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Reeds Struggling to blow with anything over 2 strength Reed

siggsy

New Member
Messages
24
Okay. So ive picked up the Sax in the last few months after a 15 year break and treated myself to an Otto Link Supertone 7 mouthpiece. I went to try about a dozen different mouthpieces over at Woodwind Exchange in Bradford UK before i bought it as i heard not one Link M/P is the same as the other.
Now im 100% happy with the piece, it sounds great but i am struggling to blow if i use anything more than a 1 1/2 or a 2 Vandoren Jazz Reeds.
I have a Rovner 'dark' ligature. I put a Rico 2 reed on and it just sounded really difficuly to blow. Im thinking how the hell can anyone use a 3??
Will it get easier the more i play by strengthening my lungs and mouth? The problem with using a 1 1/2 reed is it sounds a bit tingly in the high range, but easier in the low notes.
What will refacing the mouthpiece do??
 

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Why the desire to use a harder reed? If a soft one works for you that's OK. When I played tenor I used a Link STM 7, and never used anything harder than a Rico Royal 2 1/2. Just play the reed which feels right for you and gives the sort of sound you want.
Best wishes
O.C.V.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,002
The playable strength of a reed is related to the tip opening and the length of the facing curve. I looked up your Otto Link 7 and it is .100 inch which is a bit on the open side compared to a classical mouthpiece. I would repeat the advice to go with the reed that provides the resistance you are comfortable blowing against. I used to play a Berg Larsen 110 - 0 on tenor and the hardest reed I could play on was a 1 1/2. It sounded great.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
No problem with using soft reeds - I usually use Alexander NY 2's on a 0.112" (8) mpc. and it will benefit you developing your embouchure. Do you prepare your reeds - as in: Alexander Reeds-Breakin In . Otto Link mpc's have a long facing and are most suited to American Cut reeds rather than French Cut reeds (French Cut = Rico Royal, for example; American Cut = Rico Orange, for example). American Cut reeds generally have a thinner heart and a slightly thicker tip and should play better on an Otto Link, than a French Cut, which has a much thicker heart, but finer tip.

A lot of beginner mouthpieces are 0.085" and it may be an idea to play on one while you develop. I would heartedly recommend the Windcraft Etude Tenor mouthpiece ( http://www.dawkes.co.uk/accessories/windcraft+ebonite+tenor+sax+mouthpiece+-amw602.html ) if you wanted to try slightly harder reeds.

Reeds with the same apparent strength do differ slightly: Saxophon-Service / Saxophon- & Klarinetten -Gurte may be helpful to consult.
 
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Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
I've used a 3 for years and sometimes a 3 1/2. I happen to use a stock mouthpiece also (not the one in my avatar pic). Embouchure/diaphragmatic development will help you to use reeds of varying strengths without issue.
My personal experience has been with time and practice the eternal question concerning reed
choice consistentcy will fall to the wayside. I cannot remember when I've put on a reed
I didn't like. In time, in my opinion, reed concern will become a non-concern.

In the beginning, yes, I too struggled with finding the right reeds to use and I would use 2's, 2 1/2's.
In time all that changed.

If you stick with it, in time, you'll find that reeds/mouthpieces/ligatures and even saxophones become a non-concerning issue although in the beginning they appear to be insurmountable.
The key, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is developing your diaphragm and embouchure. Once established then saxophone gear becomes more or less gravy on the potato.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,069
I use a Vandoren 2 for smooth warm melodic lead and a Rico Royal 3.5 for Dixieland and rock.

The Rico gives a brighter tone to compete with the trumpet and the distortion on the guitar.

Simply put a harder reed will make the top easier and a softer will make the low easier

I find all reeds all need playing in for anything from 10 to 30 mins.

You do get good ones and bad ones and they get better till they go bad.


I invested in a reed cutter for fine tuning. Some become good and some become useless after a trim.

This is the nature of trying to get a precision sound out of a slice of grass


I would persevere before doing anything as radical as having the mouthpiece remachined.

The problem with a layoff is that you come back knowing what you want but the flesh is weak. When you start at first you're pleased if you get to the end of a piece without a wrong note or a squeak.

Practice short and often, at least twice a day and throw in a long session, twice a week

I seem to remeber Miles Davis saying he would never stop playing again as it took him 5 years to get his tone back.

I like this one of his “Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself”
 
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spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,254
Play what you're comfortable for with. When I started playing over 45 years ago now, I thought I had to play an open mouthpiece with a Nr. 5 reed to sound good. An old buddy sent me a recording recently of a band I used to play with way back when - I sounded multo crappo!. Over the years I've learned that it's all about "control". Mike Brecker played an open mouthpiece with a 1.5 reed (okay he had a throat problem but he had incredible control over his set-up) That goes for most top players. The moment you think "oh I've gotta get a harder reed to sound good" yer doomed! Every normal human being has more than enough strength in those lips muscles to blow down the "long and winding tube" you simply have to learn how to control them. To quote Albie Donelly, and let's face it Albie's a big guy, "Sax playing is not weight lifting".
Go stand in a corner and practice twelve hours a day for three years, do not change your mouthpiece, and do not play a harder reed and do not collect any bum notes when you pass Go. You might say stick it up your **** spike, okay I've got no problem with that, but I know I did it and I've got a pretty good sound these days, go figure.
gruss - spike
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Why the desire to use a harder reed? If a soft one works for you that's OK. When I played tenor I used a Link STM 7, and never used anything harder than a Rico Royal 2 1/2. Just play the reed which feels right for you and gives the sort of sound you want.
Best wishes
O.C.V.
This is good advice. If you sound good, nobody cares what strength reed you are using.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
This is good advice. If you sound good, nobody cares what strength reed you are using.
Oh , but we do.... Why else would we have all the questions about 'What horn/mouthpiece/reed did x play?' >:)


But I agree with you. I think the real answer is Spike's. Hard work, and (although he didn't say it) developing your own sound.
 
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