I play a LeBlanc metal contrabass for my high school band, and I’ve been
having trouble with my reeds going soft after one or two rehersals. I use a Vandoren 4 on the contra, and also on the soprano.
I’m pretty sure it’s not my care of the reeds, as I typically will
purchase one immediately before rehersal, and it’ll be extremely soft by the end of the rehersal. (1 1/2 hours, 5 days per week, plus 1/2 hour after on Thursday for private lessons)
Also, my directors have suggested that I play tenor sax instead of the soprano, during marching season, in order to help keep my embochure in good shape for concert season.
Do you have any suggestions?
Yes, I do have basic suggestion which you need to follow.
The reeds that you use are OK, most are OK, save the Rico or La Voz which get soft before anything else, however what you are doing most incorrectly is putting a new reed on for a rehearsal.All reeds must be “broken in”.
here is what you can try, although there are different methods, one of which is to NEVER play a new reed without some “breakingin” process.
1. start with more than one reed.
2. Wet them all thoroughly
3. Try each one for 5-10 minutes
4. Dry the reed in your fingertips and put it down on a piece of glass.
5. repeat for each reed.
6. mark the playable reeds on the butt of the reed with a pencil.
7. Put them all away for a day.
8. Repeat steps 1-7 for several days.
9. Try them for playability.
10 Use that reed for 10 or 15 minutes.
11. Put it away, and try another.
12 after about a week, you will have several reeds that last much longer than that one which got watersoaked after one rehearsal.
13. Always alternate reeds.
14 Good luck.
best of luck,
play well and stay well