I don’t tend to post about this on my blog, but I’m a saxophonist. Sure, I’m a saxophonist who works mainly as a copywriter and does creative writing when she can, but I have a performance diploma from the ABRSM and I have a small teaching practice.
So I was delighted when I was offered some free reeds from D’Addario. Delighted because reeds are good (do I risk sounding like the Shamen there?) and costly and always useful, delighted just to have been asked at all, but mostly delighted because I don’t have a favourite reed at the moment. I’d equate that to not having a favourite notebook or favourite pen for writing followers. It’s the sort of thing that can really put you off.
I’ve been using the same reeds since I was 13 and my second teacher just took one look and said you can’t use those (inferior brand in her tone), you must use these. The change paid off, mind, and I was hooked. Everyone I knew was using just about the same set up and strength. Eventually I got the mouthpiece everyone was using too. Then the ligature. I just had that brand, 2.5 strength, and that was it. I’ve even done the ‘you can’t use those’ to my students.
I had tried what I think was an earlier incarnation of the D’Addario Reserve a few years back and it didn’t do it for me, but this time was different. I found them instantly agreeable, though had to move them on the mouthpiece to up the resistance a little. I was impressed with the low notes, as I had previously been thinking I had a leak. I still need to get my sax checked out with a repairer but I found the lower notes generally came out easier than with my usual sort.
And I put this new reed through its paces. I tested it with some overtones playing: this is something I am working on but they were very responsive still. Playing the altissimo notes was a dream. I got up to a top d sharp using Sigurd Rascher’s fingerings. There seemed to be lots of extra possibilities altissimo-wise using the reed.
I then tested the reed with an impromptu classical tune, and a bit of jazz. Yes. Still doing it for me. Tried it again the next day. (I looked forward to that). Yes. I managed a lovely bit of improvisation with my new reed. So I am currently doing the *I have a new reed dance* and very pleased to Tom at D’Addario for setting me off on this new adventure.
You can generally find me talking about my saxophone playing at https://www.facebook.com/beckydeanssaxophonist
This is almost like a guest post from my other self!
©Rebecca Deans 2015