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Discussion Starter #1
According to Dave Liebman, in his book (now out of print) Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound, he says to soak the reed in a glass of water for 20 minutes. Then let it dry completely before playing.

I don't think it makes much of a difference, but Liebman claims that soaking it for 20 minutes gets the fibers activated (or something.. I'm paraphrasing). Anyways, I think there's an issue of soaking a reed for too long and it might be better to just get it wet for 10 seconds and then just start playing it.
 

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It depends on where you live. If you lived, say, on the Big Island's windward side--one of the most humid places on the planet--soaking reeds is just silly.
 

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I just put the reed in my mouth while I assemble the horn. Usually that's all the 'soaking' it requires.
After all, saliva is mostly water and the reed will soak up a little of the condensation from your breath as you play.
If you want to soak before using I think that 5 minutes would be more than long enough to 'activate the fibers'.
I live in Michigan so your results may be different.
 

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I generally soak new reeds for 5-10 minutes before playing them for 10 minutes and then putting them away for another day to repeat the process for a longer time. There's a whole pedagogyassociated with breaking in new reeds that you can follow -- or not. Some folks just take 'em out of the box and blow on them dry. Other's are seriously anal retentive and always keep them moist while not being played.

I'm somewhere in the middle. Works for me, but your mileage may vary.
 

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even though i live in a pretty dry climate, all i do is run them under water and that's enough for me. i only soak them if there's a sealing problem, as sometimes that can solve it. otherwise, i find soaking my reeds too long can make them feel a tadd stuffy...
 

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I generally soak new reeds for 5-10 minutes before playing them for 10 minutes and then putting them away for another day to repeat the process for a longer time. There's a whole pedagogy associated with breaking in new reeds that you can follow -- or not. Some folks just take 'em out of the box and blow on them dry. Other's are seriously anal retentive and always keep them moist while not being played.

I'm somewhere in the middle. Works for me, but your mileage may vary.
This is basically me when I play Jazz Selects. I leave them soaking for about five minutes and don't really have any problems. However, I draw water into/throughout the reeds before playing by sucking on the butt end of each reed, much like a straw. That might account for something.

But I use Plasticovers 98% of the time now, so I don't really have to worry about it.
 

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I like to soak my new reeds for 5-10 mins. Sometimes I do this the second day as well. I find that new reeds don't stay moist like broken reeds do and benefit from extended soaking the first couple of plays. After that I'm just like bandmommy, I put the reed in my mouth as I put the horn together. By the time I'm ready for the reed, its ready for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Obviously you don't soak synthetic reeds. LOL..

I think I will soak them less! Maybe 5 minutes... perhaps another 5 minutes the next day. It's getting muggy here in the Northeast, though.
 

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I follow the three simple steps below:

1. Remove reed from package.
2. Attach reed to mouthpiece using ligature.
3. Play saxophone.

I know it's a long detailed process, but I find it works good almost all the time. :bluewink:
 

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I will soak a new reed for about 5 minutes and then let it dry. I will play it for a few minutes the first day after it is dry and put it away. After that I no longer soak them in water.
 

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I keep mine soaked constantly, a la David Sanborn. I keep 'em in an old McCormick screw top spice jar with distilled water. As they get dryer while playing they lighten up in strength a bit which works well for longer gigs as my chops get more fatigued.
 

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I follow the three simple steps below:

1. Remove reed from package.
2. Attach reed to mouthpiece using ligature.
3. Play saxophone.

I know it's a long detailed process, but I find it works good almost all the time. :bluewink:
Really? I know it's cool to say that and everything ... so rebellious and anti-establishment and everything ...
But haven't you ever noticed that not all cane reeds play the same? That some are downright bad? And you really just
play the next one in the box"? Why?
 

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According to Dave Liebman, in his book (now out of print) Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound, he says to soak the reed in a glass of water for 20 minutes. Then let it dry completely before playing.

I don't think it makes much of a difference, but Liebman claims that soaking it for 20 minutes gets the fibers activated (or something.. I'm paraphrasing). Anyways, I think there's an issue of soaking a reed for too long and it might be better to just get it wet for 10 seconds and then just start playing it.
No issue with too much moisture (I would hope you might squeeze out the excess water first though). Part of soaking is to start the "expansion/contraction" proccess to begin right away. This expansion (cane absorbing water) and contraction(cane then drying out) is very important in the break-in process.
 

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I follow the three simple steps below:

1. Remove reed from package.
2. Attach reed to mouthpiece using ligature.
3. Play saxophone.

I know it's a long detailed process, but I find it works good almost all the time. :bluewink:
You could simplify this algorithm by leaving the read attached to the mouthpiece all the time.
 

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My procedure is similar to Enviroguy's:

1. Remove reed from package.
2. Place in mouth while assembling horn.
3. Place reed on saxophone
4. Play saxophone
4a. If reed sucks, play a bit longer
4b. If reed still sucks, either a. put it back in package or b. break it in half (a and b depend on mood)
4c. Go back to 1
5. If reed is good, keep playing
 

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I find that new reeds don't stay moist like broken reeds do and benefit from extended soaking the first couple of plays.
I find it difficult to play broken reeds myself. The occasional reed jammed into a stand or otherwise semi-immovable object in frustration just doesn't seem to have much use afterwards, so I generally don't tend to soak those. Might just be me though. Others might get more mileage out of them afterwards than I do....
 

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I find it difficult to play broken reeds myself. The occasional reed jammed into a stand or otherwise semi-immovable object in frustration just doesn't seem to have much use afterwards, so I generally don't tend to soak those. Might just be me though. Others might get more mileage out of them afterwards than I do....
Tough crowd, isn't it, ZenBen?
 
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