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Bb Soprano sax reed vs Bb Clarinet reed

18048 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  bruce bailey
I tried a Bb Clarinet reed on my Bb Soprano saxophone. I did this out of curiousity and not for any particular reason. I was surprised when I found out that my clarinet reed fits on the soprano saxophone mouthpiece. Also surprising is the rich, dark sound my soprano has with the clarinet reed. I put the soprano sax reed back on just to verify. Why?

What is the difference between Bb Clarinet reeds and Bb Soprano saxophone reeds?

Is it just my particular Bb Soprano saxophone mouthpiece or do all Bb clarinet reeds fit on Bb soprano saxophone moutpieces.
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I read somewhere that when Johnny Hodges was persuaded to play a soprano after many years only playing alto he took of the reed and replaced it with a clarinet reed. I wonder if that's all you could get in the early days.

As for this...

dburlone said:
I've heard of people doing this the other way around (using a sop sax reed on a clarinet), for dixieland. I've tried this a few times, and while it sounded OK, I never really cared enough to always do it and am back to normal Bb clar reeds on clarinet.
... the New Orleans players used Albert system clarinets (again because they were available) which are supposed to have a different tone. Maybe Boehm system players were trying to emulate this.
Dave Dolson said:
Hodges allegedly studied with Bechet, although I don't know what kind of reed or mouthpiece either used.

As to Albert clarinets, that is true that many old timers from New Orleans played Alberts. And, some hard-core traditionalists today STILL play Alberts.

But to me, a clarinet is a clarinet, regardless of the fingering system. I have two Albert System Bb soprano clarinets and they certainly don't sound much different than my preferred Boehm clarinets. In fact, they all sound like me on clarinet. While I claim to be a traditionalist, I prefer Boehm System and don't believe the fingering system really matters as far as tone goes. DAVE
Dave, how can you SAY that?? You'll be telling us next that artillery shells don't make Selmers sound better or - I can hardly bring myself to say it - that a silver-plated ligature doesn't sound much sweeter than plain brass.

To be fair, though, traditionalists seem to suggest that New Orleans Alberts may have had a wider bore affecting the tone and that the different fingering makes different phrases fall under the fingers.

In either case, apparently Bechet always played Alberts. Which proves that Hodges always used clarinet reeds. I think.
Dave Dolson said:
I just don't buy the Albert vs. Boehm tonal thing, though, REGARDLESS of what the traditionalists claim. Sorry. DAVE
Well, I could check it out once I've finished restoring my Albert system, if only I could find my daughter's Boehm system which is buried under 10 years of her clothes shopping!
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