be doing. Don't get bogged down by reeds, just blow!
 
OP
U
Messages
41
Location
Shetland Islands
As someone else pointed out, reeds vary considerably in their blowing qualities. Try another one; and, in a spirit of pragmatism, if the 2.5 is easier to blow, then use that! (It could be that it's a very pliant 2.5, while your 1.5 is rather stiff, and will take time to soften.). As you're at a very early stage, the important thing is to make sounds. You'll find after a week or two that it comes more easily, as your muscles get the idea of what they're supposed to be doing. Don't get bogged down by reeds, just blow!
Cheers Mike for your advice. I did wonder if the 2.5 had been softened up whereas the new one hadn't. Yep, I'm attempting to make noises at the moment which is why I'm just blowing for a few days into the mouthpiece so that my muscles get used to the idea and then hopefully next week the whole sax. I did manage to get a sound out of the whole sax last week.

Ta for your advice and btw, nice website and photos. Liked your music too (especially the second track).
 
OP
U
Messages
41
Location
Shetland Islands
I imagine that's easier said than done when you are on the Shetlands........ :)
Na, I bought 3 (I ain't daft just a tad slow getting to grips with B&H...;}) - besides, eBay has been known to reach my PC even if broadband is a tad slower than London LOL.

Oooh, don't say Shetlands cos they get mega upset. Apparently, you can only add an 's' if geographically the islands making up the group of islands are larger in size collectively. In the case of the Shetland Islands, the other islands are 'larger collectively' than Shetland!
 
Sugar, I just whacked it in, lined it up, tightened thingies, sucked it in me gob for about 30 seconds ...

... how you soak them then? I am literally stuck up here with one sax, searching for a teacher and one Abracadabra book!

After posting original thread, I did see other thread on reeds (apologies peeps).

Ta for finger chart.
I soak my reeds every day in a jar with 1/5 mouthwash and 4/5 cooled boiled water, then I keep them in a plastic tub in their plastic sleeves with a small drop of the mouthwash solution in it. This keeps them damp enough to play at once.Hope this helps.

Peace

Flipp
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
I'm just blowing into the mouthpiece on its own at the moment (neighbour had a couple of days off work so thought I'd break them in gently to the idea of me having a sax LOL).
THAT was nice of you! Dear neighbour, please accept my apologies because I've taken up the saxophone but rather than let you hear me play it, I am going to subject you to a series of tuneless shrieks and squeaks that even my deaf cat can't stand, on the basis that if you can cope with that, you can cope with anything!!

Bagpipes next, sorry.

:)))

Martin
 
OP
U
Messages
41
Location
Shetland Islands
^^Ha, ha - haven't got a deaf cat but my two Shar Pei appear to be coping with it. The goods news is, neighbour above is back at work for the next few days ... so I'd better go and suck that reed!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
One idea - you've gone to a much softer reed. Are you squeezing too hard with you mouth? Tends to block things off and make things difficult to blow.
 

Martin

Member
Messages
212
Location
Grenada, West Indies
One idea - you've gone to a much softer reed. Are you squeezing too hard with you mouth? Tends to block things off and make things difficult to blow.
The same thought occorred to me. I have never been able to get on with a 1.5 reed...even when I was nine years old and my Mum took me to a shop somewhere in the middle of Manchester to choose my clarinet. I couldn't play it until the shop assistant took out the 1.5 and put in a number 2 reed.

Martin
 
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