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Reeds Sharp reeds and a cut mouth :(

SallySax

Member
Messages
75
Good afternoon, and a very happy New Year to all :)

I have just spent a happy time reading the threads on embouchure, after my practice session left me with a sore bottom lip. I think I know what I need to do to remedy that particular problem.

Currently, I'm playing with Yamaha 5c mouthpiece and a Hahn 2 reed. The sound is not too bad for a beginner; at least no-one runs for cover, but the sides of the reed are sharp and cut into my lips. 'Change the reed', I hear you shout! I have tried many reeds, as all beginners do, and found that during the summer months here in Crete, 'proper' reeds do not last very long, hence the experiment with synthetics. Interestingly, the guy who teaches me when I'm back in the UK, also suffered from cut lips when he gigged with a Hahn. Is this a known problem with this type of reed, or is my mouthpiece too narrow for the reed, or am I being a wimp? :D

Thank-you!
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
You're not being a wimp. I tried a range of synthetics and found that several of them cut my lips. I've been playing for over thirty years and never had a cane reed cut my lips, so it was a bit of a surprise. The worst was a carbon fibre reed, blood everywhere and a nagging worry about whether I'd got splinters of carbon fibre stuck in my mouth.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
The sides shouldn't cut you, but the tip slicing your tongue or lip - or even a cheek if you're not careful - is an occupational hazard.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Take the edge off with some fine wet & dry - 600 grit would be good. But don't take off any more than you have to, just round the edges.
 

Filton

Member
Messages
243
Agree with kevgermany, I had a similar problem when I tried a Legere Signature on my Metal Link, even though it was fine on a Jody Jazz piece, it seems the narrower profile of the Metal piece created an issue.. however a slight dressing with fine (1200) emery seemed to sort the problem.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
That's one reason why I stick to cane and learnt to get the most out of them. Kev's idea sound good though.

If I remember correctly the Yamaha Mouthpieces are a little narrower across the beak than most others I've played.
 

SallySax

Member
Messages
75
Thanks for the tips, no pun intended! :)

I'll have a go at sanding an older Hahn before attacking my current playing reed.

I'm returning to the UK soon for a swift family visit, so will seek advice on what reeds are likely to:
a) suit what playing style I have, and
b) fare well in a hot and sometimes very humid climate.

Thanks again for your help guys!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
Hahn and Hartmann reeds have really sharp edges. I have one of each but I don't really play them. I know that rounding the edges is a possibility but be careful because the carbon fibre could get into your lips as result from filing so, wash them before placing in your mouth after filing.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,553
Would the reed cases with hydrators work in your hotter environment?
I have one in the UK and my reeds seem to be almost eternal!
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,952
Used to happen to me too when I did 3+hr streetband gigs in the open air in winter. I tried sanding the edges too - didn't make a great deal of difference. Nowadays I avoid such gigs.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,009
This is quite new to me that traditional cane reeds do not last very long in a warm humid climate. Of course I have lived all of my life in a relatively dry climate. Can someone explain to me what happens to the reeds? I know that in the summertime when we run our evaporative (swamp) cooler and the air in the house has more humidity, my reeds don't dry out nearly as fast. However, I haven't experienced any difference in how they play or how long they last. Am I missing something here? :confused:
 

SallySax

Member
Messages
75
This is quite new to me that traditional cane reeds do not last very long in a warm humid climate. Of course I have lived all of my life in a relatively dry climate. Can someone explain to me what happens to the reeds? I know that in the summertime when we run our evaporative (swamp) cooler and the air in the house has more humidity, my reeds don't dry out nearly as fast. However, I haven't experienced any difference in how they play or how long they last. Am I missing something here? :confused:

Perhaps in my case, it's just bad beginners luck. I'm still experimenting with reeds, so maybe I'm not looking after them properly, or have just been unlucky with those I have tried. It's no big deal, and all part of the learning curve :)
 

SallySax

Member
Messages
75
Would the reed cases with hydrators work in your hotter environment?
I have one in the UK and my reeds seem to be almost eternal!
That's an idea, thank-you.
I'll investigate when we return to the UK later this month. I haven't yet found a music shop with anything like the range of accessories you see in the UK equivalents, so am really restricted to on-line shopping or the goodwill of visitors.

Never mind; it's all good experience! :)
 

ClassicHorn

New Member
Messages
12
Check out videos on Rico Reeds site on how to prep your reeds e.g. there is one example which shows you how to use your mpc to smooth out the coarse top facing starting from the heart to the tip and it works.


ClassicHorn
 
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