Frequently Asked Questions :
Play the reeds every day for just a few minutes to maintain moisture levels.
If a reed is too tough, rub its table (flat part of the reed) on fine sandpaper, in light circular motions. If a reed is too easy, cut the end of the reed with a hair.
It may be better to use water to wet the reed. Some people have a more acidic saliva that will wear the fibers of the reed faster. Be careful, however, not to leave a reed in the water for too long, as this can distort it.
It all depends on the material used (as well as the mouthpiece and the instrument)! In general, the 2 ½ is quite suitable for new musicians.
My students tell me : “ You always have good reeds "and I said to them:" yes, they are the same as yours! "Henri Dionet (ex-soloist at the Opera and professor at the Versailles Conservatoire)
Is the reed fundamental to producing music?
Of course, the reed is used to shape the sound (...), it's more than a piece of wood, it's the soul of the player.
Any passionate and serious musician does not have just one reference reed; they have reeds that allow them to find an "ideal". In addition, rotating reeds is important: the more one gets used to playing different strengths of reeds, the more these reeds eventually stabilise. It is not a question of copying your neighbor, because he uses up 2 reeds per month or on the even uses 2 boxes. The essential thing is that each musician finds their ideal reed!
The physicality of each mouthpiece means that they don’t always work in harmony with the reed. On the other hand, there is today a great diversity of mouthpiece (example: wide or fine opening at the end of the mouthpiece). Which leads us to think that the position of the reed can vary.
A reed that is a little easier to play can work better by making it protrude slightly from the mouthpiece (it will find a roundness of sound while maintaining its flexibility).
The lateral displacement of the reed (left or right) can lead to finding the perfect balance.
In addition to the quality of the reed, the main factors that influence the performance of a reed are :
Faced with these changing parameters, the key word is "adaptation" at all times. It is very useful to limit the subjectivity as much as possible by:
Above all, in order get the best out of your reeds, you must “optimise” them.
To avoid playing a new reed for too long, play a reed a little stronger than its initial strength. To help “break-in” this new reed, it can be a good idea to change the mouthpiece according to varying situations.