Which alto sax reed should I get?


I started playing clarinet in 6th grade and played through 7th and the beginning of 8th, but I developed sort of an allergic reaction. After playing for a few minutes my lips will become really sore and raw and after playing for the entirety of band class, my entire lower lip and the skin underneath is completely raw and as you can believe, it hurts quite a bit.

I ended up switching to flute and played it through the end of 8th grade and the beginning of 9th grade (marching band, which is where I am right now). But, I don’t like the flute at all and my heart truly lies with the clarinet and saxophones. I talked to my band director about switching and he said I could switch to alto.

I feel like that was unnecessary information, I’m sorry :/

Anyway, my real question is, should I get a synthetic reed or a Rico Plasticover? I don’t have much money and I know synthetic reeds are somewhat expensive but I also heard that the Plasticover coating comes off quickly, therefore exposing the reed and making my allergy come back. I don’t know, if a Plasticover is just not worth it in my case, then I’ll spend the extra money on a synthetic but I don’t know which I should use. Thanks for any help! xx

Category: Tags: asked August 31, 2013

3 Answers

Hey there! I'm a trombone player, so I don't know about reeds, but the clarinets and saxes that play in our band really like the completely plastic reeds because they last a really long time, and eliminate those allergy reactions. They are more expensive, but from what they're saying, it's better to have quality than quantity in this case.
im happy to hear about your musical talent :) my daughter played alto sax in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. she lovef it ! she played with a number 2 reed.
Hey I'm an alto sax player and I have a few options that may be helpful to you. Have you tried using different brands of reeds? Sometimes they use different materials or store their reeds differently and this may be where you're getting the allergic reaction from? For my sax I usually use vandoren or gonzalez reeds. You could also try wrapping cigarette papers around your teeth as this is known to reduce any irritation when playing with braces (I should know, I've had braces the past year). For that you need to fold the small cigarette paper over twice and then fold it over your bottom teeth. I don't know if that's helpful to you. Finally you could get a plastic cover for your reed or mouthpiece and this is probably the best option if you're having an allergic reaction. I think it would be best to buy something for the long term rather than having to repeatedly buy something every month or so.