Thursday, August 30, 2012
Reeds and Being Prepared
Every once in while I am reminded of how simply some saxophone problems can be solved, and I had one of those moments just in the past month. I've been struggling with reeds ever since the seasons changed despite my meticulous care, and I couldn't seem to find a solution, even when my storage was perfect. Needless to say, reeds have been on my mind.
While playing a couple of gigs as part of a sax competition in Detroit, I got to talking with Adam Rongo about reeds, who is a really great saxophonist and was a fellow finalist at the competition. He told me that he switched down a half strength in the summer, or something along those lines. Intrigued, because one of my main problems all summer had been my reeds playing too hard, I bought a box of reeds a third strength lower (RJS comes in third strengths). Result? Comfortable playing reeds.
With that realization made I now pack a couple if not three strengths of reeds so I'm prepared for what comes, and good thing too! Last week I was in Kansas City, and for whatever reason there I needed to play on a third strength up from my normal strength (two third strengths up from what I've been playing on in PA) to really be comfortable.
Lesson learned. We don't need to be stuck on one strength of reed. We need to be comfortable, and we should definitely be prepared.