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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.amazon.com/Woodwind-Bras...9S98/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303777915&sr=8-1

I picked up that reed for the alto and tenor. When I first put them on, I didn't notice much of a sound difference (though there was one). On the alto, the high notes and altissimo were actually a bit easier, but the control of each note was a bit harder, especially the overtones. On the tenor, the higher notes were a bit harder (especially the palm keys but not the fork f and e fingerings or altissimo that didn't use the palm keys).

After a few days of practice, I took the plastics off and put normal reeds on. I swear my tone sounds somewhat better now than it did before I put on the plastics.

Should I still do a lot of my practice on the plastics to improve my tone and voicings, or would it be detrimental?
 

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I tried the Bari plastic reeds years ago (look a lot like the ones you linked). At first, they sounded great but when I played a gig with them, I was done for the night in about 20 minutes. And I had experienced chops. They just wore me down quickly. Some time ago, I discovered the Fibracells (synthetic but not the hard plastic of the Bari brand) and I use them exclusively on clarinet and alto saxophone, and occasionally on soprano. The trick is to find a mouthpiece that will handle the synthetic reeds - that isn't so easy, although you may just stumble across a set-up and then you'll be set. I have spent a lot of time going through various mouthpieces and reeds to come up with the exact strength and mouthpiece to work for me. It didn't come to me over night.

If it were me, I'd practice with what I use on a gig, meaning if those plastic reeds didn't do it for you at home, they certainly won't work for you when it is time to get serious. DAVE
 

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http://www.amazon.com/Woodwind-Bras...9S98/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303777915&sr=8-1

Should I still do a lot of my practice on the plastics to improve my tone and voicings, or would it be detrimental?
I first played on a very worn out Fibracell synthetic reed. Since I didn't have experience or a teacher, I didn't know it was wrong. It built my embouchure up quickly. I remember having a really hard time until I switched to new reeds, also I was playing with no tooth support. The more difficult it is, the stronger you get I say. This year I've been using a reed that was initially way too hard for my embouchure and the same thing happened, it built up my embouchure.
 

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I got a well known player diown our way [Brian Smith] to try a fibracell against the reeds he uses. I think they were vintage. There was a slight difference to his cane with the cane sounding just a little fuller and darker. With more playing on the fibracell who knows? He was surprised with the fibracell, it was better than he thought it would be. There are various "plastic" reeds and they vary a lot,more so than cane in some ways so to make a judgement on one brand particulary a cheapish one could be a bit premature. I would find the reed that your happy with and use that as you can keep improving. Some think it is a mistake to continually change gear untill you have some chops. Get a set up your happy with and stick with it untill you feel that you've got all you can out of it or want to change your concept is my 2 cents worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What if I did some practice with the plastic reeds (just things like scales, chromatic scales, maybe a little articluation practice, etc) first, then did the rest of my practice with my normal setup? Would that be helpful?
 

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What if I did some practice with the plastic reeds (just things like scales, chromatic scales, maybe a little articluation practice, etc) first, then did the rest of my practice with my normal setup? Would that be helpful?
IMO, no, it would more likely be detrimental. Every time you change a set-up, whether it's a reed brand, mpc, or horn, you have to make an adjustment. That will get in the way of trying to improve your tone and playing in general.

Go back to Ed Geddes' post #4 above, and re-read the last 3 sentences. Those are truly words of wisdom!
 

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....After a few days of practice, I took the plastics off and put normal reeds on. I swear my tone sounds somewhat better now than it did before I put on the plastics......
Could it be that you simply find the cane reeds sound better in comparison to the synthetics ?
 

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When you practice, you want to habitualize the process, physically as well as subconsciously. You may find trying different set-ups beneficial as a diagnostic excercise, but detrimental to the engraining (mentally and physically) of good solid fundementals, and proper embouchure formation and developement.
 

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That type of reed in the Amazon link provided tends to be more buzzy than other synth reeds. They have been sold under several names (Olivieri is one). The material seems to be similar to a Teflon.

I recommend Fibracells. I you want a darker reed, then Legere (I use them on claarinet). For a brighter reed, Bari-brand or Bari*.
 

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I recently purchased a Legere Studio 2.25 for my alto. I'm still getting used to it. My professor said: it doesn't sound as bad as it feels when you play it.
 

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Hahns are my favourite, sounds more or less like a Vandoren V5 bluebox or Alexander Superial!
 
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