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Discussion Starter #1
For as long as I can remember almost all my reed have had the fate where once opened from the package and prepared they sounds stunning but then in a few minutes they become blocked in the inside and become very hard to play to the point where some notes are not playable. Before I play I always brush,rinse my mouth and drink only water. Has anyone ever had this situation happen to them? Its becoming very frustrating because I know I can create a better tone than what I hear majority of the time and its discouraging me to keep playing the alto sax. I currently play with Vandoren Java 3 but its happened to every strength and brand of reed I have played. I will greatly appreciate the help!
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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It sounds like your mouthpiece has a concave or convex table. Try a different mouthpiece or get yours to the closest refacer and have it checked out.

-Saxaholic
 

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I have had this once when I was living for some times because of my work in a place with very dry climate because of the air conditioning, the reeds seemed to die after minutes (different reeds on different mouthpieces so the problem was not the mouthpiece) and the only reed that I could play was a Legere or a Foresttone (one of the two I don’t remember which I had with me at the time) turned out that wen I went back home that the reeds played fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess its about time I look into buying a new mouthpiece. I know this is off topic but could you recommend me a mouthpiece good for beginners? I've been playing for awhile however only for school band. They don't teach you much there... I've only used the plastic mouthpiece that came with the sax and never experimented with setup.

Also I was wondering could it be my ligature that could possibly miss align my reed on to the surface?

Hopefully the dry air is not the problem because I believe the air here is fairly dry but I do not have air conditioning at home or anywhere I play often.
 

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Instead of going to the expence of buying a new mouthpiece, why not try a synthetic reed for starters? i'd reconmend a fibracell in whatever strength you are using now.
 

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I've had a similar problem, I'm not sure that it is the same as yours though, they didn't die as quickly as you describe.FWIW are there saliva involved? Mine got oversoaked and bacame harder (even blocking, perticular on high notes) and dull to play and listen too. It became better when I stopped forcing too hard,not using harder reed than I could play with comfort and too pay more attention to what I was actually playing, injoying the moment and then realize that harder is not always better for the sound.
 

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Nothing wrong with getting a new mouthpiece, I think that will help you out. I would recommend contacting Phil Englemen, he goes by Sigmund451 I think on this forum. Or just visit his website www.phil-tone.com and get one of his custom Meyers. Great all around mouthpieces, hand faced, a great value.

- Saxaholic
 

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I would suggest go to your local music store and order a nice Selmer, Yamaha or Meyer mouth piece. They are decent without being too expensive. If you are a beginner, try a 4 or 5 tip opening.

Godd luck to you.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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It sounds like your mouthpiece has a concave or convex table. Try a different mouthpiece or get yours to the closest refacer and have it checked out.
I'm not saying that is wrong but could you explain a bit why specifically a table that's concave or convex would cause this phenomenon (ie reed plays well for a bit then dies)? I'm intrigued.
 

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A Yamaha 4C is the best beginner mouthpiece available. If you want an even better mouthpiece, I recommend a Vandoren Optimum AL3 or a
Selmer s80 C*.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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A Yamaha 4C is the best beginner mouthpiece available. If you want an even better mouthpiece, I recommend a Vandoren Optimum AL3 or a
Selmer s80 C*.
But if the problem only occurs after 5 minutes, it's not likely to be due to the mouthpiece, which doesn't change, but very likely to be due to the reed, which can change as it gets wet.

The reed can become convex, it's a very common problem as mentioned above.

Of course, it might make sense that in that case a mouthpiece with a concave table might take up some of the distortion, but it would probably need to be a table that was concave across the table rather than along it.
 

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This might also result from cranking the ligature too tight and warping the reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
+2 for Pete THANK YOU. All my reeds have been swelling this whole time and shaving my reeds flat has given my tone an amazing sounds I never realized I had. Notes come out effortlessly now. I thank you and everyone here caring enough to help me out!

I will still check into mouthpieces and consider everyone else's comment, this is an amazing forum. :)
 

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You WILL get a bill. Around here you get what you pay for.

Oh yeah, on behalf of the rest of SoTW you're welcome!
 

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+2 for Pete THANK YOU. All my reeds have been swelling this whole time and shaving my reeds flat has given my tone an amazing sounds I never realized I had. Notes come out effortlessly now. I thank you and everyone here caring enough to help me out!

I will still check into mouthpieces and consider everyone else's comment, this is an amazing forum. :)
If you get a good Meyer from Phil E. you won't have to worry about shaving the reeds down. The reeds will be more consistent and last longer.
 
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