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Ropey Reeds? Read on...

Reeds Direct

Ever blamed your reed for playing problems? – Of course you have! (If you answered ‘no’, you’re either a) not a saxophonist or b) in denial.)

So, why not experiment a little? Read what the experts say in our Reed Survey below and visit Reeds Direct. Browse through Reed Direct’s excellent summary of the wide range of makes now available.

Reed Survey

Player: Rob Buckland, Apollo Saxophone Quartet (UK)
Reed: Alexander Superial Classique 3.5, alto.
Reason: Rounded tone and even response throughout range, and high level of consistency.

Player: Steve G Costenbader, Quattraphonium Sax Quartet (USA)
Reed: Rico Royale 3.5, sop
Reason: Nice timbre, great on my set-up. Great intonation.

Player: Lionel Ferer, former bari player with Saxtet, member of theatre and show bands (reporting from Columbia, S. America)
Reed: Vandoren 3, alto and sop: La Voz hard, bari
Reason: Consistency and being able to push it to the limit.

Player: Sarah Field, soloist (UK)
Reed: Vandoren 4, alto
Reason: It works for me personally with my C* Selmer mouthpiece and Mark 6 alto, but we’re all different!

Player: Roger Freundlich (Finland)
Reed: Rico Royale 1.5, tenor.
Reason: Used with a Link #8, it gives me a good response in the tenor’s low register.

Player: Reginald Jackson, Washington Saxophone Quartet (USA)
Reed: Vandoren 2.5, sop.
Reason: We all play Vandoren reeds. These reeds help us get a smooth, dark, rich sound that is consistent throughout the quartet.

Player: Sarah James, soloist and Adelphi Saxophone Quartet (UK)
Reed: Vandoren Standard 3.5 for classical work and Vandoren Java for jazz and light work.
Reason: They suit my mouthpiece and are the right strength for the sound I want to achieve, and also for altissimo work.

Player: Martin Kerrigan, Adelphi Saxophone Quartet (UK)
Reed: Vandoren 2.5, tenor
Reason: They’re consistent and focussed.

Player: Richard Kleinfeldt, Washington Saxophone Quartet (USA)
Reed: Vandoren 3, tenor
Reason: We all play Vandoren reeds. These reeds help us get a smooth, dark, rich sound that is consistent throughout the quartet.

Player: Gerard McChrystal, recitalist (UK)
Reed: Vandoren 3.5, sop.
Reason: I play on a Bari 58 (mouthpiece-make, not instrument) although gaffa tape could make the alteration for that bigger fat tone we all want on top F sharp!

Player: Rick Parrell, Washington Saxophone Quartet (USA)
Reed: Vandoren 3, bari
Reason: We all play Vandoren reeds. These reeds help us get a smooth, dark, rich sound that is consistent throughout the quartet.

Player: Andy Scott, Apollo Saxophone Quartet (UK)
Reed: Vandoren 3, tenor
Reason: I like the challenge of getting the plastic wrapper off the box.

Player: James Steele, Washington Saxophone Quartet (USA)
Reed: Vandoren 2, alto
Reason: We all play Vandoren reeds. These reeds help us get a smooth, dark, rich sound that is consistent throughout the quartet.

Player: Simon Stewart, Paragon Saxophone Quartet (UK)
Reed: Vandoren 3, sop
Reason: They do the lot: I can play pianissimo bottom B flats and get up to altissimo C's. I tend to take any old reed out of the box and make it work for me.

Player: Karen Street, Saxtet (UK)
Reed: Hemke 2.5 – 3.5,various saxes
Reason: I use Link or Link-style mouthpieces on all my es and Hemke are a good quality reed that gives a good balance between edge and fullness of tone and they fit properly on the lay – better than Vandoren.

Player: Nigel Wood, founder member Saxtet (UK)
Reed: Hemke, sop and alto
Reason: Longevity. The last one I had lasted 7.5 years – (and that’s not a reflection on how much practice I do!)

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