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It’s amazing how many woodwind players start out buying just two Fibracell reeds and then decide after that that they don’t work perfectly and are done, gone, and never return. Bummer dude, you blew it.
As a general rule woodwind reed players are quite often quick to blame the reed (any kind we might add) that may not play for them well on the first attempt and then put it back in the box or just throw it away and pull out another one from the same box of reeds, right? Why?
Because that’s the way cane reeds have taught all reed players to behave. Cane reeds over time, have taught all reed players to doubt them first because they are always inconsistent from one reed to the other. Everyone knows this.
It’s just the way it is.
When playing the FIBRACELL reed, it’s necessary for you as a woodwind player to take an entirely different approach and that is, begin to ask the question. “How is this FIBRACELL reed responding to me or better yet “how am I responding to this FIBRACELL?
Because the FIBRACELL reed that was played yesterday or last week has not changed but there is a really good chance that you or the playing situation has.
Normally if a cane reed doesn’t work you just pull another one out of the box, right? Because it’s the reed!! And even if it’s not really the reed, woodwind players are conditioned this way and don’t give much if any thought to the possibility that it has anything to do with them or you. Blame it on the reed. Oh, the sad fate of those sweet billion or so cane reeds that didn’t work out and quickly went into the trash bin or maybe even thrown behind the stage in disgust.
Simply put, you might not be feeling all that great today or perhaps a bit tired from lack of sleep or you’re really excited and revved up about this gig tonight and will be playing with gonzo type energy. Or maybe you are playing in a dinner club tonight and not that blazing sax section in that Big Band like last night and now your playing “Misty” while that nice couple at the table just two feet away from you is trying to talk while you just want to make a few bucks and go home. You just need the right reed for this playing situation now.
Many reed players play one strength of cane reed and just pick and choose from the same box for them for all the different life and playing situations. They find themselves caught in that fog and anguish of the natural built-in inconsistency of cane reeds. Some play harder and some softer and some not at all.
However, last night you were blazing on a # 4.5 FIBRACELL and today you need a # 4. That is why even with FIBRACELL the most natural synthetic composite reed on the market, one # 3.5 may be a slight bit harder or softer than the other # 3.5 or maybe you should try a # 4. Let’s be honest FIBRACELL reeds are not inexpensive and players need to treat them differently so that they can get the full benefit from them in both time and money. But the key here is that we are talking apples and oranges in the form of cane vs FIBRACELL not cane vs. cane or even synthetic vs synthetic. So it’s a totally different ball game.
It’s this new and different approach as a player when playing a FIBRACELL reed that will make all the difference in the world. When you take out the same FIBRACELL that you played last night and you don’t get the response from it that you want just try a different one either from the same grade or try to go a half step up or half step down in grade and you’ll most likely find the FIBRACELL that will work for that playing situation and more importantly work for you.
If the first FIBRACELL you pull out today is not quite right then just grab another one as that one may feel and fit better today. There is a really strong chance the FIBRACELL is not the immediate problem. Don’t throw that FIBRACELL reed away, just put it back in the box and use it on another gig.
Remember, Dave Shaffer created the FIBRACELL reed to be the most cane like synthetic composite reed ever created, so think about it for a minute…if that is actually true, wouldn’t there be some of the same natural cane like inconsistency from reed to reed? Certainly.
Check out the FAQ section if you’ve got some more questions.