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So I have never quite found the best set up - after years, mind you. I am a singer and sax player, and I front a band and play in a couple of duos here on the beach. I sing 3x more than I play, but I would really like to settle in on reeds that work for me.

For a while I loved the Fibracell reeds, but something changed a few yers ago and I don't get the response on the newer Fibracell reeds that I used to. I am currently playing Legere Signature on alto and tenor and...well, meh, still not in love with these. I have also played the Bravo reeds (hate them).

It's finally time for me to face what seems to be the facts. I will never get the response from synthetic that I do from cane, but my dilemma is when I play cane reeds, as sporadically as I do on gigs, many of which are out doors, the reeds often ripple (my term) after sitting for a while, and I often have to just pick the horn up and blow a solo - no time for reed wetting and adjusting.

OK, that was all a long wind up for a short pitch. What's working for other preforming lead vocalists that also play sax on gigs?
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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4,171 Posts
Don't you use a set list? When a tune comes up that you have a quick switch to sax you could take 5-10 seconds to wet the reed before the song starts...won't your guitar player be tuning their axe for the tenth time anyway? If you think your reeds dry out quickly in Florida you should spend a year in Eastern Idaho.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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I have a different version of that problem. I don't sing any lead anymore and in my main group I don't sing at all, but I do have three or four saxes set up for most all gigs, and of course cane dries out between uses. And manually wetting them as per the above 'suggestion' is not feasible for and I'm sure its not for a front man either. I've done the same thing, using Fibracell on everything except tenor, since I play mostly tenor, but like you they're just okay. Last night I used a Hartmann 'Hemp' on baritone which was pretty strong but I also went back to something I used to use all the time on alto - Rico Plasticover. They perform the same function as a synthetic by staying ready to play but they are real cane. You may have to spend some money finding one that will blow, but you might try going a whole grade lower than you usually use in cane. They are cheaper than Fibracells and last nearly as long.
Like any reed, real or synthetic, remove it after playing if you use metal mouthpieces.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
Joined
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4,171 Posts
I have a different version of that problem. I don't sing any lead anymore and in my main group I don't sing at all, but I do have three or four saxes set up for most all gigs, and of course cane dries out between uses. And manually wetting them as per the above 'suggestion' is not feasible for and I'm sure its not for a front man either. I've done the same thing, using Fibracell on everything except tenor, since I play mostly tenor, but like you they're just okay. Last night I used a Hartmann 'Hemp' on baritone which was pretty strong but I also went back to something I used to use all the time on alto - Rico Plasticover. They perform the same function as a synthetic by staying ready to play but they are real cane. You may have to spend some money finding one that will blow, but you might try going a whole grade lower than you usually use in cane. They are cheaper than Fibracells and last nearly as long.
Like any reed, real or synthetic, remove it after playing if you use metal mouthpieces.
Worked fine for me when I did it, guess we each have to figure out what works best for us. Haven't played a synthetic that touches even an average cane reed for me on tenor or alto...bright, buzzy and shrill or dead as a tongue depressor. Hartmann's are okay on bari. Good thing we're all different.

1saxman, What level of suggestion does one have to submit to not have it 'suggested' that their comment isn't valid because you don't agree?
 
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