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My reeds wear out way too fast. They are the best when they are straight out of the box, they are okay the second play, by the third play, they're limp and squeak and are crap. I've attempted sanding, but that didn't help. Besides, my sax buddies never sand their reeds and they don't wear out nearly as quick. I even stepped up from 3 to 3.5 reeds but that didn't seem to help. I keep my reeds in the Lavoz plastic thing which is cleaned regularly. I have multiple mouthpieces, so that's not the problem. Yes, I rotate 4 to five reeds at a time. This is getting way too expensive! I'm using reeds like crazy. Any suggestions? I, as well as my friends, use Rico Royal 3 and 3.5's, by the way.
 

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Everything:twisted: !

No seriously. A lot of people will hate me for this, but Vandorens will last a lot longer, but even more expensive, and longer lasting are the La Voz. I much better like the cases for vandorens for ricos. Take a look at a rico case for the single reeds. I would first reccomend a Selmer Reed case from the WWBW< and it has a glass reed resurfacer to use in it. The Vandoren hygrocase is for really taking care of your reeds. They also sell a resurfacer. That is all you need. I piece of glass, but it has to be FLAT! Take a look at the WWBW for Reed Resurfacers. Hope that I've been a help, and by the way, you will notice a difference in playing the vandorens. better altissimo, better tone, better flexibility. etc. Don't play something because other people do, but lrather listen to their advice instead.
 

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It sounds to me that you are not breaking them in.
Try playing them for only a few minutes at a time slightly increasing the time each day then after a week or so they should be good too go

Either that or you could try one of the many vodoo rituals mentioned on previous threads:twisted:

Give the lonely little search button a push and type "Breaking in reeds" something is bound to come up
 

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The reed thing,all players have that very special relationship,a reed, good reed will last me on average maybe 15 hours,maybe,i have to make sure i have the correct adj. on the lig. and make sure the seat on the reed is always free,sugar in my saliva will in an hour,glue it,not good. when i loosen the lig,free the reed,i adj.the tip,the smallest change in tip reed relation will change the sound,i guess you could say obsessed,the only player that i have noticed worse than me is lee konitz,he is into it,i often wondered why,when i heard him play,now i relate 30 years later,i expect consistency, sounds like you do too.
 

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You might be biting too hard with your embouchure causing the reed to bend up toward the tip of the mouthpiece after playing for a while. This in effect closes the tip opening and a "curved" reed is much less responsive than one that is flat.

The way to check is to play one of your new "good" reeds until it begins to play poorly. Then take an index card or a playing card and carefully place it between the reed and the mouthpiece and move it slowly in to where the reed and mouthpiece come together. After a few seconds, pull the card out and play the mouthpiece again. If the reed goes back to playing well after this technique, you know you are biting too hard.

The solution, of course is to get the pitch of the mouthpiece down to a concert A or lower (concert G for tenor) and to push in more with the corners of the mouth to lessen the top to bottom "bite".

John
 

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I have noticed that reeds last alot longer when the mouthpiece is balanced. If you have a flat spot or two on the rails, or the tip is not even, the reed is not vibrating at its maximum. It may respond well and sound great but it will wear the reed down faster. I noticed that my reeds lasted forever on a new Morgan compared the other mouthpieces I had at the time.

You may be chewing on the reed while wetting it without realising it, or chewing on it while not playing or between breaths.
 

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I agree that this is probably an embouchure or other problem related to playing tecnique, not reed prep rituals. Have someone knowledgeable watch you play and see what they say. You might consider paying for a lesson with an established teacher, rather than having your buddies do this. No offense but they may be too inexperienced to help with this type of problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bernards20040 said:
It sounds to me that you are not breaking them in.
Try playing them for only a few minutes at a time slightly increasing the time each day then after a week or so they should be good too go
Could be. I usually just wet a new one and go at it for an entire hour. That's just because I'm impatient and lazy I guess.

The embrochure thing is possible too. I have to squeeze pretty hard for the metal piece though.
 

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Are you using a high baffle mouthpiece? They (especially Dukoffs in my experience) can wear out reeds very quickly. I have had reeds die on me after two hours even if I break them in properly.
 
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