Reeds - A Short Story
That Doesn't Need To Exist
Bob Howell- Saxophonist
Reed Use:  In the picture above, there are 65 boxes of bad
reeds. Wasted, unusable reeds. That's 650 reeds (plus
countless others from before and after this photo was taken).
For those wondering, in the average box, only one or two reeds
are found suitable by Bob, each lasting for only around a week
depending on the thickness of the reed.
Reed Sorting:  When Bob is "on a reed hunt", he first just tries
reeds on the neck on the saxophone, and this sorts out the
"maybes" from the "horribles". The horribles are sometimes
then jammed in to the wall and thrown on the floor. Then, he'll
usually find a few maybes, and sort them out for use on certain
gigs. If a great reed is found, it will be worshiped and
protected, as a tiny fracture in a reed will destroy it.
Reed Cost:  Reeds don't come cheap. The price is anywhere
from $17 to $22 a box. There are 10 reeds in a box of Rico
Royals, the reed Bob uses
(for now......) so-
$20/10 =  $2.00 per reed.
Update: Bob has been ordering reeds from the Internet, some
rarer international brands may offer better reeds, elusive
though they may be.
So this is the story on reeds so far. There are different brands
of reeds sold, but when they are made from the same plant
and have the same basic shape, how different can they be?
Maybe Bob will comment on The Reed Phenomenon, but for
now, he is on a lifelong reed hunt.

*Plastic reeds aren't cool, but thats a whole other discussion. That'll be in
the next post...
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