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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone who has seen my old (over a year old) threads would conclude I want a bright-as-the-sun sound, with lots of edge.
My tastes (and more importantly, styles and gigs) have changed. Now I need a still contemporary sound, but not that intense. I have concluded that my BARI's and Fibracell's are now actually (get ready for the shocker, those who have seen those old threads) TOO BRIGHT for me. Plus for the coming season of marching band, they are no longer allowing the use of non-cane reeds, Fibracell included. Today I started using cane reeds again. I just took out what I had, I think ZZ 3.5's on alto and tenor. The tenor was too hard, so for whatever reason, I put on a Plasticover (2.5, not saying that's pure cane). You know what? Both saxes sounded great! I hadn't lost anything really, except a bit of the lower register on the tenor if I didn't adjust my jaw. I will probably try 2H or 3S Rico Select Jazzes for that, and maybe on alto too. I didn't get a chance to try other reeds on alto, will do so tomorrow. I was already playing cane on soprano.

Here's the question: Before I buy anything, is there any recommendations for what I should get, especially if i can't try out reeds? Here's what I have:

Alto:
-V16 3
-ZZ 3.5
-RSJ 3M (unfiled I think)
-Hemke 3.5
-Blue box 2.5

Tenor:
-V16 3
-ZZ 3.5
-Hemke 3
-Reserve 3

Like I said, I would like to try Select Jazzes on tenor, probably will shave down one for alto, play that. But does anyone have other recommendations? Also for the switch, what to do? I didn't have more than 4 squeaks in 1.5 hours, which may be pretty good for switching.

***UPDATE*** I'm now looking at Javas, any opinions on those vs. Select Jazzes?
Also, looking at the sticky for this section, the mouthpieces in question are an alto Jumbo Java and a tenor Metalite. I also will go slightly softer for each sax.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Contemporary Christian rock.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I would recommend Legere Signature reeds and a lot of long notes.

It looks a bit like you obsess over gear rather than working on your chops.

My apologies if I got that wrong.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "sticky for this thread"
 

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I would recommend Legere Signature reeds and a lot of long notes.

It looks a bit like you obsess over gear rather than working on your chops.

My apologies if I got that wrong.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "sticky for this thread"
I would too but the OP says his band doesn't allow non-cane reeds! Have you ever heard of such a thing??!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I changed it, I meant the one for this whole 'Reeds' section about 'The Importance of Matching Mouthpieces and Reeds.' I can see where you reach that conclusion about me, but I've played for a few hours almost every day since joining here, not that the two were related.
 

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I know, Fader, they check us at every rehearsal. Oh, and metal mouthpieces are not allowed in marching (but are required for jazz band). <sarcastic tone> It's because by having plastic or rubber mpcs and cane reeds, we all sound the same so there are all 'ohh' sounds and not 'iiieh'. Because they don't blend together. </sarcastic tone>
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I know, Fader, they check us at every rehearsal. Oh, and metal mouthpieces are not allowed in marching (but are required for jazz band). <sarcastic tone> It's because by having plastic or rubber mpcs and cane reeds, we all sound the same so there are all 'ohh' sounds and not 'iiieh'. Because they don't blend together. </sarcastic tone>
Wow. I was wondering how in the world they could tell you were using synth instead of cane. Figured it had to be an up-close and personal inspection.

Can't/won't blend? In marching band? It's that critical? Again I say, wow.

Not to downplay your concerns, strad, I'm just surprised "they" can discern and/or care that much about the difference in marching band.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pete, no synthetics in marching band. I would have had to switch anyway and just got amazing results. That's all I'm saying. The church had nothing to do with this.
 

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The church had nothing to do with this.
Thats what pete thought!
Famous last words.
We will remember you fondly. ;)


No synthetic reeds?? I would challenge them to a blind listening test.

Of course I was also kicked out of school at 15 so do not take that as advice designed to further your relationship with the educational system.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm glad to have such education roaming the fields of my threads.
 

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The funny thing to me is that no one can hear the saxes in a marching band over the drums and the brass.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Me too. I don't quite get it. They're just there for subtle color I guess?
 

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No, I always think Christians are tolerant and forgiving.
I'm not going to touch that one! I see Fader already has, but I'll refrain...

Hey Strad, we all obsess over equipment to some extent, but the fact is you need to find something that plays well enough for you to settle in and stick with it. You've discovered the fact that a 2.5 reed plays better for you than a 3.5 (I learned the same thing years ago). But if you keep switching from one brand of reed to another or changing mpcs, you'll never really get anywhere. Why? Because it takes time, a lot of time, to fully adjust to any given set up so you can get the sound you are after out of it. I've played reeds that are 'dark' (maybe even kind of 'dead' sounding), and after a period of adjustment they mysteriously brighten up to about where I want to be. Then I've played 'bright or brittle' sounding reeds, and after a period of adjustment they mysteriously darken to about where I want to be. I finally learned to settle on reeds that play fairly easily and allow me to do my thing. Same with mpcs.

So I'd recommend you try to find a reed you like, then stick with that brand for a while and don't jump around too much. No one here can tell you what that reed is. But add Rigotti Gold to your list!
 

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. . . it takes time, a lot of time, to fully adjust to any given set up so you can get the sound you are after out of it . . . I finally learned to settle on reeds that play fairly easily and allow me to do my thing. Same with mpcs.
This is perhaps the best advice anyone could ever give. Find a quality reed and a comfortable mouthpiece that feel and respond well for you, and then just play . . . and play . . . and play. It will work for you.
 
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