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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I noticed I was having some problems playing some notes was not sure what the problem was, anyway kept going.
Today I noticed a convex curve in the reed, I am thinking that perhaps this was the source of my problem? I assume the reed should be flat ? Is a convex reed dead as a door nail or fixable?
By convex I mean that if you place it on a flat surface flat side down it's touching the surface at either end but not in the middle.

Thanks for any insight.
Regards,
PaulieBoy.
 

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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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In order to help you better...
What mouthpiece are you using?
What brand/strength reed?
How 'old' is the reed?
How long have you been playing and do you have a teacher?

Usually when this happens the reed is either too soft/old and is conforming to the mouthpiece facing.
Or,
The reed is too hard and you are playing really close to the tip and maybe biting a little too hard in order to get it to play.
 

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You could scrape the underside of the reed to take the 'bump' out. Don't work at the 'business end', just the bit that sits on the mouthpiece table needs doing.

Or you could just try a different reed. If another reed plays - problem solved.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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It is normal for a reed to get a slight bend down towards the tip. But it's still worth doing a scrape, especially when the reed is wet. The scrape won't fix the bend, but will make the table part of it even.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info everybody !
Bandmommy : Selmer S80C , I'm playing 6 months. No teacher, yet!
Rico Select Jazz 2M , played for about 1 - 2 hours a day for about 4 - 6 weeks or so.

I find/found it OK to blow. I'm not sure if I'm playing too close to the tip or not, playing closer to the tip does give me a sound I like more than playing farther back if you get me! One tutorial suggested you have your lip at the intersection of reed and mouthpiece so I try to do that.


I'll have a go at fixing it, but that said it's no biggie, I'm more interested how it happened and is it normal...
Many thanks for all your time :)
Regards,
PaulieBoy.
 

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If that reed is 4-6 weeks old it's about time for a fresh one.
Slap a fresh one on and see if it helps with the 'bending'.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheers for that. So that's about the limit of a reed in terms of usage ?
And bending is a sign that it's all but done ?

Thanks for your time.
Regards,
PaulieBoy
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Cheers for that. So that's about the limit of a reed in terms of usage ?
It depends on the amount of time it's played within those 4 - 6 weeks, but that is a reasonable assumption for average use.

And bending is a sign that it's all but done ?
Can be but not necessarily. Some amount of bending is normal.
 

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Cheers for that. So that's about the limit of a reed in terms of usage ?
And bending is a sign that it's all but done ?

Thanks for your time.
Regards,
PaulieBoy
No, some reeds will play out much sooner, some miraculously longer. A new reed can have the same problem ( not being flat) and will need leveling using a single edged razor blade or a flat piece of glass and sandpaper. Also, a mouthpiece may not have a flat table and few or no reed will play well on it. Having said all that, it's important to have a teacher who can see what's going on. I also recommend you buy "The Art of Saxophone Playing" by Larry Teal (Amazon has it). Here you"ll find this and many other topics covered in one format, which you can expand upon later. -------------Good Luck
 

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Bending and warping are separate issues.

Ideally the reed should never bend due to the player closing the reed but we all do it to some extent.

Warping is the reed reacting to moisture and then drying out.

Sometimes a reed will look perfectly normal until it's dampened. Then it'll crinkle due to humidity and even barometric changes.

If you're getting 4-6 weeks out of that bad boy then you are ahead of the game.

Of course none of this applies to synthetics.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all that info, much appreciated.
 
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