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· Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all I have always been told a 2 reed is 2 soft...does anyone play a 2 reed on their set up...and what are some opinions on playing a 2 reed especially with a larger tip opening...talking tenor here...
 

· Forum Contributor 2016-17
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I play an 8* with #2 reeds....works well for me...as long as the reed works with the piece, reed strength isn't an issue....
 

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It’s common among High School and Middle School teachers to push harder reeds. I have my kids on #3 reeds but nearly all are playing Yamaha 4c or Selmer C* Mouthpieces (rather closed pieces). If a 2 works then it works.
 

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I like the Blue Box Vandoren #2s on my #7 STM NY. They mate up very nicely and sound pretty sweet. Now, if they would just last a bit longer than 45 minutes each time I practice on them. For some reason, they just seem to die around the 45-60 minute mark. They seem to absorb moisture and then don't seal. Let them dry out a bit and they rebound...
 

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I use 1.5 reeds on my 8* NY chamber link tonemaster. I do find I have to clip them sometimes, but most in a box are fine.

The general rule is the larger the tip opening, the softer the reed.

I like the tonal flexibility of a softer reed. I think they have more colors than a harder reed with a smaller tip opening, but that might be just me and my anatomy and technique.

I also find that when playing with softer reeds, the ones with the darker colored cane work better YMMV.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

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I wrote in a book what I call "The magic of the neck strap". For softer reeds I shorten the length of the neck strap which slightly raises the angle of the mouthpiece entering the embouchure. For harder reeds I do the opposite, and that works for me. That slight adjustment can affect where and how much attack the tongue is giving the reed. It also affects how much mouthpiece I am taking in. It alters the suspension of the mouthpiece and reed combination helping to avoid dampening the reed allowing for better brightness when needed. I find that sweet spot depending on the reed strength and tip opening. Charlie Parker had his neck strap marked for his sweet spot.
 

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I agree with swperry1, use what works for what your wanting to do. Personally, I've never played on anything softer than a 2.5 in my 20+ years of playing. However, if using a 2 or 1.5 or whatever, works for you then go for it.
 

· Forum Contributor 2014-2017
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Fibracell 2.0 to 2.5 on a Berg SS 120 2 M (tenor). On bari, even softer, with a Fibracell 1.5 on a Drake .120 CC II. And dang, Rich, that Viking bari sings with that piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great comments would love to hear some clips of people using soft reeds....I know Gato used soft reeds...
 

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I've always played vandoren 2.0, but just got a legere 2.0 signature series that works well. This on 7* JJ DV NY. I just find it easier to get better tone on a softer reed. My teacher uses 2.0 as well. No shame.....
 

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I like the Blue Box Vandoren #2s on my #7 STM NY. They mate up very nicely and sound pretty sweet. Now, if they would just last a bit longer than 45 minutes each time I practice on them. For some reason, they just seem to die around the 45-60 minute mark. They seem to absorb moisture and then don't seal. Let them dry out a bit and they rebound...
A 7 doesn't seem like it would kill a reed that quick. A 10* probably would
I'd switch to a different brand. Rigotti and Link work good together. A Vandoren blue box 2 is probably a 2H or a 3S in a Rigotti. I like the idea of more increments in strengths. I'll practice on a 3H and play 3M on a gig because they play well right out of the box.
I play a 6 Link and reeds last a long time for me. I use a few in rotations which may help.
 

· Forum Contributor 2014-2017
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Here:

View attachment 1209231517_Bb.tenor.sax_.mp3

Just a a few minutes of a warm September afternoon outside in 2012 with the recorder on. Including some breathy low volume stuff you can do on an open mouthpiece with a softer reed. As mentioned above, that's a Berg Larson SS 120 2 M with a Fibracell 2.0 or possibly 2.5, on a Yanagisawa T-901.

Edit: Listening back to that, that reed's gotta be a LaVoz Medium Soft, not a Fibracell. Not enough buzz in it for a Fibracell.... But the point holds: soft reed, open piece, breathiness possible.

Great comments would love to hear some clips of people using soft reeds.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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I guess it depends on 1 the type of mouthpiece you are playing and it's distinguishing features (baffle, chamber, facing curve, tip opening) and 2 what you're personally comfortable with.

So many factors. I know that there are certain mouthpieces that are smaller than what I normally play with even less baffle that for me respond better with a softer reed. And there are also more open mouthpieces with a more pronounced baffle that worked better with a harder reed.

The set up I've been on for the last year for me has been the best in my 18 years of playing. It's a Warburton .110 with a Red Java 3.5 on my tenor. And that personally feels great. Doesn't close up on me. Produces a nice huge thick tone. When I've tried a 3 on it when the store has been out the reed will last maybe 1 week total, close up on me after a few days and result in loads of frustration.
 

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Great comments would love to hear some clips of people using soft reeds....I know Gato used soft reeds...
I currently play Rico Royal 2 reeds on my Florida no USA 10* for a few years. Used La Voz medium before, but lost my practice room some years ago and discovered that the RR 2 reeds performed easier with less practice and also made my sound darker (also used Rico Plasticovers 2 for a while).

The softer reed makes (for me) the sound more flexible, but intonation more tricky (especially in the higher register and altissimo). In time you will learn to control that better. I play a single reed between 4 and 8 months.

I've a ton of soundclips on my SoundClick page. Here is my latest recording on an 8 month old Rico Royal 2 and the Florida 10*:
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13699330
 
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