Quick beginner Question;
What do you do with your reed after playing?
Can it be left on the mouthpiece until later/tomorrow, or should it be removed, dried and put back in the reed guard until it is used again?
Allan, listen to your mother. Everything she said is sho'nuf. Post-play reed care can have a bunch to do with longevity of the little suckers and at something like $3.45 cents each it's worth the trouble.
I put mine in a high humidity container (a pill jar with a sealed lid, I like to see some foggy droplets on the inside walls, you know, like, high humidity) where they safely rest until tomorrows practice when it gets dunked again for the final wetting.
I have a problem in that I tend to like a pretty wet reed. Keeping it that way for 4+ hours is a challenge. I have a pretty dry mouth due to some medication I'm taking. For this very reason, and not much else, I went to Fibracell reeds and played them for about a year. Now I am returned to cane for the sound and to save money (the Fibracell reeds, despite their advertising, are very inconsistent and only about half are playable. @$11 a pop that sucks ) and I am back with the problems of care and feeding cane reeds. I don't keep them wet all the time, they go in a ProTec case after the day is done, but if I don't have them wet enough they will squeak on me on middle D D# E and F#. I hate that.
Ok Bandmommy, I can do that, but as Sig has mentioned that he likes to keep them moist, is it better to keep them in a container or let them dry out naturally.
I am trying out Vandoren and Rico's. They both come in plastic reed guards, but will dry out if not sealed up in something else. I don't see this as a problem as I can soon wet them again but what do I know.
How 'moist' we keep our reeds is a personal thing.
Be aware that too much moisture and higher temperatures can lead to the reeds getting a bit moldy.
I prefer that mine dry out. It doesn't take that long to get them ready to play with a quick soak in a container of water or the mouth.
As for what to keep them in....
The little plastic 'sleeves' they come in are fine. Others like actual reed cases. There are a lot of different styles to choose from. The cheap ones aren't any better/worse than the expensive ones in my experience so don't let the hype sway you too much.
I have a 4 slot Vandoren case with the little carbon tube for my clarinet reeds that my husband gave me for Christmas. My sax reeds I just slide back into the sleeves.
As long as the tips are protected and you aren't getting mold any 'storage device' is suitable.
Others may give you differing opinions on how/what to store your reeds in. Use whatever is best for you and your personal situation.
I have a lot of respect for Bandmommy. She is always right on the money with good practical advice. I sometimes wish she were my real mommy... I would only add the following:
After playing, rinse off the reed before drying it, if possible. The reed will maybe last a little longer. Maybe...
The best reed cases out there are the cheapest. Vito cases (http://shop.weinermusic.com/VITO-ALTO-SAX-SOPRANO-SAX-REED-GUARD-MODEL-2438/productinfo/CVAS/) are less than $5. They are actually better than the slightly more expensive La Voz Reed Guard cases. I like using the reed case things because that way my "working reeds" are always in the same place. Reeds in the plastic sleeves are ones I haven't played yet... But Bandmommy is absolutely right, it's a luxury. Cheap, yes, but still a luxury.
The humidity control things are really unnecessary in my opinion. The only place I would consider them is in a desert environment, and even there they aren't really needed. In a relatively humid area like you are in just don't bother.
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