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Reeds Using alto reeds on tenor mouthpiece

sax panther

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Yesterday I was playing tenor and struggling to find a reed that worked well on my guardala studio (seems to be a VERY reed picky mouthpiece). I'd struggled to find a ligature that was the right fit as it's a very slim mouthpiece, so out of curiousity opened up a new alto reed (Vandoren V16 2.5) and slapped that on - it seemed to work really well. I used this combo in a 3 hour rehearsal this morning without any problems. The mouthpiece is narrow enough for the alto reed to not leave a gap between the reed and the rails.

Does anybody else do this? I can find lots of threads with people talking about using a bari reed on a tenor mouthpiece, but not alto.
 

mpjbiker

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I often use a tenor reed on alto, but I've not tried it the other way round. However, you're right, I've got a guardala studio gold, and it's very narrow for a tenor piece. I'll have to give it a go!
 

sax panther

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All it means is you haven't found the found the right tenor reed for your mouthpiece. They're all just bits of cane but it makes sense to use one that actually fits the mouthpiece.

Based on my recent experiences, the right tenor reed might be an alto reed. I'd been using Vandoren Java tenor reeds, but seemed to wear them down pretty quickly (after a couple of weeks) and they started to squeak/chirp. Didn't have any new tenor ones to hand, only some manky old ones so tried the alto one and it was just as good as a nice tenor reed.

I'm also half northern, so the cheapskate in me is calculating how much I can save by only buying alto reeds from now on, and also bemoaning the fact that I probably won't get away with using them on bari...
 

Targa

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I'm also half northern, so the cheapskate in me is calculating how much I can save by only buying alto reeds from now on, and also bemoaning the fact that I probably won't get away with using them on bari...
Sellotape two of them together.
 

Tiberius

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Does anybody else do this? I can find lots of threads with people talking about using a bari reed on a tenor mouthpiece, but not alto.
Yeah Plas Johnson was supposed to use a bari reed on Tenor, I tried it and it worked, I never thought of trying a tenor on my alto, but I gave it away after about a week.
 

saxyjt

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I also occasionally play a bari reed on tenor but never tried alto on tenor. But coming to think of it, might be worth a try on one of my pieces that's very alto like and didn't work well with any tenor reeds I tried.
 

jbtsax

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Common sense would suggest that the alto reed has a smaller overall area of the reed that vibrates compared to a tenor reed. Where is the logic in that????
 

Colin the Bear

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Some of these boutique mouthpieces have off the wall designs. Maybe it's an alto piece that fits a tenor neck. My tenor mouthpiece needs a soprano ligature. It doesn't help in any way with altissimo. ;)
 

sax panther

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Some of these boutique mouthpieces have off the wall designs. Maybe it's an alto piece that fits a tenor neck. My tenor mouthpiece needs a soprano ligature. It doesn't help in any way with altissimo. ;)

I use a sop ligature with mine too. It's not an alto piece - the alto player in my band has a guardala, I did compare the two and mine is bigger (I'll await the smutty comments..). On his, the alto reeds hang over the sides of the rails a bit, like tenor reeds do on mine.
 

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