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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000159.txt from 2003/10

From: Gilbert Guerrero <>
Subj: Re: [kl] [clarinet] reeds for beginners?
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 15:51:41 -0400

Well, the first question that comes to mind if Vandy 3's are too hard: is
there some reason that Vandy 2 or 2.5's won't fill the bill? It certainly is
fashionable to case on Vandoren, but they are a major player and make a
decent product (ok, ok, I know that you Vandoren haters will chime in and
say how they are the antichrist and can't make a consistent anything, etc.)

I have to agree with Richard, when I first started to play 4 years ago,
there were so many variables involved that it was better that the teacher
dictated some baseline to start from. If the instructor finds that the
student can't get decent tone production after spending some time working
the usual suspects (breath support, embouchure, harder/softer reed, etc.)
with a consistent rig then the instructor should consider suggesting some
conservative and systematic changes.

I started with an instructor selected Iggy Gennusa GE* mp with Vandy 3's,
migrated up to 4's briefly with newby biting, and back down to 3.5's when my
chops finally settled down. After 2 years instruction and my sound
stabilized found a Richard Hawkins was easier to play and better in tune on
my instrument.

As an old fart newby (then 37) I was interested in trying different things
early, but quickly realized that like most troubleshooting in life, you
shouldn't introduce multiple rapid changes, because they can be difficult to
adapt, difficult to isolate the real culprit, and can introduce unexpected

I think getting decent and stable tone production should be the priority and
then if the student wants to experiment, they can see what other options can
do. I still like Vandy V12's though I enjoy Mitchell Lurie Premiums because
I think they sound "jazzy"/buzzy with my rig.

Tried a Legere once and it didn't feel "lively" to me. It made a tone, but
not enough "focus" and "ring" to my taste.

Best to all on the list.

Gil Guerrero

On 10/7/03 12:38, the Carbon unit named "K. Brannon" <>

> Hi List,
> I'm teaching several beginners (mostly private school and homeschooled kids)
> and am having trouble figuring out which reeds to start them on. The public
> school band directors in my area insist students use Vandoren 3's but they
> seem too hard at first. I have a reed knife, clipper, and sandpaper kit, but
> it
> seems to be too much trouble constantly fixing their reeds.

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