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Reeds Wet reeds

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Re: Reeds


"Originally Posted by Nick Wyver "
http://cafesaxophone.com/threads/reeds.5429/page-2#post-60553
Yup. They do. Keep 'em wet folks.




hey nick Ive just put one of my reeds in a jar full of water,
Ill try playing it over the next week or so to see what happens.
Allansto

So............... Im over running!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So far Ive found that keeping a reed in water makes the playing edge nice and straight .
I guess because their swollen with water.
It definately affects the tone I get from playing.
I assume this may affect the playing lifetime of a reed though
Any comments? .......................Dare I ask.:shocked: >:):)))


 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Re: Reeds


"Originally Posted by Nick Wyver "
Yup. They do. Keep 'em wet folks.




hey nick Ive just put one of my reeds in a jar full of water,
Ill try playing it over the next week or so to see what happens.
Allansto

So............... Im over running!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So far Ive found that keeping a reed in water makes the playing edge nice and straight .
I guess because their swollen with water.
It definately affects the tone I get from playing.
I assume this may affect the playing lifetime of a reed though
Any comments? .......................Dare I ask.:shocked: >:):)))


In my best Spanglish - Me no say! :))):))):))):))):):):):)
How's my smile ratio doing Tom?

John :):):):):):)
 
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Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Water's no good. You need something that kills the bugs that cause the reed to rot. Most people use something alcohol based, like mouthwash or some sort of spirit (I use vodka). Try and avoid stuff that's got some sort of sweetener in, though, cos the reeds get a bit sticky.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Water's no good. You need something that kills the bugs that cause the reed to rot. Most people use something alcohol based, like mouthwash or some sort of spirit (I use vodka). Try and avoid stuff that's got some sort of sweetener in, though, cos the reeds get a bit sticky.
Ok .............Im thinkin maybe some metholated spirit in the water might do it but probly wont taste too good.
Ill try some mouthwash in the water.!:) I realize your meaning a 100% solution but I m not sure I want to try that yet.
Gee sounds like a bit of a product market here if any of you members know someone who`s an industrial chemist.:thumb:
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Any comments? .......................Dare I ask.:shocked: >:):)))
I'm a raw neophyte at playing the sax. So my comments are going to be extremely limited in terms of experience. Just the same, I feel an overwhelming desire to convey some of my experiences with reeds and wetness.

I like a fairly wet reed to play. So rather than just wetting it with my mouth, I tend to lay it in a small dish of water. I actually have a small glass "candle holder" that I use just for wetting my reeds before practice. Sometime I do use mouthwash instead of water just for the sake of killing any germs that might be on the read. I typically wash the mouthpiece with mouthwash too.

Anyway, I don't submerse the entire reed. I just place the tip in the water and let the body of the read stick up out of the dish. Water tends to soak up into the reed anyway. This method works for me pretty well. And the tips do straight out very nicely when the reed is wet. Typically I don't need to leave them in the water for very long.

In fact, that's my next point. I actually got distracted and had to leave. I was gone for several hours, my reeds sitting in the water. When I came home I sat down and played using these "waterlogged" reeds. They actually seemed a bit "dead", and not as lively as normal. So I concluded that leaving them in the water too long is actually not good. (mind you I didn't turn this into a repeatable scientific experiment) So this was just from this fleeting experience.

But since that time, I've notice (or possibly imagined in my mind) that if a reed is left in the water for too long it becomes unresponsive. I've also noticed that how long the reed is left in the water seems to affect how it plays. So now I'm careful not to allow my reeds to soak in the water for too long. It's only take a very short time to get them ready to play (less than a minute actually). Although I don't think they start to become "waterlogged" until they've been in the water for quite some time, like possible 15 minutes or more.

In the meantime, I've been careful not to allow my reeds to soak for to long. If I'm playing one reed and I have another on in the water dish, I'll actually take it out and lay it on a paper towel after a few moments, until I'm ready to play it. I do this so that it doesn't become overly saturated with water.

I'm using soft #1.5 Rico Royal reeds.

Whether a read can become "too wet" I really don't know. But from my neophyte experience it seems to me that they can.

