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Discussion Starter #1
Does any tenor reed work with any tenor mouthpiece?

I know reeds are categorized by their softness number & sax type
but... do they also come in different widths etc...?
or are all tenor reeds standard?

Thanks

(yes, I'm clueless :)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
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In general terms yes, as long as you have the right hardness then you should be able to get some sort of music out of it, BUT, you will find through experimentation that some brands are more optimal to a certain piece or style or sound concept than others, and you might find it easier to play them.

One thing Ive noticed is that American mouthpieces (well, my beechler) seem to have the tip profile rounded to match American (Rico, Hemke) reeds, so the reed "fits" the tip profile, while french mouthpieces (Selmer, Vandoren) are a better fit for french (Vandoren) reeds. The Ricos seem a little less rounded at the edges than the Vandorens. But it doesn't seem to make any noticeable difference in playability
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Canadiain said:
In general terms yes, as long as you have the right hardness then you should be able to get some sort of music out of it, BUT, you will find through experimentation that some brands are more optimal to a certain piece or style or sound concept than others, and you might find it easier to play them.

One thing Ive noticed is that American mouthpieces (well, my beechler) seem to have the tip profile rounded to match American (Rico, Hemke) reeds, so the reed "fits" the tip profile, while french mouthpieces (Selmer, Vandoren) are a better fit for french (Vandoren) reeds. The Ricos seem a little less rounded at the edges than the Vandorens. But it doesn't seem to make any noticeable difference in playability
Understood... Thanks very much!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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zaxroots: Based, on your question, it sounds like a lesson or two with a good teacher might be your best bet. It could save you a lot of frustration and wasted money on reeds. It is still true, as Canadiain said, that you need to experiment. Here are a few other thoughts:
1. Reeds with the same hardness number on the box are not all equally hard. It depends on the cut. For example, go to the product section of the Rico sight, and you will see a hardness comparison chart (in the upper right).
2. I was not aware of the tip profile differences that Canadiain mentioned. At any rate, in my experience some American mouthpieces play great with Vandoren reeds, others with Rico Jazz Selects, and others with either Alexander or Rico reeds. So if you're like me, foreign vs. domestic may not be the deciding factor for you.
3. A recent poll of SOTW members showed that the overwhelming majority of poll respondents use #2 1/2 or #3 strength reeds. If you're like most people, that's where you'll wind up. If you're really new to woodwinds, you might try a #2.
4. Reeds and mouthpieces are both optimized for a variety of player goals. If you are new and you have some budget, then you may want to also take a look at what mouthpiece you have. Some are better than others for beginners. The few teachers I know all recommend rubber pieces with "not too big of a tip" to start (and probably not too high a baffle either). I'm sorry if this is off point, but it is another thing you might want to discuss with a good teacher.

Good luck.
 

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LampLight said:
2. I was not aware of the tip profile differences that Canadiain mentioned. At any rate, in my experience some American mouthpieces play great with Vandoren reeds, others with Rico Jazz Selects, and others with either Alexander or Rico reeds. So if you're like me, foreign vs. domestic may not be the deciding factor for you.
Just to clarify, it doesnt make any difference to how they play, its just something cosmetic I noticed with the beechler vs the selmer...a Rico matches the tip exactly on the Beechler, but will overhang on the corners of the tip of a Selmer. But I still play Rico Royals on the Selmer.
4. Reeds and mouthpieces are both optimized for a variety of player goals. If you are new and you have some budget, then you may want to also take a look at what mouthpiece you have. Some are better than others for beginners. The few teachers I know all recommend rubber pieces with "not too big of a tip" to start (and probably not too high a baffle either). I'm sorry if this is off point, but it is another thing you might want to discuss with a good teacher.

Good luck.
Aint that the truth. Some stock mouthpieces are not that great.
 

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Canadiain: My turn to clarify: I have also noticed differences in tip profile, but I never worked out how brand specific the differences are. I always get better and worse reeds even in a good box, and all I'm thinking about is how many good reeds are there, and how good are they?

zaxroots: You're welcome. I'm glad that's helpful.
 
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