Home Alt Forums Reeds Should I go with just a little thicker reed on Tenor Sax?

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  • #9506
    Michael Bishop
    Participant

    Hi Johnny,
    Yesterday I had my weekly music theory lesson with Mr. Baker and I played “Fly Me to the Moon” for him and a couple of other songs, both Alto and Tenor; he loved it; saying he thinks I’m just about an Intermediate Player now and not a total beginner anymore (I told him while I’ve certainly put in my practice time on Alto and now a Tenor; lots of credit go to you and your instruction, doesn’t do us any good to put in lots of practice time if we don’t know HOW to practice correctly).
    Mr. Baker wanted to address my tone that seems to be very bright on the Tenor, especially in the higher Octaves (it’s always good to have a strong, bright tone LOL) and thought I could benefit from going to a thicker reed to deepen it just a little bit. Right now I’m on a 2.5 reed with Tenor and a No.6 MP, same set up I use for Alto. I asked him if he thought maybe a No.7 MP was up my alley now and said going to a No.3 reed would be a wiser, less expensive choice v.s. spending $ on an MP. What’s your view on this?
    By the way everyone: kindly remember that Johnny is a busy guy and he’ll answers our questions as soon as he can; he’s working hard right now to add more of those songs we love so much to the music selection, as well as an Altissimo course that will make us better players.

    #11715
    john
    Keymaster

    hey Baboon – i’m in a similar situation. my setup is a 4c yamaha mouthpiece with a 1.5 RicoRoyal reed. I don’t know whether to go up a mouthpiece in the yamaha or buy a Selmar mouthpiece for my Yamaha Alto? My instructor advises using a higher reed first before changing the mouthpiece, he doesn’t want me to waste money on mouthpieces until i decide on what style of music i want to go for, then he’s going to recomend what setup for me to use. Fortunately i’m lucky as him being a Pro, he’s got lots of mouthpieces for me to try out. I must confess i have heard a few players on here, and their standard of play is excellent, but i’m not being disrespectfull in anyway but i don’t feel like they’ve got their optimin setup a bit like Johnny finding his sweet spot? Which is a bit what i’m starting to ho through.

    #11721
    jake
    Participant

    I really think most of the participants here are newbies to the sax, thus why we are here learning and looking for tips and advice to improve. I myself have been at it a little over a year and feel in that time have made great strides. I still haven’t found my ideal setup. Finding a setup I feel can take years to accomplish. Even with a proper setup, with the practice time put in, I don’t think your tone would be all that! I think it is unfair to compare us newbies in the forum to Johnny! He is a professional and has been at it for awhile now. He is definitely one that I am striving to sound like. He has a phenomenal sound! Sxpoe, you are very fortunate to have a pro at your disposal to help you along and allow you to try various mouthpieces! Most of us don’t have that luxury and are experimenting with what we have available and from what pointers we can pick up here. From what I have seen in the blogs, most show improvements in future videos from the practice and critiques they had received. Good luck in finding your ideal setup.

    #11722
    Michael Bishop
    Participant

    Very well said Jake. There are lots of experienced players I’ve seen locally here where I live who have told me that they’ve been playing the Saxophone for 15 years and I got to watch them play live at local jazz fests downtown; I haven’t seen anyone who even comes close to Johnny. In my mind he’s in a class all by himself.
    I went to the music shop and tried a size 3 reed and it seemed to help, it’s amazing the difference that these little things can make. What kind of set up are you using on your Tenor Saxophone right now?

    #11723
    john
    Keymaster

    This is an awesome website, the people on here are really enthusiastic, and Johnny is undoubtably one of the most accomplished players in his field. Its good to have constructive criticism, you guys are right, and i appolgise if you are offended by any of my remarks. i am eager to try out new mouthpieces but my instructor wants to see an improvement in my playing first.

    #11724
    Michael Bishop
    Participant

    LOL you didn’t offend anyone Sxpoe. Keep the good playing going and let us know you your set up is coming along. One of the best ways to do that is the blog 🙂

    #11725
    john
    Keymaster

    This stuff about reeds and mouthpieces is all very personal. Everyone should try a few different sizes in both and then match them up to see what feels best. I know there can be a big question mark whether to go up a mp size or a reed size… the easiest and cheapest is to go with the reed. If you do this, don’t just try it with a reed or 2, you have to buy a whole box and try them all because the first ones you try might be bad reeds, every box has them! So you would have based your entire experiment on a crappy reed.
    The next step is if you can buy another mp or have access to some either in a shop or instructor as someone mentioned, this is great, and now you can really do some experimenting with different reed sizes on different mp’s. No need to make any extreme changes as this just doesn’t make any sense. Go half or one number at a time and give it some time, not just one minute of playing.
    Instructors give advice because they hear flaws or something in your sound that can and should be improved upon, but the actual thing you will end up changing regarding your setup is ultimately decided by you. The more choices you have to actually try things out the better.

    #11836
    Idemudia Terry
    Participant

    Hi Johnny; I am tryinng to learn how to play this very beautiful instrument bt is nt work 4 me cos I am not a fast learner I luv dis my Sax
    And wish reeds should I use as a beginner, I truly love ur teaching thanks Johnny

    #11837
    john
    Keymaster

    Terry, I’m assuming you’re just starting out? If so you probably have a fairly closed mouthpiece so you should be using around 1.5 size reeds.
    You can get a common brand like Rico or Vandoreen. Let me know what equiptment you’re using.

    #11874
    Tim56
    Participant

    Guys, Let me in here. I have been playing for a few years on a Myer 5 MP. I have been using 2 to 3 syn reeds. Fibracell and Legers. Johnny wanted me to try cane again. I got Vandoren 2 and 2.5 ZZ’S. They play real well. No noise out of me. I just changed my MP to an old Otto link 6* I think? Large chamber. The Myer is a smaller chamber. So, more air. I live at 6000ft. Would be better at sea level?? I had a lesson with Johnny yesterday. He said I sounded good on the Otto Link. Deeper tone. Just what I like. So, I’m set for awhile now. I don’t have a shop near me. For those of you that do, ues what they have and see. Tim

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