How to Improve Every Saxophone Reed – The ReedGeek

The ReedGeek

Those of you who follow BetterSax closely, know just how much I love the ReedGeek and what it can do for my saxophone playing.

ReedGeek
ReedGeek Tool

Earlier this year, my good friend Kyle Roberts came by to catch up and pick up his new tool. I brought him back a ReedGeek from the NAMM show and in the video I give a quick tutorial on how to get better performance from saxophone reeds using the ReedGeek.

Another great tool to help maintain your reeds is the Vandoren Hygro Reed Case. It has a replacement humidity disk and sponge to prevent your reeds from drying out too much.

Check out our full conversation and ReedGeek tutorial below!

YouTube video

What kind of reed care or reed adjustment routines are you doing? Let us know in the comments below!

Still searching for that PERFECT reed? Check out “The Best Box of Reeds I’ve Ever Played.”

Or if you don’t like cane reeds? Check out my comparison of Legere Synthetic Reeds versus Cane Saxophone Reeds.

Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.

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8 Comments

Mark says:

Jay:

This video was very helpful regarding The Reed Geek. I have one of these myself and intend on implementing some of the tips you demonstrated.

Since gigs are basically non-existent I have plenty of Fri/Sat nights to work on some crappy reeds!

Ken says:

How to trim the end of the reed if it doesn’t match the contour of my mouthpiece?

Jay Metcalf says:

You can try one of those reed clippers made by Marca.

Keanan Cartee says:

I’m a classical saxophonist, and I play jazz on the side sometimes (Learning licks, some improvisation, etc.) I pretty much just play all of the licks Saxologic does videos on. Now, I know you are a primarily jazz saxophonist but I was wondering if you have any tips for ReedGeek customization for a classical player? I can’t seem to find anything online other than flattening the table. Would you know any ways to get a more focused or dark sound out of a reed? I play Vandoren Traditional 3’s and I like them but over time I’ve noticed that the majority of them have been either too resistant, or just too inconsistent to enjoy playing. I’ve even started switching between Legere Classic 3’s and Vandoren Traditional 3’s because of it. I know it’s odd to get a classical saxophone question, but if you can any help would be good. Thanks Jay!

– Keanan

David E Mark says:

In reed improvement discussions, the importance of balancing the rails is noted. How does one know that the rails need adjustment? And how does one know which rail needs attention? Visual inspection? Sound quality? Trial and error? Coin flip?

Jay Metcalf says:

Good question. Each reed needs to be evaluated by the player to determine what adjustments need to be made. For me play testing the reed is the best way. Visual inspection can be helpful but can often give deceiving signals. I recommend that players experiment by making the adjustments outlined in the video and in the instructions that come with the Reed Geek on a number of reeds while frequently checking them by play testing. It is very much a feel thing that improves with practice. You will see that after adjusting only a few reeds, you will already begin to get a feel for how different adjustments affect reed performance. The more reeds you adjust, the better you get at it.

Allen Wilkinson says:

Hi Jay,
I watched the video for the Reed Geek and was wondering if this is beneficial for beginners. I played back in college and I’m starting again.
Thanks,
Allen

Jay Metcalf says:

Definitely. It is beneficial for everyone to have better response and to make playing easier no matter what level you’re at.

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