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 Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2017-11-25 04:36

I find practicing really frustrating for clarinet. As a child, practicing for piano was a no-fuss pleasure because there were no variables I needed to worry about that would hinder my performance. However, while practicing the clarinet, I find that there are too many elements that would make practicing much more unpleasant. Reeds, especially during the winter time, can really change how your clarinet plays. Also, with a wooden instrument, can shrink. It really makes practice infuriating because it feels you're becoming worse. Especially during a time like November where things like all-state recordings are due, this can be very stressful.

How do you overcome this problem as a reed player? I'm considering switching to plastic reeds after all my auditions are done.

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: Jim22 
Date:   2017-11-25 05:54

Try oboe for a couple years  :)

Seriously, Legere makes some pretty good reeds, certainly worth a try. Some people need to find a mouthpiece and reed combination that work well for them.

Jim C.

Post Edited (2017-11-25 06:28)

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2017-11-25 06:48

"That is our path."

-- Aragorn

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: LC007 
Date:   2017-11-25 06:51

I hear you Eric. I am just a newbie at this instrument but I quickly saw that the learning curve was massive: breathing, embouchure, fingering, music notation, articulation, and yes reeds (and probably more stuff I can't think of right now). My practicing sometimes sucked and I had to figure out "is it me?" "is it the reed?" "is it my clarinet?" "the mouthpiece setup?" etc...

So I decided to at least put the reeds questions aside for a time and went with synthetic Legere. I find them consistent, longer lasting, don't need wetting or get water logged and don't need complicated breaking-in or tweaking process and can take a long practice session without any issues. The only draw back is a loss in tone and they do accumulate more water in the mp. But for me at this point in my clarinet life, just getting the note to speak correctly and in tune is enough for now.

When I get better at the rest of it, I will re-acquaint myself with cane reeds because I do think they sound better .

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-11-25 07:40

Regarding reed changing during the winter: https://youtu.be/Ycd7YZ4a-fc

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: Filettofish 
Date:   2017-11-25 08:28

Though I do primarily use cane reeds in performance situations where I am playing clarinet exclusively, I've found Legere reeds to be very useful in the practice room. I am able to focus more intensely on my playing and less on the response and feeling of the reed when practicing, and I find that spending so much time practicing on Legeres (which do require a little more effort to play with beautiful tone and good tuning) makes performing on a carefully chosen cane reed a real pleasure. I know that I found the European Signature cut to be the best fit for my equipment and my approach to the instrument, as well as the closest match to the sensation of playing on cane, but it is worth trying all of Legere's offerings if you haven't already.

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-25 10:03

Sounds like a perfect AD for Legere...

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: gwie 
Date:   2017-11-29 09:48

Dude, after fussing with cane reeds for almost thirty years, I pitched them entirely and play only a Legere Signature European Cut. Over a year a later now, I'm delighted I made that decision.

I used to haul around the entire kit, with all sorts of specialized tools (Reed Wizard, ATG system, etc.) and the usual collection of knives, reed rush, various grades of sandpaper, reed clippers, you-name-it. As time-consuming as it was, I can only imagine what my oboe and bassoon colleagues go through.

Now my bag is many pounds lighter, and I have ten reeds of which I can pull any one at any time and get the same, reliable, predictable, response every single time. Certainly it took some time to acclimate to them, and figure out how to achieve the desired tone and articulation. But as I'm getting older, and have to consider the job and the family, the limited time I have to spend on clarinet, I want to concentrate on actually playing, and not fussing with equipment.

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: TomS 
Date:   2017-11-29 20:58

Try the Legere now ... not later. Also highly recommend the Pilgerstrofer Dolce reeds. Break them in slowly and keep in a Rico hydro case. Excellent.

A wooden instrument should not present problems if good quality and taken care of.

I play an R13 Greenline (composite) and a Yamaha 650 (wooden) clarinet ... believe it or not, I have a lot of problems with the joints sticking or loose on the Buffet and practically NO problems with the Yamaha!! Go figure. Bottom line is that IMHO Buffet's quality sucks swamp water and Yamaha rocks. But, I generally like playing the Buffet better ... it is smoother in its timbre and resistance, but not in tuning. Can't have everything ...? Well, maybe the Yamaha CSVR has it all ...!

Good luck on your tryouts!


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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: fromsfca 2017
Date:   2017-12-06 06:56

I tried Legere and switched back to cane.

I found a brand and strength that I like consistently. The cane has good color, is well cut and plays responsively, 4 out of 5 reeds.

I still use Legere on bass and oboe when I play shows, more for convenience as I don’t need to be concerned about reeds drying out.

I could not hit high notes on clarinet (high e to high g) with Legere and didn’t like tone.

My own personal experience.

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2017-12-06 18:17

If your going to use cane reeds you have to learn to break them in properly, balance them and care for them for longevity. Reed my website about the articles on reeds, it may help. It may take some time and trail and error but you will get a life time of value if you can learn properly.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Frustrated while practicing because of reeds
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2017-12-10 11:45

Hi! Finally finished with my audition and first rehearsal!

After my first rehearsal, and gained a lot of knowledge. Right off the bat, I don't think I'll be switching to a legere reed yet. As I read in previous discussions, there is a adjustment period to it where you have to get used to tonguing, altissimo, etc so for me, I believe that I would not be a good idea to relearn all the fundamentals when I haven't even mastered them in the first place.

I, indeed saw some players with Legere reeds and I'll definitely consider buying it when marching season starts. When I do switch, what mouthpiece do you recommend pairing with it? I know the most popular model is the European cut and they specifically said to match with french mouthpieces. Will the reed work on the BD5?

In the mean time, I think it is inevitable that I learn to use cane reeds. I'll start breaking them in probably and I might even get a reed tool! Currently, I use Micheal Lowenstern's reed sanding cloths. They work very well and they helped find the reed I was looking for! I'm considering any reed tool that'll make my life easier and go through less reeds. As long as the price isn't absurd, I'll consider it! Any opinions on the Reed Geek? It looks like a convenient tool. The only thing i'm worried about is using it properly.

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