Reed is the most important part of the mouthpiece. It represents a thin strip which is mostly made of Giant Cane (Arundinaria macrosperma). Sometimes the synthetic materials and metals are also used. This part of mouthpiece vibrates by blowing into the mouthpiece air and thus produces the sound. There are some differences in the reeds of various instruments. The woodwind instruments like saxophone and clarinet are single-reed instruments. One side of this reed is flat and is placed against the mouthpiece, while the other rounded side is placed on the top. Double reeds vibrate simultaneously but they are not jointed to each other. Double reeds instruments includes not very vast group of instruments: oboe, English horn, Heckelphone, bassoon, bagpipes etc. There are some rare exotic instruments which contains four reeds: the Indian flute Shehnai, Cambodian Sralai or Pi from Thailand.
If you need to purchase the saxophone reed you need to pay attention to some points:
First you need to understand that the differences between brands are minimal. So you would better to base on your certain requirements.
Before buying the reed try to examine the external view of the reed. You should be aware of some features:
-different colors of the material’s texture;
-different thickness of the reed;
-divergent width of the reed;
-rough grain of the cut side of the reed.
Saxophone reeds may be hard or soft. Whether you are a beginners or a professional musician don’t be afraid of soft reeds. They make the playing easier and produce the louder and better sound. While the hard reed helps you develop your breath system and produces the lower and quieter sound.
The material or the reed hardly influences the sound. Some musicians think that the synthetic reeds sound worse than cane reed. But in fact the synthetic material has longer life than the cane one. To use any reed efficiently you need to provide enough humidity. You can moisten the reed in your mouth. To keep the reed moist you may use the special containers. .