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Discussion Starter #1
Playing the Gotkovsky quartet in school, as well as in Wind Ensemble. My current setup is the school's MKVI with a SA80 neck, S80 C**, Vandoren Master's Lig, and Vandoren blue box 3.5's or 4. I love playing with the 4 reeds, but I just can't seem to get them to vibrate the way I want, and it takes muuuuuch more air, so I am considering switching to a BL3 mpc. Anybody make a similar switch? Any alternatives to the bl3? Comments? Thoughts? We are also working on the Recitation book, especially the Finale :twisted: but I'm playing alto in that.
 

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Lighten up in reed strength by a LOT. Unless that C** has a VERY narrow tip opening there is no reason to play on 4s.
Try a 3. You'll get better reed vibration and use less air.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do play on 3.5s now and they are comfortable. I used to use threes but didn't like the response, and they closed up on me. Tlhats why I was considering the vandoren bl3
 

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I play on a BL3 with hard reeds, as does Drakesaxprof. I'm using 4.5 legeres or Rico reserves. That may seem hard, but that mouthpiece has a teeny tip opening. Also, bari reeds tend to feel much softer for their strength number because they're so much longer. That mouthpiece in my experience tends to like hard reeds. I know from bandmommy's posts that she likes soft reeds in general and tends to steer everyone that way. I don't disagree. It just doesn't work for everyone. Probably works great for her.
 

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WRONG!

bandmommy uses soft reeds on larger tipped mouthpieces, and hard reeds on closed tipped mouthpieces. My reeds range in strength from Orange box RICO for bari in a 2 all the way up to Vandoren V12 5s' that I clip for a very close clarinet piece.
I suggest softer reeds when the OP has an issue with the reed not being responsive and using too much air.
I also will suggest a softer reed if I feel there may be a possible biting thing going on.
A Vandoren 3 should not close off on a C** unless the player is biting or playing too close to the tip.

Trying a different strength/cut reed is a better and less expensive place to start than laying out a crap load of cash on a mouthpiece that you may not have needed in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My bari playing started on a C* with 3's, then a C** with 3's, then 3.5's on a C**. I like the power of the 4, with much more control of the palm keys and altissimo, but I need to try a closer tip
 

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Then that is what you should do.
Have fun in your search. I LOVE trying out new pieces. :)
 

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I think you'll like the BL3. If I remember correctly, Prowinds had the lowest price at around $160. I got mine at WWBW and asked them to price match. They always do it, but sometimes you have to call them back or email twice. WWBW ships free on that amount. Good luck with your quest!
 

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I'm not familiar with the piece you're playing, but in general... you shouldn't be "closing up" in a quartet setting if you're listening and making sure you're well-balanced with the rest of the section. Your job is to anchor the chords and support the lead--NOT to overblow everyone. There's nothing more annoying than a bari player who won't blend.

I'd recommend starting with a mouthpiece that gives you the sound you're looking for, THEN find a reed you can play comfortably with good control. Be open to changing brands, strengths, everything... it's sound and control you want. On baritone, that means perfect command of low notes at EVERY volume. So, if you can't play low Bb and low A (if your horn has one) with good tone at pp, back off on the reed strength and work on long tones until you get it dialed in. Then, NEVER use a stiffer setup than you can play with good pitch and control.

Finally, playing loud isn't everything. In fact, it isn't even most things.
People who know their stuff want a player who is precise. Be that guy.
 

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As a guy who had reeds "closing up" on me, I wanna say that changing reed successfully can take a bit of time. Maybe you already know this Mobius as you sound like you have a fair bit of experience. I trust you don't expect to change your reed approach in one or two sittings.

Moving from 2.5 to a 3 strength reed with a corresponding mouthpiece that I was happy with across all my saxes (soprillo to bass sax) so that I could change instruments without the collapsing reed thang, took me a couple of months. Part of the required change was due to me approaching playing differently so that I could move from an advance beginner to an intermediate player. When I finally accepted the amount of air I need to push to make even my low notes sing, even at a PP dynamic, then I started needing to look at my selection of reeds.

I've got to say, that working with my instructors forced me to give up some deeply intrenched habits. I almost quit one guy that was fortunately so persistance at pointing out the flaws I had in tone development associated with the need topush a *lot* of air. In the future, I dread advancing to the next step in some ways because I might have to readjust my setups for seven different kinds of saxes!

Good luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just an undergrad. Jury piece this year is the Desenclos solo, also working on lots of quartet pieces (both Maslanka quartets, the Gotkovsky, Shostakovich String quartet no 8 in C minor movement 2, the Glass quartet, possibly starting the Keuris Music for Saxophones, Ticheli's Back Burner), Starting work on the Gotkovsky Concerto for Concerto competition in the fall, and then my Junior recital next spring. I need something on Bari that will stand its ground if I feel the need to give a little extra oomph, and the palm key area is soooo much better on 4's.
 

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Why not try a Fibracell Premier? I love them, even over my Alexander NY reeds. Slap it on and play, fully adjust able and sound and feel like cane, I find myself trying to suck on them before I play. LOL
 

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My current setup is the school's MKVI with a SA80 neck…
I wonder if your problem could have anything to do with the fact that you are not using the original neck. Try to locate a mark VI bari neck or even a replacement like Oleg or Barone. See if that helps. (Don't buy one of these necks, just try to borrow or test out in a music store.)
 
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