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Saxophone Lesson: Finding the Right Reed


Having an instrument that is comfortable, easy to play, and produces a pleasing tonal quality is important when you’re first learning to play the saxophone. It makes learning the instrument more enjoyable and exciting and keeps you inspired to pick up your horn to practice and play. However, one of the most critical factors that is often overlooked and contributes heavily to a horn’s playability and the quality of tone that it produces is the reed. There are a wide variety of reed types and brands that each produce a unique tone quality and have a distinct feel and response.


In this online saxophone lesson, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, lead alto chair of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and former member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band, Eric Marienthal, outlines the importance of selecting the right reed for you, your playing style, your mouthpiece, and your tonal goals.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play the jazz saxophone from a master musician like Eric Marienthal? Try some free online saxophone lessons now!


“When you’re choosing a reed, you want to make sure you select a reed that is comfortable to play, first and foremost,” Eric explains. “Reeds are expensive and they don’t last forever. So, you want to make the most of our of each reed that you choose.”


One essential element that will impact the brand and size of the reed that you select is your mouthpiece. Depending on the size of your mouthpiece, the size and thickness of the reed you’ll want to select will vary.


“The reed strength is all dependent on the size of your mouthpiece,” explains Eric. “If you have a softer reed, but a very wide, open mouthpiece, then the reed is going to feel a lot harder. Conversely, if your mouthpiece is much smaller, a softer reed is going to feel lighter.”


To learn more about what to look for in a reed and how the reed impacts the tone and playability of your saxophone, dive into this online saxophone lesson from Eric Marienthal:


Finding the Right Reed with Eric Marienthal:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play the jazz saxophone? Through our comprehensive saxophone lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Eric Marienthal, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Eric’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner saxophone to advanced performance techniques, improvisation methods, jazz standards, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as saxophonists and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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