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17

A typical 3-finger valve cluster only has 7 useful combinations. Brass instruments combine that with vibrating the lips at different speeds so that notes in the harmonic series of any one of those valve combinations are sounded. In contrast, reed aerophones only vibrate best at the resonant frequency of the instrument as it is configured with the current ...


9

With a single reed, your saliva can contact 100% of the surface area of the reed. When you soak a double double reed in your mouth, however, you're only getting to 50% max of the surface area of the reed. Soaking in a cup of water allows you to get soak the whole reed evenly. Some single reed players soak in water instead of saliva just because it's more ...


7

I asked my father, who was Principle Bassoon in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for 30+ years. Here's a paraphrase of what he said: "Single-reed players do moisten their reeds with water. I actually knew a clarinetist who kept a whiskey shot glass of water attached to his music stand that he used to moisten the reed during concerts; he'd dip his finger ...


6

I am assuming for this answer that you are wanting to adjust commercial reeds made from cane (not synthetic materials), and that you are not trying to make your own reeds from blanks or from stalks of cane. I have always felt that my time with the saxophone was too limited as it was. So, I always wanted to keep the reed work as simple and quick as possible ...


5

Yes and no. First and foremost, the reed should match your jaw strength and stamina; if you can't bite down hard enough on the reed to compress it against the mouthpiece (and then sustain that jaw pressure over time), you'll squeak. Conversely, if you bite down too hard, you'll "pinch off" the sound; it will trend sharp and then in the extreme you'll fail ...


4

When I am starting a beginner on saxophone or clarinet, I tell the student to align the reed so that it looks like the tip of the reed lines up with the tip of the mouthpiece when the student is holding the mouthpiece with the reed facing them. In doing so, typically, when viewed from the non-reed side of the mouthpiece, the reed will appear to protrude ...


2

If you have a local music shop, I'd suggest going down there and sampling a few different varieties. I, personally, have found little success with the JAVA series and have seen better consistency in Rico Jazz Select (cheaper, too!).


2

Being a 2nd (out of 3) generation oboe player, I've asked (and been asked) this question from time to time. [The most recent one was last year when my son started taking the oboe.] The best answer I get is that about half of the oboist swear by soaking in water, and the other half swear by soaking in saliva. The one thing they do agree upon is that there ...


1

Rubbing alcohol is used on reeds only when one wants to share the reed with someone else. Disinfecting between playings is not necessary. But in the instance of a teacher/student trading instruments, alcohol is a useful tool. Alcohol has no negative effects on a reed. In my experience, it doesn't even get rid of the dark (mold) spots that gather in the ...


1

In my research, sites that dealt with very maticulous reed care did not mention use of alcohol to disinfect the reed, just precise instructions for how to wet the reed prior to use and in conditioning a reed for playing, then thorough drying and storage of the reed after playing. Where I did encounter mention of alcohol use and hydrogen peroxide solutions ...


1

A long time ago I used to be a saxophonist, and later picked up bassoon and carried that into becoming a professional bassoonist. (However I've undertaken a career change long since.) In the course of my musical career, I learned to make my own bassoon reeds, and adjust them with knife and sandpaper (other implements required, of course.) While I was ...



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