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Re: frowning

Am I the only person whose chin goes up when frowning? I would imagine this would put pressure on the reed, like biting almost?
 

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I posted some comments on 2 different subjects today: reed storage and embouchure technique. I hope they are helpful!

http://everythingsaxophone.blogspot.com/2011/05/reeds-humidity-embouchure-and-upcoming.html

Wasn't interested in the reed part.

But I do hear a big difference in the two mp3's.

The first sounds more constricted. Still a nice sound.

The second one sounds more open like you're using way less effort and not even playing nearly as hard as the first.

It's funny how many players think it should be more difficult to get the desired sound instead of easier.

I used to think like that playing a berg 130/3 offset M. Sold that bad boy!
 

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I don't understand the frown part... If you are frowning while playing isn't that bad for the attitude? Or does it add a little edge to your sound and ideas?

I am interested in the reed part - it's been many years since I lived in high humidity area, or rather in an area that has big changes in humidity, but I do remember using the same reed case I use now - simple plastic holder in a leather wallet thingy (they are available at Muncy Winds these days, albeit with fake plastic leather).

I don't get the fuss of keeping reeds in fancy cases, humidity controlled environment, etc. I just take em from the box, use sandpaper or reed rush on em till they play right, and put em in rotation (4 - 8 reeds at any given time). What is the benefit of treating the reeds so special? I know lots of folks do, I just don't understand it, and am seeking enlightenment.
 

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Wasn't interested in the reed part.

But I do hear a big difference in the two mp3's.

The first sounds more constricted. Still a nice sound.

The second one sounds more open like you're using way less effort and not even playing nearly as hard as the first.

It's funny how many players think it should be more difficult to get the desired sound instead of easier.

I used to think like that playing a berg 130/3 offset M. Sold that bad boy!
The first clip is the one using less muscles! As long as you didn't type anything incorrectly, and you liked the 2nd one more, then you're agreeing that the more pronounced frown produces the better sound. (which requires a few more face muscles)
 

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I don't understand the frown part... If you are frowning while playing isn't that bad for the attitude? Or does it add a little edge to your sound and ideas?

I am interested in the reed part - it's been many years since I lived in high humidity area, or rather in an area that has big changes in humidity, but I do remember using the same reed case I use now - simple plastic holder in a leather wallet thingy (they are available at Muncy Winds these days, albeit with fake plastic leather).

I don't get the fuss of keeping reeds in fancy cases, humidity controlled environment, etc. I just take em from the box, use sandpaper or reed rush on em till they play right, and put em in rotation (4 - 8 reeds at any given time). What is the benefit of treating the reeds so special? I know lots of folks do, I just don't understand it, and am seeking enlightenment.
lol, frowing has nothing to do with your attitude!!! I feel great while I'm playing. Its just an approach to my embouchure muscles.

As far as reeds go. I feel like you treat your reeds with more care than I do if you take the time to sand paper or reed rush them. To me either the reed plays or it doesn't! But to really answer your question. If I let my reeds dry out completely I don't like they way they play when I pick them back up. I have to keep them somewhat humid to keep them playing well, so I just keep them in the spice jar. Honestly, its fairly straightforward and not a lot of work. All it really requires is adding a couple drops of mouthwash to the sponges every 2 weeks or so.
 

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Interesting post and very nice playing! Regarding reeds, I've sort of moved on to synthetics so that takes out a lot of the care required for cane reeds out of the equation..

Regarding the 'pronounced frown', it seems to me, by experimentation on my own face, that a pronounced frown seems to result in a more pronounced pout, which has the effect of jutting out the bottom lip further, therefore achieving the desired result of getting more bottom lip off the mouthpiece, or of uncurling the bottom lip on the mouthpiece. If this is in fact the desired change to the embochure, then it seems quite impossible to do it without moving the lower jaw and chin forwards and/or upwards. This then has the side effect of tightening the muscles around the lower lip and jaw line. So would this be an accurate understanding of what you meant by the 'pronounced frown' embochure?

Oddly, I couldn't get the second mp3 to come up on my comp...
 

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Regarding the 'pronounced frown', it seems to me, by experimentation on my own face, that a pronounced frown seems to result in a more pronounced pout, which has the effect of jutting out the bottom lip further, therefore achieving the desired result of getting more bottom lip off the mouthpiece, or of uncurling the bottom lip on the mouthpiece. If this is in fact the desired change to the embochure, then it seems quite impossible to do it without moving the lower jaw and chin forwards and/or upwards. This then has the side effect of tightening the muscles around the lower lip and jaw line. So would this be an accurate understanding of what you meant by the 'pronounced frown' embochure?

Oddly, I couldn't get the second mp3 to come up on my comp...
Sorry about the Mp3. The 2nd one was converted with iTunes and the first one with my H4n. Not sure what the difference in encoding is or why it affects your computer, but maybe that information will help you if you have problems with other peoples mp3s as well.

As far as the frown goes thats an interesting way of viewing it. I came to the frown conclusion from reading about Joe Allard's teaching approach. He taught a kind of frown to get the sides of your bottom lip down to create a flat surface for the reed to vibrate against. If your bottom lip isn't flat then the sides of your bottom lip will press in on the reed from either side bowing it and distorting the sound. I can also identify with what your saying.
 

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lol, frowing has nothing to do with your attitude!!! I feel great while I'm playing. Its just an approach to my embouchure muscles.

As far as reeds go. I feel like you treat your reeds with more care than I do if you take the time to sand paper or reed rush them. ... <snip>
OK, I think I get it about the frown. About reeds, I spend less than 10 minutes total per reed, usually less, that's spread out over a couple days, and get approx. 30 - 40 hours playing time out of them. I play almost every reed in the box (not true of orange box Ricos, some of those are just not worth the effort).

I've always felt that there are two kinds of people (well, sax players) in the world - fussers and chuckers. I'm a fusser. Sounds like you're a chucker.

I'm trying to become a chucker-fusser, but it creates a dichotomy and since I once had a uni-ectomy I'm unwilling to live through the pain...
 

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you've got me pegged. I like to chuck reeds that suck, and keep the ones I like in a happy and easy to maintain living environment. I want to get a reed knife and see if I can't fix some of the cruddy reeds I get. I usually play on 3 or 4 reeds out of the box. They usually last about 6-7 days of playing and I don't rotate them. I've tried rotating them before and I didn't feel like I got more playing time out of them. I'll probably try it again though.
 

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I'll have to work on this then...
I spent some time with this on Saturday, and liked what it was giving me in terms of tone (a little fatter, a little more open). I think it deserves some more time, thanks for the tip.
 
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