Re: Is a 3.5 reed strength to stiff for me?
What do you mean by "bursting." It is important to sound musical! For marching band you wnat a big sound, but again, keep in mind, you are playing music. If your tone is harsh it may not be the reeds fault, either.
Playing a saxophone is a relationship of elements that begin with your air column. Like vocalists, we must breather from our diaphragm - actually from the lowerr parts of our abdomen - below the belly-button about two inches and about two inches IN! Our embouchers must be formed properly (I prefer the double-lip emboucher); the mouthpiece must be right; throw away the ligature that the sax came with and get a decent ligature (Rob=vner is good, and not too expensive); your mouthpiece must be appropriate for your mouth; and of course the quality of your sax is a consideration. All of these elements work together to give you the sound that you are getting. There is one more element, though - PRACTICE.
Get yourself a GOOD private teacher, and PRACTICE ALOT!
Robert E. Schuenemann