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Reeds Rico Royal 1 - Is it good reed for beginner?

Andrej

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Hi!

I just started playing my Tenor Sax yesterday. I am a complete beginner. I got some reeds with my saxophone as gift and I started with the softest, Rico Royal 1. How this will affect my playing? Will it make it more difficult for some notes (higher or lower) or what should I expect? I am asking because I have also 1.5 , 2 and 2.5 Rico Royal reeds, so is it good to start with the 1.0???

Thank you.
 

kevgermany

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It's very soft. You don’t say what mouthpiece you're using, but I'd guess you'll find it too soft in a few weeks. Some say start on a harder reed, others start soft and move to harder reeds when necessary.

But Rico Royal are nice reeds.
 

jbtsax

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In my teaching experience of 32 years I have found it works best to start beginners on reeds no softer than #2 with a typical student mouthpiece Yamaha 4C or equivalent.
 

Nick Wyver

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Try the 2 and 2.5. If you can get on with those ignore the softer ones.
 

Andrej

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It's very soft. You don’t say what mouthpiece you're using, but I'd guess you'll find it too soft in a few weeks. Some say start on a harder reed, others start soft and move to harder reeds when necessary.

But Rico Royal are nice reeds.

Thank you. I am using ESM (Ernst Schreiber) mouthpiece with Jupiter 789 RB.
 

Andrej

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In my teaching experience of 32 years I have found it works best to start beginners on reeds no softer than #2 with a typical student mouthpiece Yamaha 4C or equivalent.

I am using an Ernst Schreiber classic mouthpiece, it is ranked as a higher quality mouthpiece. Does it mean that these 1 and 1.5 are basically rarely used or I will never use it, since I read that as you progress you go a bit higher to 2.5 or 3. Can you also please help me have an idea which reeds are for what tones? I mean if softer are easier to play low notes or the other way around. . . Or maybe I read this one wrong and there is no such thing. Thank You
 

jbtsax

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Generally speaking the softer reeds help the low notes to respond better, and the harder reeds help to produce a better tone up high. Finding the best reed strength always a compromise that works well in all registers.
 

kevgermany

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Esm is a good make. Which model & tip opening?
 

jbtsax

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It's the Classic model (metal ring) size 6.
That model has an .083" tip opening. The Yamaha 4C is .067", Selmer C* is .071", and Selmer D is .080" for comparison.

With that tip opening, you may find that #2 1/2 will be the strength that you finally end up with, but there are lots of other variables as well.
 

kevgermany

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Generally bigger tip, softer reed. My guess is that the 2 will be too hard at first. It's a lot wider than the 4C. See which is more comfortable, the 1 or the 1.5. Play these for a while, moving up when you find they close up as you play. As Jbtsax says, you'll probably find the 2.5 about right once you've developed your embouchure.
 

Andrej

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Generally bigger tip, softer reed. My guess is that the 2 will be too hard at first. It's a lot wider than the 4C. See which is more comfortable, the 1 or the 1.5. Play these for a while, moving up when you find they close up as you play. As Jbtsax says, you'll probably find the 2.5 about right once you've developed your embouchure.

Thanks for all the useful information. I was just wondering how should I feel the tone to consider moving up like you said, and you wrote it. But I didn't quite understand it, what do you mean by "close up"? Thanks
 

Andrej

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That model has an .083" tip opening. The Yamaha 4C is .067", Selmer C* is .071", and Selmer D is .080" for comparison.

With that tip opening, you may find that #2 1/2 will be the strength that you finally end up with, but there are lots of other variables as well.

Thank you, I really find this information interesting. I've read couple of books but I didn't quite got this information on mouthpieces. Of what I read, I know that there is no one "mouthpiece fits all" about mouthpieces, since probably everybody fits different one. But is there some general rules that back up the saying "you will find bigger mouthpieces No 6 better for beginners", and what does the sizing mean generally? Does it goes according the level you are at, or according your size of your mouth, or maybe the sound differs and you choose the size according the sound you wanna get . . .

Thanks, I certainly learned quite a bit :), but when you are enthusiastic as they say, it's never enough :D
 

jbtsax

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Mouthpieces with a larger tip opening are generally considered to be more of a professional mouthpiece. See Jody Jazz tenor mouthpiece chart for more information. He has cleverly color coded the openings and put them into categories. The wider tip mouthpieces give more volume and flexibility at the steep expense of being more difficult to control. The great tenor player Pete Christlieb plays on a .130 tip opening and gets an amazing sound but few of us mere mortals could blow his set-up with a 2 1/2 reed for more than a few measures.
 

kevgermany

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Close up: Reed stays closed from the air going over it. Doesn't vibrate any more. So suddenly the sound stops and there's pressure in your mouth.
 

Colin the Bear

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With English as a second language "close up" may not be clear. As the embouchure applies pressure to the reed the gap between the mouthpiece and the reed reduces to nothing. The sound instantly stops as it cannot vibrate and no air can pass. It feels like the saxophone has been plugged.
 

nigeld

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My experience is that I started on a tenor sax, with a 2.0 reed strength (but my mouthpiece was not as open as yours). When I got an alto I bought strength 2.0 and 2.5 reeds to start with but it felt like very hard work. I had almost convinced myself that I couldn't play alto, but then I tried strength 1.5 and playing became a lot easier. So I don't think there is a universal rule about what's right.

Since you have reeds at strengths 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 then you can try all four and see what feels comfortable. If it feels like hard work to produce a tone with a 2.0 or 2.5 strength then you can use a lower strength right now. You can try them all again in a month or two and see what feels best then.

Cane reeds are made of a natural material so they are not all the same. One 2.0 reed can be harder than another. And the strengths are not necessarily the same from one manufacturer to another.
 

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