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  1. #1
    Bubba06's Avatar
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    Default Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    I searched to no avail...

    A friend of mine did her audition and lesson with a professor near here. From what she told me he took her 2 1/2 reed from her, gave her a 3, and told her not to ever play on a 2 1/2 again. I'm sure it was most friendly than that, but you understand the effect. She was doing classical tenor in the lesson. I'm not sure of her setup, but what's the thought process behind this?

    She's been working for two weeks on getting up a reed strength, but it's not working out well, she says. She has an audition a week from today, and can't play her 2 1/2s due to squeaks, and the 3s sound atrocious.

    Thoughts? Thanks,
    Bubba

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Her professor heard her play. We haven't. He probably thought she would sound better on a #3 reed.

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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Harder reeds sound better....there's no way around it. They add body and color to anyone's tone. Though I believe you should use what you like...and I know most all "teachers" are full of ****..fact remains...harder reeds(and a 3isn't hard)..just sound better.
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    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Depends on tip opening. A 3 on a C** is not that hard.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    Harder reeds sound better....there's no way around it. They add body and color to anyone's tone. Though I believe you should use what you like...and I know most all "teachers" are full of ****..fact remains...harder reeds(and a 3isn't hard)..just sound better.
    Though a Professor is probably less full of ****.....especially one in a major city (Cincinnati)....so.....

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    Distinguished SOTW Member artstove's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by ericdano View Post
    Though a Professor is probably less full of ****.....especially one in a major city (Cincinnati)....so.....
    Professors can be full of **** in any city, including major ones. (There are often more professors there, increasing the potential numbers of finding one or more in that category.) That said, hopefully his action was based on his observation of her playing, rather than just some sort of prejudged opinion. And pushing her up a half step isn't extreme - if he jumped her up farther, it would be more of a problem.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    My first sax teacher (23 years ago or thereabouts) encouraged me to move to a harder reed rather quickly. I tend to agree there generally seems to be a more clear tone with a harder reed and typically better and more consistent pitch (soft reeds tend to play flat). And as we all know, a #3 reed varies quite a lot from one manufacturer to another. I would encourage her to try a few different brands and stay the course. But then everyone has to find their path through the learning curve of playing the sax and dealing with *#&$& reeds. Hope it all works out well for her.

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    Bubba06's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Perhaps I just thought it all pertained more to your piece opening then your physical abilities. My understanding was that they made different strengths because of the different openings, and that you would sounds the same essentially. Suppose it makes sense... Maybe I need to start doing long tones on harder reeds in warm up...

    -Bubba-

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member Agent27's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba06 View Post
    Perhaps I just thought it all pertained more to your piece opening then your physical abilities. My understanding was that they made different strengths because of the different openings, and that you would sounds the same essentially. Suppose it makes sense... Maybe I need to start doing long tones on harder reeds in warm up...

    -Bubba-
    But there's kind of a minimum expectation, especially with classical sax. You'd expect a high level player (or someone hoping to be) to have developed enough air support to be able to play a #3 on most classical mouthpieces.

    My teacher in college wanted us to play on #4's, though he'd settle for a 3 1/2. The #4 thing was unreasonable to me (still is), especially when I learned he thought harder reeds were thicker than softer reeds (they aren't). He wanted you to take a 4 and whittle it down until it was playable. It actually turned out that those reeds ended up being thinner than a 3 or 3 1/2 that was more playable from the start.

    Personally, I don't like Vandoren. I sound like crap on a 3 or a 3 1/2. They just sound dull for me. If I put on a 2 1/2, it's clearer but very very buzzy (aside from being to soft) and not suitable for classical music.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    it is true that some players get harder reeds and work on them to the point where they are softer than just putting on a strengh below so it's good to evaluate rather than just think about a strength in number. In jazz alot of players are just putting on jazz selects w/a medium strengh-soaking them preliminary or not even that and just playing them till they die. I tend to play a reed for too long in order to avoid buying more-but as Jerry Bergonzi points out in one of the videos you should switch to a fresh reed regularly. But because of the prices of reeds -you may not be able to do this and may want to start out with a harder strengh and play the reed as long as possible. Just be aware of when the reed is too soft. Sometimes you may not want to retire a reed that is too soft because it responds well when it probably should be retired...PS not everything in this video will apply for classical- but the last part talks about rotating your reeds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuavsXPAZck

  11. #11

    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Thoughts? She should be practicing more.....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    A vandoren 3 or more like 3 1/2 is the reed for a C*, for a classical student. He is right. She will get used to it & advance as a player.

    This is THE STANDARD for studying legit sax and concert band playing. Tried & true. She is a student & not a professional. The student's job is to learn & advance & get better. This is the way.

  13. #13
    Bubba06's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by ericdano View Post
    Though a Professor is probably less full of ****.....especially one in a major city (Cincinnati)....so.....
    It wasn't in Cincinnati, but close. Dayton.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Obelisk View Post
    A vandoren 3 or more like 3 1/2 is the reed for a C*, for a classical student. He is right. She will get used to it & advance as a player.

    This is THE STANDARD for studying legit sax and concert band playing. Tried & true. She is a student & not a professional. The student's job is to learn & advance & get better. This is the way.
    I certainly wasn't arguing, since it's not the first time I've heard similar experiences. I just wonder what the mind set is behind these things.

    Any other contributions are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Bubba

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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Granted, this is a huge generalization but if a player can manage a 3 reed it is likely that their sound will be better. Especially a younger player (not brand new). There is a point of diminishing returns when going to harder reeds. A 2.5 reed has the tendency to have a lot of buzz and a fairly loose buzz at that. IMHO a 3 sounds better for classical and jazz than a 2.5. Again I say that with the awareness that there may be many exceptions. Also, of course, different reeds vary. Lastly, I dont think pushing for a 3 is "Pushing hard reeds". If he wanted the student to play a 4 or 5 that would be an altogether different story.
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    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    What happened to the auto-censor? Since when can we write "****"? Hmmm ****. ****, **** ****. ****, ****, **** ****, **** ****!
    ****.

    BTW Thomas. Do you teach?
    ____________________________________________________
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  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Contributor 2010 trice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    I live in a fairly big city. I have two teachers - one for clarinet/sax and one for flute. They are both professional players and experienced teachers. Neither is full of ****.

    Can we really say "****" here? Who would have guessed?

  17. #17
    Allen Halstead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by trice View Post
    I live in a fairly big city. I have two teachers - one for clarinet/sax and one for flute. They are both professional players and experienced teachers. Neither is full of ****.

    Can we really say "****" here? Who would have guessed?
    The other day i wrote ... A $ $ as a word (yes, with the money symbols) and i was censored ..but you can say "****" ..WOW!!
    Tenor ..1973 Selmer Mark VI #211xxx .... RPC .115B ... Vandoren M/O lig ...
    Alto ...Yanagisawa A991 #320XXX....RPC .090B ... Vandoren M/O lig ....
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  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member Woody Reed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    What happened to the auto-censor? Since when can we write "****"? Hmmm ****. ****, **** ****. ****, ****, **** ****, **** ****!
    ****.
    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clip...2/****-happens

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    What happened to the auto-censor? Since when can we write "****"? Hmmm ****. ****, **** ****. ****, ****, **** ****, **** ****!
    ****.

    BTW Thomas. Do you teach?
    Holy ****! Since when can you say ****? What the ****.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Professor Pushes Hard Reeds

    Quote Originally Posted by sonnymobleytrane View Post
    Holy ****! Since when can you say ****? What the ****.
    Still can't say ****!

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