Hi reed players. I have a question for you; What reed manufacturer do you use? Why? There are so many out there that it can be confusing, especially to the beginner. I have used synthetic reeds for the past year and found them wonderful for many reasons. I thought I’d let you know why I like them. And I hope you will join me in the discussion.
To get us started, I use Legere European Cut Signature Series reeds for the Bb Soprano clarinet—quite a mouthful! These reeds came out February of 2016. They are new. However the Legere company has been in business since 1998. Over the years they have made remarkable improvements in the quality of the product. What you heard in the past about plastic reeds is no longer valid—some of the best clarinetists in the world now play regularly on them – musicians like Ricardo Morales, Cathy Ogram, Tracy Vignati, Christian Seeger, Corrado Giuffredi and many, many more. Hey, I’m in good company.
Some of my reasons for using a Legere reed:
- It doesn’t have to be preconditioned before playing.
- It does not absorb water.
- It is completely non-toxic.
- It can be sanitized.
- It is extremely tough and it will last a long, long, time.
- You don’t spend time working with your reeds.
- If you are a doubler, switching between instruments is a cinch—no need to wet or condition the next reed.
I feel that the sound is comparable to any cane reed—subjective, I know. You will find Legere reeds in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Still in good company! Hey, guess what? Michelle Anderson international clarinet instructor has started using Legere European Cut Signature Series reeds and loves them. She didn’t believe that they could match a cane read – she does now!
Hey, here is another world class clarinetist playing on synthetic reeds – David Shifrin. He is one of only two wind players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. David is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber music collaborator. He is also the Artistic Director of Chamber Music Northwest.