Saxophone Forum

by RobertD
(73 posts)
6 years ago

Reed my lips...

Playing brasswinds, I never had to deal with reeds before. So, I'm learning as I go from information I can find and from reading various player's reed rituals online. I've started out playing Vandoren ZZ 2.0 reeds. I wasted a couple reeds early on through improper care; I was keeping them too moist in my humidifier reed case. One warped and a couple of them had some suspicious new dark spots. Yuck! I cleaned the reed case well and looked for solutions.

I was keeping my reeds too wet after playing. Now, I rinse my reeds immediately after playing in warm running water, soak them for a minute or so in .03% hydrogen peroxide, rinse them very well again, dry them until just moist on a clean paper towel - then store them in the humidifier case. This solved both problems.

As for reed preparation, I read about sealing reeds before use according to a method attributed to Joe Allard. I skip the part about scraping the reed with a reed knife. I'm pretty sure Vandoren can do a better job of it than I can. But I follow the rest; soak the reed, let it dry face side up, turn it over and, on a piece of clean white paper on a flat surface, rub it in small counter-clockwise circles many times, turn it over on the flat surface and run your finger repeatedly all the way down the vamp to the tip. This, supposedly, seals the reed.

This method works well for me. I have three reeds I'm rotating now and they all perform well enough that I don't yet have a favorite. My reeds are lasting much longer too.

Does anyone else use this or a smiliar method, or prepare their reeds using a different method? Does what I am doing sound right? Does anyone have more reed tips that might help us newbies?


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  1. by bjroosevelt
    (47 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Reed my lips...    I stay with a 5 minute soak in water before playing and about 1 minute afterward....then I stick them in my reed case which often gets shoved into my gig I can get home from band practice.

    I promise you I have the longest reed management technique in my community band. 

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    1. by RobertD
      (73 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: Reed my lips...


      I have no idea why people accuse me of being a perfectionist when I can never do anything perfectly.


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