How to balance saxophone reeds; My interview with Mauro DiGioia from ReedGeek

Many saxophone musicians complain about reeds that either don’t work, are unresponsive, or don’t last long enough. They are told to just practice more, but more practicing doesn’t work if the reed isn’t in tip-top shape. One of the ways to have really responsive reeds that last longer is to learn how to balance saxophone reeds.

In Part 1 of my latest interview for the BAM Radio Network, Mauro DiGioia, President of ReedGeek, Inc. explains how his signature tool, the ReedGeek, can solve these problems, and he introduces the sister product, the DoubleGeek.

Two big problems caused by an unbalanced reed

You know that feeling…

When you open a new box of reeds and none of them play right.

When you finally find a decent reed but it still isn’t as resonant as you need it to be.

Mauro feels that one of the biggest problems saxophone (and all woodwind players) face is the reed not sealing properly on the mouthpiece. If the reed does not seat well, a certain degree of resonance and response is lost. 

The second biggest problem is when the wings (or ears) of the reed do not vibrate fully or equally. Mauro feels that knives, sandpaper, files are not as precise as the ReedGeek tool in balancing these areas of the reed.

The ReedGeek; The tool to help balance saxophone reeds 

Big-name saxophone players have been relying on the ReedGeek for some time. On Mauro’s ReedGeek Youtube Channel, you will see videos with David Sanborn, and Tom Politzer from Tower or Power. Mauro also has many videos/tutorials featuring the ease and flexibility of this tool.

Here are some key features:

  1. For Band Directors, or musicians with little or no experience adjusting reeds: just flattening the reed with this tool will greatly improve the reed’s resonance. Students don’t know if the problems with tone are caused by the reed or themselves. Just doing this one action can help them.
  2. The ReedGeek can be used on a wet or dry reed. 
  3. The ReedGeek is perfectly flat, so when we put it against a reed, it will instantly find the high points and only take off what it needs to take off.
  4. It is perfectly safe to travel with, and is safe for school Band Directors to use. The tool acts as a reed gauge, to help you know if your reed is perfectly flat.
  5. The difference between the Classic and the G4:
    • The G4 has a very smooth black diamond finish and is really effective for adjusting synthetic reeds. The Classic has a Chromium finish, which may be a little more aggressive when adjusting synthetics.
    • Both have the “pencil eraser” feature that allows for fine-area adjustments
    • The G4 has bigger curve bevels, to allow for a little more ease in adjusting

Watch these videos from the ReedGeek Youtube channel on how to use ReedGeek:

You can learn more about all the ReedGeek products below, but most importantly…

Watch the interview here

This particular interview lends itself to video a little better than audio. Click on the link below to watch this first part of my interview with Mauro. (**Please note, the special discount mentioned in the interview has expired as of June 6, 2017.)

About Mauro DiGioia 

Mauro Di Gioia is an entrepreneur, free-lance saxophonist/woodwind player, and the founder and President of ReedGeek, Inc. (which manufactures ReedGeek Products) based in Carson City, Nevada. For many years Mauro has dedicated his time to the betterment of reeds and reed performance for all woodwind players: publishing several articles on reed acoustics and adjustment in leading industry magazines and guest lecturing for master classes at various colleges in the United States (such as Rutgers University, Ithaca College, Sacramento State and Central Florida University). Mauro has also worked with and designed reed cuts for some of the greatest players in the world, including David Sanborn.

Since its inception, Mauro Di Gioia and his ReedGeek products have been credited with bringing about a resurgence in reed maintenance and adjustment. ReedGeek tools have quickly grown in popularity and are now used by the world’s foremost woodwind players, both single and double.

Mauro’s Philosophy:

“Players should not have to be at the mercy of their reeds. Everything comes down to maximizing the reed’s function through profiling, flattening and maintenance. With knowledge, a little practice and dedication, a player of any level will see positive and noticeable results in his/her reed performance.”

 

About ReedGeek:

ReedGeek Universal “Classic”—the ‘Geek that started it all

The original ReedGeek, like all ReedGeeks, is manufactured 100% from scratch, made of the highest quality USA hard alloy. The ReedGeek “Classic” implements our new, medical grade, corrosion-resistant, edge-retention process. It possesses the original four crisp planing edges, two rail adjustors, the “pencil eraser” radius tip and the square back for scraping and profiling that users have found indispensable. Encased in our proprietary self-locking neoprene bag and case, this ‘Geek will give its owner consistently great-playing reeds!

 

 

 

 

ReedGeek Black Diamond “G4”—the latest generation

The Black Diamond G4 is our latest and most advanced Universal ReedGeek to date and utilizes unique, state of the art, 100% USA alloy. Exciting features include a newly designed length, a refined “pencil eraser” radius tip and a comfortable rounded back scraper which offers further pinpoint scraping options. It offers four crisp planing edges and two new, elongated, contoured and curved rail bevels, which are specially designed to profile rails and re-contour the spine of both single and double reeds. The G4 is now available in our beautiful black diamond wear finish, which provides ultimate refinement of the cut on both natural cane and synthetic reeds.

ReedGeek DoubleGeek

Focused on the needs of the double reed player, but useful to anyone. In addition to the wildly successful Universal tool’s features, the DoubleGeek implements two new oversized bevels allowing the user to fine tune the spines and corners with efficiency and ease (12 unique cutting surfaces in all). Like the G4, the DoubleGeek is available in our Black Diamond wear finish providing refinement of the cut on both natural cane and synthetic reeds. It is the only Universal tool that offers a threaded, removable handle for added leverage and familiarity in the hand. The DoubleGeek is encased in a deluxe, proprietary neoprene bag with a sewn-in micro-fiber cleaning cloth. Additionally, our Universal self-locking case is included for safety and storage of the tool, when disassembled. 100% USA made.

 

 

ReedGeek and Plaque & Gauge Set

The Plaque Set allows you to quickly and easily determine mouthpiece facing lengths and gauge the position for most effective reed adjustment and balancing. The top of the plaque can also be used to support the reed for general reed working.

 

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