DISCLAIMER: I work for D’Addario as part of their D’Addario Woodwinds Methods Program. However, I’m also a sponsored artist, so I always use and endorse their products.
D’Addario Reed Case
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen or already own the D’Addario Multi-Instrument Reed Storage Case. Once my reeds have gone through my vetting process they go right into one of these cases with a 72% humidity pack, and into my saxophone case. As a resident of the Midwest I’m constantly worried about humidity. This is especially the case when I’m traveling with my saxophone. The difference in humidity outside on a cold, snowy day, and an overly air conditioned building is drastic. I’m not as confident in my reeds unless they’re stored in this case. You can store soprano, alto, tenor, or bari reeds. The one-size-fits-all storage, compact design, and humidity control make this an essential for all saxophonists.
D’Addario Reserve Reeds
Once you’ve ordered your gorgeous D’Addario Multi-Instrument Reed Storage Case, it’s time to fill it with some really good reeds! I recommend D’Addario Reserve Alto Saxophone Reeds for all of my students. It’s best to begin with strength 3 reeds, and once you’ve exhausted a box of strength 3s make a decision with your instructor to see if you should move up to strength 3+. Due to D’Addario’s proprietary reed machining technology, these are the most consistent reeds in the market. Reeds are pricey no matter which brand you purchase, so it’s nice when 8-10 reeds in the box play well.
D’Addario Jazz Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece
The D’Addario Select Jazz Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece, D6M is the perfect step-up mouthpiece when my students learn jazz. Do not order this mouthpiece unless you’re studying jazz with your instructor. You do not want to show up to symphony band blowing away the whole section with this bad boy. These mouthpieces are from high-quality solid rubber. They are also 100% machined which eliminates the variation common in hand-finished mouthpieces.
Vandoren Optimum AL5 Classical Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece
I recommend to the Vandoren AL5 Optimum Series Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece to all of my aspiring classical students. I find they’re the most consistent mass-produced classical mouthpiece on the market. The AL5 has better projection than its predecessor the Optimum AL3, but retains the AL3’s dark tone and control.
ReedGeek Universal Classic Reed Tool
The ReedGeek Universal Classic Reed Tool is an essential tool in my arsenal. I never play a reed unless I’ve scraped the back of it with my ReedGeek. The ReedGeek has all of the benefits of a traditional reed knife, but it’s more compact and you’re able to get it through airport security. There is no feeling like having your $100 reed knife confiscated by the TSA.