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Leaving the reed on the MP

4378 Views 49 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  calisax
Is there any advantage to that? I always remove my reed when I finish playing, but my dad says he used to always leave the reed on the horn. Does it make a difference?
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If you leave the read on the mouthpiece, how will you clean the mouthpiece after playing? The reed will be left on an unswabbed mouthpiece. The problem is the moisture getting onto the reed will probably shorten its life. Also, you'll end up with a unsanitary looking mouthpiece...
I take my reed out, rinse it and pack it away in my reed holder. I also clean the mpc.

I put another reed (old and broken) in place, because otherwise the ligature and cap don't hold onto the mpc. I don't want to grab the cap, then find the mpc slipping and crashing to the floor. (I use a metal Otto Link mpc set.)
Based on my experience its always better to take the reed off, clean both reed and mouthpiece, and store separately. It takes time but worth it in the end.
Plus you have to take the reed and lig off anyway when you put the mouthpiece onto the neck.
That was my inclination as well. My dad graduated in computer science, but played tenor on a band scholarship through school. He told me that when he played, that he would just leave the reed on...I feel that its better to remove the reed as well though. Thanks for your input.
for years i've been keeping my reed on my mouthpiece after i play... because it works so well!
all through college( i was a classical saxophone performance major) i would ALWAYS leave my reed on my mouthpiece. i would take it off sometimes to clean things, but that was the extent of it leaving my mouthpiece..and i was playing classical...which i've always found more difficult to find "good" reeds for. i tried things like letting it dry on glass or having a case..etc..never tried any moisturizing anything...but nothing i tried worked as well as leaving my reed on my mouthpiece. often i would get weeks(or more) out of the same reed.
to this day i still leave my reed on my mouthpiece. the vast majority of teachers/people giving advice will tell you to take it off...i say:
find a reed that is slightly too hard(but plays well)..get some good playing in on it and then afterward leave the reed on your mouthpiece. make sure your mouthpiece doesn't have the cap on after you first playing session with a new reed. new reeds soak up more moisture than old reeds so it'll need to dry the first time....try it for a week. the only thing you could possibly lose is one reed!
i encourage everyone who reads this to try it for a week. IT WORKS FOR ME!

p.s. thought i should mention: this experience was all on alto. i can't vouch for other voices...might not work as well on tenor for some reason.
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If you use a Rovner or leather BG ligature and you leave it tightened on the mouthpiece it will gradually stretch and become unuseable... I know, I did!
I used to do this and had no problems while using Vandoren classic reeds. But with my EZ refaced Florida Link STM, it doesn't work so well.

First the curve on the facing seems to let the reed bend more. If I leave the reed on the mpc, the reed will develop a curve and it's like playing a closed tip mouthpiece. No other mouthpiece I've used has ever done this to the reeds as quickly. I don't know what the difference in the refaced curve is, but it plays wonderfully as long as I store my reeds in a reed straightening case.

Second, the refaced table tarnishes easily. If I leave the reed on the mpc, I end up with a green mess.

But understand, being forced to properly store my reeds and clean my mpc is a small price to pay for such an awesome blowing piece. And I still leave my mouthpiece permanently mounted on the neck in the "sweet spot". So I can still say I'm a rebel, at least on some level. :cool:
As they say in the Army, "Stow that reed Soldier".
I leave it on because I'm lazy. It's a bad idea, though. Later, when I want to clean the piece, the reed wants to stick to it and I have to kind of snap it off. Somehow that just can't be good for the piece. But I'm still lazy.

But if I have a good reed working at home during practice and am heading for a gig that evening, the reed definitely stays on. It's not about being lazy. I just don't want to mess with something that's working.
Reeds will warp if you leave them on. Plus, it seems to me like you're creating a little haven for mold in your mouthpiece that way.
The other benefit of putting your reed in a reed holder or storage box (apart from the cleaning aspect) is that if you reed is not pressed a against a flat surface, it will warp like crazy. I have a reed holder where the reeds are held against a plexiglass surface by rubber bands, which his a great storage solution.
If I forget and leave a wet reed on, in the Spanish climate, it tends to grow nice black mould :(
I am looking now at a reed that's been on the piece for three days. No warping. That has not been my experience. Whenever I do see warping in a reed, it straightens itself nicely once it gets wet.
I try to take them off when I'm finished but I never know when that is. They get left on overnight about half the time. I haven't seen any warping from this.
Perhaps in the states that have more humidity--such as Louisiana, Florida,etc--it can work to leave your reed on and not have it succumb to warping.
When I lived in Colorado--dry, high altitude--leaving your reed on the mouthpiece for even a short time was a bad idea. The woodwind players there had all kinds of tupperware and sponges to store their reeds in. I was thrilled to move back to California and not have to deal with that anymore!
But, having said all that, I don't leave the reed on. I like a clean mouthpiece and the reed just seems fresher to me---just a habit I guess.
I'm with Al, I leave it on. I used to go one step further and tape the end of the mouthpiece cap to keep the humidity up. I learned this from a couple of Berklee student teachers I met while in junior high, just before the overtone series and soloing using pentatonic scales. The reeds were always ready to play with a nice feel. It helped too break reeds in as well.

These days, at the end of the gig I position the reed further back on the table and tighten the lig and cap it. When I pick it up next time I play, I remove the reed and clean off the piece and reed, if I have the time.

The reed I'm currently playing on my Super 20 is a Vandoren green box 3 and has been playing fine for ~3 months without showing signs of failure.
I leave my silverware on the table after dinner so it's ready for me when breakfast rolls around. ;)

Come on guys, it's not sanitary. It's a pain in the rear but I always wash the mouthpiece and reed(s) with soap and water when I'm done. After a gig I'll usually stick the reed in a reed guard and wash everything (including the reed guard) when I get home, or whenever I recover the next day.

Besides that, it's a good way to chip your reed if you leave it on.
There is a theory that says human beings are gradually destroying our immunity systems with this obsession we have with cleanliness, sterility, germs, impurities, peservatives, additives, and so on.

Leave those reeds on. Let your immunity systems beef up and fight the germs the natural way.
I'm with Al, I never worry about sanitary.

I wash my mouthpieces regularly, but not religiously. If it's convenient, and I'll be playing that particular horn again within a couple of days, I'll leave the reed on the mouthpiece. If I'm not going to be playing that mouthpiece for awhile longer, I'll take the reed off.

All you have to use is common sense, and your sense of smell.:cool:;)
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