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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm doubling on bari sax this summer in a music theater pit. I have access to two bari sax mouthpieces - a Selmer S80 C* which I've had success with and a Berg Larsen MLBR* 100/0 M piece that I can't get a sound out of.

What brand/strength reed would you recommend for use on these pieces?

Much appreciated,
Steve Ballas
 

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Try a BARI brand synthetic reed on the BL. Start with a soft and see if you need something a bit stiffer.
 

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For your berg, I'd recommend some medium/medium soft LaVoz (go to the music store and try some different ones out). But please, please, please, if you're playing in a theatre, play on the C*. People often get angry when you play on "jazz" mouthpieces in the pit, and I've seen directors flip when they ask the bari player what they're playing and their answer is "Link", even though it's a dark mpc.

For th C*, I'd HIGHLY recommend Hemke 3 or 3.5, or Vandoren blue box 3 or 3.5 if you can't get the Hemkes. Good luck, bud.
 

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What type of musical are you playing in?

If it pop oriented, I would use the Berg. If it was more classical, use the C*.
 

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I just assumed in a pit they would want something that blends a little better than a berg.
 

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blindside398 said:
I just assumed in a pit they would want something that blends a little better than a berg.
Bergs really aren't that bright. I very successfully played my Metalite M9 in a pit with a Fibracell Medium-Hard. It's all about how you blow it. If you have the air control, it works fine. Anyways, on jazz or pop-oriented musicals, you want more "bark" in the tone for the bari "bumps." A C* just doesn't have the cojones for a good r&b sound.

I was splitting the book with a bassoon player who couldn't make the last matinee, so I just played it on bari. It wasn't exactly like a bassoon, but I managed to pull it off with lots of subtones. If you didn't know that it was supposed to be a bassoon, you wouldn't have noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the helpful replies.

We'll be playing "Thouroughly Modern Millie," "Evita," "Little Me," and "Bye Bye Birdie."

So far I've been playing the C*. I started on Rico Royale 2.5, but they were a little too hard to control - it was a bit too easy to lose the octave I was playing in. I've been giving Vandoren ZZ 2.5 a try but I may have to shave them down a bit - I get a very warm but almost fuzzy tone. Its much easier to play in the correct register and intonation is better on the ZZ's.

I'll definitely check out some of the other reed suggestions mentioned here. Of course this is a semi-pro/student university production so we don't really get paid too much - if I try out too many reeds I'll have spent my first two paychecks before we even start in June :(.

Again, thanks for all the advice.
Steve Ballas
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Two months.

In May I'll have a Master's degree in clarinet and have specialized in Bass Clarinet since I began music. I'm in the pit to play the clarinet/bass clarinet part of the books. I'll be covering the bari sax parts too unless a sax player comes out of the woodwork and wants to play it. Chances of that are slim, so I'm spending a lot of time working on the bari to get my chops up - its a huge project.

Steve Ballas
 

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bahamutofskycon said:
Two months.

In May I'll have a Master's degree in clarinet and have specialized in Bass Clarinet since I began music. I'm in the pit to play the clarinet/bass clarinet part of the books. I'll be covering the bari sax parts too unless a sax player comes out of the woodwork and wants to play it. Chances of that are slim, so I'm spending a lot of time working on the bari to get my chops up - its a huge project.

Steve Ballas
If you have a master's in clarinet and bass clarinet (that's my eventual goal as well), then you should be able to pick up the bari well enough to play in a pit. Just keep at it, I guess. My preference of the two mouthpieces you mentioned would be the berg. Use a soft reed and make sure you're not using too much lip pressure. I know I used to bite way too much when I first picked up the sax. Once I learned to relax, I started making real progress.
 
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