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Reeds

Although there is a lot of grumbling about the price and quality of reeds, this piece of cane does deliver an extremely clever performance. The reed converts the "blow pressure" of a saxophonist into a vibration, in other words a specific tone. When blown, the reed easily vibrates a hundred times a minute up and down. Half the time sealing the m...

Although there is a lot of grumbling about the price and quality of reeds, this piece of cane does deliver an extremely clever performance. The reed converts the "blow pressure" of a saxophonist into a vibration, in other words a specific tone. When blown, the reed easily vibrates a hundred times a minute up and down. Half the time sealing the mouthpiece. A quarter of the time fully open and the remaining time the reed is sprinting between opening and closing. Add to this that the reed has to adjust quickly to every new pitch (low B-flat, flageolet), full stop, start, crescendo, piano and then it even has to sound great. Hour after hour, day after day and preferably a couple of weeks long. A cane reed consists of small hollow pipes with a gluey substance in between. Let it suck a generous dose of moisture and you will get a nice, flexible and still strong reed that vibrates perfectly. However, saliva does break down the structure of a reed. The result: a weakened reed without spirit that can easily tear.

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