What is the best reed to use?
In this tip I Will tell about saxophone reeds, a extremely relevant piece to have a good performance and a good sounding of your instrument. You will find a great variety of prices and brands.
The question of my students always do, is: What is the best reed to use? And I always say this:
If you have a “loose” mouthpiece, try to use a soft reed, with the size 1/12 or 2, ‘cause “loose” mouthpieces with a hard reed try to facilitate to make high notes, but the low notes will be difficult to make;
If you have a “tight” mouthpiece (indicated for beginners), use reeds with the size of 2 or 2/12, because it´s the contrary of the loose mouthpiece, low notes come out more easily, but the high notes loses quality of sound and it´s more difficulty to make.
Never use the resource to press or loosen your lips to compensate the difficulties caused by your reed, it´s better use the properly reed according with the tip opening of your mouthpiece.
I recommend to not buying painted reeds, they don´t help to have a better timber and they don´t have a good vibration. You can find reed made of plastic or cane with plastic, I recommend one these two reeds, but the student will need technique and domain over the instrument, at least 2 years playing the instrument. What is told before isn´t a general rule, but it´s the most recommended to sax beginners, try to talk with your teacher about this subject, if it´s possible don´t buy only one reed, because even being new, it´s made of cane (wood) and can have a great vary in quality. Always replace the old reed to a new one, don´t wait it broke to make the change, I recommend using one reed by month, for beginners. The reed even without broke loses sound quality and can lose physics consistence, becoming squashy. You´ll have difficulty to use a new one.
Unfortunately, talking about brands, with the exception of the “painted” ones, there´s no one specific of being better than other, I will say again, because it´s made of wood, you can have a lot of variation of reed to reed, brand to brand, size to size, but try to use what you learn reading this tip. If you have any doubt, make contact in the site. Good practice!