Reeds Revitalising reeds

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
At my lesson on Sunday, Karen suggested that my reed needed changing. No apparent damage, but she felt the upper register was very thin due to a soft reed. Sure enough, changed to a new one and WOW, totally new sound. More projection throughout the range and much better upper register.

Do I just bin the old one or is there something I can do with it? The 'old' reed seems to get very soft after only 10 or 15 minutes playing. The new one takes may 5 minutes to start to sing.

Should I use several reeds or just one until it dies?
 
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Sloth

Member
Messages
102
Location
The cheap end of Brighton
I bought a few reeds in the week after getting the sax, some Rico Royals and Vandoren traditional - I found the Vandorens very difficult to play at first, but have tried them again and they're getting easier, thank God I didn't chuck them! So now I have about 8 reeds in random rotation along with a Fibracell for backup.

You can always try sand/scraping the reed, you have nothing to lose and the experience is always handy.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Sloth!

The Vandoren Hygrocase is good - stores 4 reeds in very good condition, and makes rotating reeds easier and dries them slowly, hence makes them last much longer - mine will easily last 6 months plus, in spite of quite heavy regular use. Worth looking into IMO;}

Kind regards
Tom:cool:

ps. any luck with teachers yet?
 
OP
half diminished

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
I bought a few reeds in the week after getting the sax, some Rico Royals and Vandoren traditional - I found the Vandorens very difficult to play at first, but have tried them again and they're getting easier, thank God I didn't chuck them! So now I have about 8 reeds in random rotation along with a Fibracell for backup.

You can always try sand/scraping the reed, you have nothing to lose and the experience is always handy.
I usually 'fettle' a little but removing material won't make the reed harder unless I use a reed trimmer I guess. I was hoping someone with more experience than me would have a view on what I can do (if anything).

Hi Sloth!

The Vandoren Hygrocase is good - stores 4 reeds in very good condition, and makes rotating reeds easier and dries them slowly, hence makes them last much longer - mine will easily last 6 months plus, in spite of quite heavy regular use. Worth looking into IMO;}

Kind regards
Tom:cool:

ps. any luck with teachers yet?
Does this really prolong their life? Have to say I'm pretty lazy and tend to leave the reed on the MP as I play at least once or twice every day at the moment - sometimes three times a day at the weekend. It won't last though then I'll be back to three or four times a week! Just seem to be working from home a lot at the mo! :)
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
When I first started learning sax I used Rico Royals - just stuck them in my mouth for a few seconds, and then on my sax for the rest of the day, then off and into box. I could get through 2/3 per fortnight no sweat.

Now I give them all an initial soaking and brief massage, and always soak them in mouthwash for a minute or so before playing, whilst assembling my sax and general preparation. I stick it on, have a good play (in several 20 min slots) and take it off and store it if that session is over (for a few hours or so). Lasts much longer - still on first box of DC's on my Alto, which were bought in November 2006 or so (have 8 left, 2 not used). My music teacher knows if a reed is past its best, and is generally quiet most of the time.

So I think that it works well, especially with reeds having got quite expensive.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

cmelodysax

New Member
Messages
25
Location
Weymouth, Dorset UK
Mamos - that's crazy prices - SilverWinds Music (Hayle, only just the other side of the peninsula from you...) is selling them on ebay for half that, check this link for their phone number - I've no connection with them, just shocked at what you paid... :shocked:

I play mostly Rico Royals, and a good reed clamp is really useful - if you leave them on the mouthpiece to dry out they can go wrinkly at the tip, especially if the room gets warm/dry, and that's the start of the end - although repeated smoothing/rubbing (wet) on a flat surface like glass can gain some extra life.

Failing than, you could clip the ends, but unless you've very skilled at scraping, the response will alter quite a bit - ultimately they make great recycled markers in plant-pots, you can just about fit the words "Rhododendron rex fictolacteum" on a tenor Rico 2.5 :)
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,627
Location
Rugby UK
OK so I now have to admit to being a very lazy player. I use Vandoren 2.5 on a Runyon Quantum with an Eddie Daniels lig. I wet a reed by sucking it briefly, then I clamp it to the mpc and leave it there. It lasts for about three to four months and I play quite hard. :(Am I setting a bad example now?>:)

About revitalising old reeds? Na just bin it, or in true Blue Peter style I like cmelodysax's suggestion so here's one I prepared earlier!
 
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cmelodysax

New Member
Messages
25
Location
Weymouth, Dorset UK
Taz - if it works for you, that's absolutely fine - but I'd hate to think what's building up on the back of a reed that's on the mouthpiece for three months...:eek: But I guess they're clean(ish) when you finally take them off ?
 
S

Stan's Fan

Guest
[Do I just bin the old one or is there something I can do with it?]

I read somewhere (probably on this forum) that you can use old reeds for labelling plants.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
A good use for old reeds is to use them to keep a ligature in shape on a mouthpiece when you have removed the playable one - helps the ligature to keep its shape better.

For a bit of fun they can also be used to create mouthpiece spoilers with a little craft (pen knife and sand paper).

Kind regards
Tom:mrcool
 

SLoB

Member
Messages
102
Location
Bishop's Stortford
Mamos

I use Reeds Direct and looking at Rico Royal a box of 10 is £14.45/£18.45 (not sure if you play Alto or Tenor).

They are mail order and I have never had a problem with them. Their web site is www.reeds-direct.co.uk

That reminds me I need to get some more.

S
 

Dave E

Member
Messages
130
Location
Leicester
I pop my alto reeds in a specimen bottle of vodka a hour or two before I play. Then remove the excess when I play (yum) and off we go. I switched to Fibracell for my tenor which require no such preparation- not so tasty but they play well.. By the way the reed's are actually softer than the number indicates.
 
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