Tutorials

Reeds

MartinL

Member
Messages
378
Location
Bilston, United Kingdom.
Hi all

Recently I seem to be getting no life from my reeds, They seem to go "off" after only a couple of hours of playing yet until recently they would last ages, cant think what has changed. :confused:
 
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MartinL

MartinL

Member
Messages
378
Location
Bilston, United Kingdom.
What do you use and how experienced are you? Maybe you need a slightly harder reed. I find the softer reeds go off very quickly and I now use 3s.
I think you could be right, I've been using 3's on a 4C but have gone recently to 2's on a 5C. It seemed fine for ages but now, in the last two weeks I cant find a Mouthpiece / reed combination that I'm happy with for more than an hour or so.
 
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MartinL

MartinL

Member
Messages
378
Location
Bilston, United Kingdom.
Do reeds go off with time?

I have just bought a new box and the problem seems to have gone away, could it be that my older boxes (both 2's and 3's, cheap from the same source on ebay) were old stock and past their best. Thats certainly what I'm thinking now
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
I find that reeds are a pain - firstly though, stick with one mouthpiece (I'd go for the bigger one, the 5C), then work on finding the reed to match. If 2's and 3's don't work, try a 2.5?
Reeds don't tend to 'go off' if they're new and dry, there's no sell-by date. They might go a bit green and smelly if you leave them for a while having played on them! Sufferers of Gear Acquisition Syndrome my want to purchase a humidity-controlled reed-saver...

I do find that on gigs I usually get through a reed fairly quickly, because I play harder - after this they still work, but don't have the same response. I can continue to use them to practice, in rehearsal, teaching etc. This would suggest that if your reeds are a little too soft for what you're doing try a harder one. Or try something like a Fibracell or Hahn synthetic reed that basically keep going until you split them.

If anyone else has any tips about what I'm doing wrong I'd be pleased to hear them...

Good luck,

Nick
 
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MartinL

MartinL

Member
Messages
378
Location
Bilston, United Kingdom.
Thanks Nic,

That makes sense and is in line with what I was thinking too. I also think that, even as a relative novice, I "work" the reed too hard. I must try to come over and see you sometime but its not easy with a full time job. Are you available in the evening at all?

Martin
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
About four months ago I bought a box of 25 Rico orange tenor reeds. I assume that they are from the same production batch, but I found that they seem to show some variation. So far all of them have played, but some seem to require much more effort than others. Among the solutions I use are filing the tip down ever so slightly with an emery board or soaking them longer.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
About four months ago I bought a box of 25 Rico orange tenor reeds. I assume that they are from the same production batch, but I found that they seem to show some variation. So far all of them have played, but some seem to require much more effort than others. Among the solutions I use are filing the tip down ever so slightly with an emery board or soaking them longer.
I find the Rico Oranges have a lot of variation - this is one reason they're so cheap compared to the 'posher' brands.

As a general rule of thumb, the more you pay per reed the more consistency you get.

Nick
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
346
Location
Exeter
Reeds definitely have a life and vary quite a lot. Some I can never get a good sound out of. I have noticed that reeds out of a newly opened box seem to sound better and assume this may be to do with them drying out. So I have taken to keeping opened boxes in resealable plastic bags, but maybe that's just a superstition!
 
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