[Dixielandjazz] Synthetic reeds - aluminum

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Thu Oct 21 13:35:09 PDT 2004

I don't think that there has been an aluminum developed that could be made thin enough and still not bend fairly easy.  Two stories
1. some years ago when I had a lot of students I needed to play different instruments and switch often between them and I didn't have time to warm them up.  I used  fiberglass reeds on them.  It worked pretty well even though I really wouldn't class them as pro reeds at the time.  UNTIL I got a small, probably microscopic, fiberglass splinter in my lip.  It took about a week to fester out.  No more fiberglass reeds for me.  To be fair there have been a lot of improvements in coated and artificial reeds since then but no thanks although I think they could have some use for a guy doing shows where the switching is fast and reeds can dry out quickly.

2. When I was playing with the AF band in Biloxi MS at one of their several veterans homes I stood up to take a solo.  As I stood the lower bell of the horn hit the chair and caused a quick sideways motion of the bell just as I was opening my mouth and placing the mouthpiece.  The mouthpiece made a violent swipe to the left and the reed opened my tongue.  Lots of blood and I didn't play much for about a week although I did finish the concert and the solo too.  Fortunately it wasn't deep enough for stitches.  Just think about how much better a nice sharp aluminum reed would do the same job.  Ouch!

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