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2011 SOTW Contributor
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought one for $30 shipped from Ebay, so I will see first hand but is it a waste or is it useful at all?
 

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It's definitely useful -- especially the wand/stick. I used to use the wand for fine-tuning while the reed was on the mouthpiece. It works a lot like reed rush, but it's more portable and convenient. I sold my set, though, after I got the ATG System. It all became unnecessary.
 

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2011 SOTW Contributor
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Discussion Starter #3
Are there directions how to use the Vandoren set? Not sure I get the whole purpose of the glass wand and what it actually is used for?
 

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I'm sure there are some directions on youtube of some sort. In my opinion its really useful to make more reads similar/consistent in each box. Also good for when you found a great reed, and you clip it , then double check it with the resurfacer. I like it.
 

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Also you can't beat $30. So I'm excited to hear what you think of it.
 

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2011 SOTW Contributor
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Discussion Starter #6
I got it and it is simple to use to flatten the bottom of the reed. I read the instructions and the wand isn't still something that is clear as to what it is for other than working the side rails possibly. I got my Reed Geek in today so I may focus on that first.
 

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The wand is most likely to be used like reed-rush or sand paper to work the vamp on the top of the reed.
 

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2011 SOTW Contributor
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Discussion Starter #8
What is the effect of working the top of the reed? Why would one work the vamp and what way does one know if it needs adjustment?

The wand is most likely to be used like reed-rush or sand paper to work the vamp on the top of the reed.
 

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Well different folks do it in different ways. After flattening the reed using some fine grit sand paper (like the plate you just bought) or a reed knife of some sort if I feel I need to take more off I try it and see how it plays. I've found most reeds are going to be a little harder on one side or the other, unbalanced. The skill comes in determining which side needs a little taken off, how much, and from what part of the reed. Some folks place the mouthpiece with the reed on it in their mouth a little sideways so they pressure one side or the other more - the side being pressured will not vibrate so you'll just hear the other side- doing this on both sides you'll find one side doesn't blow as well as the other- that's the one that needs work.

What I do is play the reed listening closely and feeling how it responds in different registers. Then I take the mouthpiece with reed still on it and I test how firm the edges of the reed are at its tip by pressing lightly on it with the edge of my thumb. One side is usually harder than the other. I'll sand or scrape the firmer side in small increments (you can use the wand you just got, reed rush, sand paper, or a knife for this) until it feels about balanced- I've learned not to over do it and try the reed several times during the process. Don't try for perfect just go for "good enough". If the reed is to hard in general both sides may need to be sanded slightly. I try to work the reed about 1/4 to 1/2 inch back from the tip leaving the very end alone since there isn't much wood to work with there.

Like anything else the more you do it the better you get and you'll have a better idea each time what you need to do to a reed based upon how it sounds and feels initially. You will ruin a few reeds- I still do even after many years of practice. You'll also find that some reeds just can't be made to play right no matter what you do but you should be able to get about 90% of them to the point where they are at least good enough to use for practicing if not performance grade.

There are lots of videos (Reed Geek , ATG method, just guys on You Tube, etc...) showing different techniques for doing this so do some Google searches and watch how different folks go about it to help you develop your own method.

Lastly if you don't already have it (and if you do why haven't you read it) buy "The Art of Saxophone Playing" by Larry Teal - buy it now! For less than the cost of a box of reeds you get a primer on everything from reeds and mouthpieces to embouchure and altissimo.

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Saxophone-Playing-Larry-Teal/dp/0874870577

Good Luck.
 

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2011 SOTW Contributor
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, I picked up the Larry Teal, Ted Nash book to get the free shipping. Also ordered another copy of Top Tones Sigmund Rascher book that I lost years ago.
 
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