I could be totally wrong about this. Like I say, I am a neophyte saxophonist so I might not even know a good playable reed if it was staring me in the tongue.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I'm currently using water/gin combo - 90/10 ratio so no particular taste but not reedy either which I dislike. I find up to 5/10 minutes OK, but if a bit waterlogged I just give a brief rub to remove some of the moisture and make sure the fibres are straight and compacted - about 5 seconds. I'm aware that there is not much unsweetened mouthwash available.

What you say is based on experience and is useful. Just avoid spittle as it does rot your reeds.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
I guess if we dont drink we`d shrivel up and be unable to play too.
So I guess we would probably play better when hydrated.
I prefer beer myself.:):)))
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Whether a read can become "too wet" I really don't know. But from my neophyte experience it seems to me that they can.
I think the secret is to get the strength right, so that when they're really wet they work. Which is why Nick's permanently soaked method works... otherwise you start off with a dryish reed, which gradually gets wetter/softer as you play, and then becomes too soft to play well. Reeds this hard are difficult/impossible when they're too dry.
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
I think the secret is to get the strength right, so that when they're really wet they work. Which is why Nick's permanently soaked method works... otherwise you start off with a dryish reed, which gradually gets wetter/softer as you play, and then becomes too soft to play well. Reeds this hard are difficult/impossible when they're too dry.
That could the the explanation right there. In fact, I was actually thinking that this might be a sign that I need to start moving up in reed strength. Maybe harder reeds would never get too soft. I actually started off with #2 reeds when I first bought my sax. Mainly because I simply didn't know any better. I was able to play with them to a point, but I had no real control over them, especially when trying to play softly. So I moved down to the #1.5 and that did help a lot. So I have a whole box of #2 reeds here, I guess it's time to start moving back up in reed strength.

Maybe that is the secret. Get stronger reeds and just store them in water so that they are always naturally a bit "softer" than they would otherwise be if not so wet.

I can imagine where a stronger reed would reach an equilibrium point in saturation and once you find the right reed strength just keeping those reeds constantly saturated would keep them very consistent.

I'll have to think about this some more. I have a whole box of #2 reeds so I can start experimenting with storing some of those in a jar of water and see how that words for starters. Maybe using this method I could even move to a higher strength reed until I find the reed strength that works best with that method. That might be just the ticket.

I never really thought about that. Sounds like something worth trying.

~~~~

Actually if reeds are sensitive to wetness, (and obviously they are since a dry reed is not good to play at all), then getting them "waterlogged" or "saturated" would take them to an 'equilibrium point' where they would always be consistent. So that does make sense in terms of physics.

Yeah, I'll have to experiment with harder reeds that have been totally "waterlogged". That is an interesting idea. I'm glad I stumbled onto this thread, I never would have thought about it this way otherwise.

Now I'm anxious to run out and buy some really hard reeds to experiment with. :)))
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
The chinese cane reed that came with my new bari was pretty much useless with loads of squeeks (I have no idea of the streangth), so I decided to trim the tip. Not having reed clippers, I marked out the shape to be trimmed off and tried to use a craft knife, unfortunately I wasn't careful enough and it split. After final finishing to shape, I performed my trick of rubbing some plastic glue into both sides and hey presto, the split glued together and a perfectly playable reed with no squeeks and no moisture ingress.
In a previous thread (December last year), before I bought the ATG System, I talked about this and treated a cane tenor reed to a thin film of glue on both sides. I used that reed until the begining of October when I received the ATG bits and successfully worked on a Fibracell reed, which I have used since then. Today I played that cane reed again (I had marked it up 'my old friend'), and it still blows beautifully.
Reeds need moisture - Pffffft.

John ;}
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
If you reed Thomas B'Danthor's (Ed.)weighty tome "The Moisturising Effects of Modern Adhesives, Post Evostik" (Wiley/Faber Scientific Speculations - Series 4) you will note one of his main conclusions.........".....recent Scandinavian research has shown that modern adhesives never entirely dehydrate, leaving a microscopic film of moisture underneath the drier exterior; this is seen as undermining the normal adhesive quality of the substance, but may have as yet undiscovered applications in micro-acoustic environments......." (ibid Ch. 6, pp19-20).
 
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