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Forum Contributor 2016, The official SOTW Little S
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Discussion Starter #1
One simple question:

Does the strength of your reed effect altissimo notes?

Are they easier to play with a harder or softer reed?
 

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As a rule of thumb, harder reeds work better for higher notes, softer for lower notes. Harder reeds definately make altissimo easier for me, especially the altissimo screams ala Coltrane.
 

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Has alot to do w/ mpc size too. Most people tend to "pinch off" when using a soft reed w/ a small tip opening while playing the higher notes. Are you having a problem w/ this?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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The reed is one part of a larger set of components, ya know? The components being, reed, horn, mouthpiece, lig and most important, the person playing the horn. The longer you play the less similar you become to anyone else, the more personal your musical journey on sax becomes. Ultimately, the equipment is a means to an end but there's no way to know what will work for you without trial and error.
So it's not a simple question or answer; the answer would depend a lot upon what you're playing now, in terms of both equipment and performance. If you're practicing your harmonics and long tones and have reasonable mastery on the horn from low Bb to high F, then simply moving up a half size in reed strength with your legit set-up might do wonders. Or, with a jazz set-up, moving up a step or so in tip opening and down a half size in reeds may get you going. Any way that you go with the equipment, the extended range is best seen as a long term commitment........daryl
 
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