As our reeds get more and more plays, they soften. If one does not move on to a less-dead reed and continues to play on a very soft reed with no back pressure left, they will probably find the reed will 1) feel very differently from how it did in the beginning of its life, and 2) sound bad because of lost resistance required to articulate and tune, to say the least.
What is the Reed Booster and what does it do?
- Utilizes the Bernoulli Effect to increase airflow inside your mouthpiece.
- Inexpensive. Less than $20 for a package of ten.
- Each package includes a specially-designed reed storage case.
- Available for all saxophones and B flat clarinets.
- Enhances & lengthens useful life of reeds.
- Adds responsiveness to dull reeds.
- Adds brilliance to your tone, non-destructively. 8. Increases tonal clarity.
- Widens tonal range.
- Increases volume projection.
Bring Your Reeds Back to Life
Okay, that is a lot that a small piece of rubber can do. I did not know what the Bernoulli Effect was before I Googled it, but here is how the Reed Booster essentially works:
You take one of 10 rubber stickers in the packaging and put it on the flat part of the reed that directly faces the window of your mouthpiece. This seems to works as a “bionic heart” to your dying reed that adds resistance and adds more weight and body to the sound.
What I found is that it actually works!
What I found is that it actually works! The Reed Booster adds an ideal amount of resistance to a very soft reed, which makes it better in terms of intonation, projection, tone, feel, and articulation.
So it seems to work… but what’s the catch?
However, there is one reason (well, maybe more) why I would likely never use these in professional settings. Before and while we play, we add moisture to the surface of the reed. There is a rather weak glue on the rubber sticker, which makes me wonder at which point the stickers will moisten and fall off.
And that makes me wonder, why would I risk a piece of rubber falling into my mouthpiece during a performance? Or even worse, possibly even managing to fall into a tone hole? Call me paranoid, but that is a risk I cannot take in any kind of professional playing setting.
Another perhaps more obvious flaw in the Reed Booster is that a pack of these 10 stickers costs $19.95 USD. Well, I use reeds that are $20.00 USD for 10 in a box, so that makes me wonder, why wouldn’t I just buy a new box of reeds if my reeds are getting old? Of course, this is even more true for students, whose reeds are likely to become damaged or dirty long before they need any help from the reed booster.
While I would not recommend the Reed Booster for professional settings, I do believe it could be useful in practice sessions. But again, if you have to use your own money to buy these, consider buying new reeds, instead.
- Amazingly, it works
- Too expensive for what it is ($20 for small rubber stickers?!)
- May fall off at random due to weak glue