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 Reed strength
Author: AndreiB 
Date:   2021-01-02 10:42

Hello, I have a questions with regards to reed strength. I play for 2.5 years on an E12F with the rico X0 mouthpiece on a vandoren 1.5 - 2 reeds. While this allows for a comfortable playing at times I feel that reed is too soft and I should try to use a harder gauge, however as I tred to experiment with the harder reeds I start to loose freedom of playing and very quickly get tired. The concrete question is should I try to push myself to a harder reeds, or is it ok to continue as is? In other words am I impending my development as a player by playing comfortable soft reeds?

Thank you!

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-01-02 13:26

AndreiB wrote:

> I play
> for 2.5 years on an E12F with the rico X0 mouthpiece on a
> vandoren 1.5 - 2 reeds. The concrete question is should I try to
> push myself to a harder reeds, or is it ok to continue as is?
> In other words am I impending my development as a player by
> playing comfortable soft reeds?
>

It depends on what you want to sound like. For "classical" music, those reeds on a RICO (D'Addario?) X0 are too soft if they're Vandorens or any equivalent brand. If they're Ricos of any kind, they're even softer. But don't try to jump in reed strength. Try the next strength in whatever reeds you're using. Move up in strength gradually.

Karl

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2021-01-03 02:08

I agree with kdk, gradually trying the next strength up. Of course mouthpiece choice and reed strength go hand in hand. With my Vandoren 5RV mouthpiece I have always used Vandoren 2.5 reeds. Many have commented they are surprised I use such a soft reed. Works for me for many decades.

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus


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 Re: Reed strength
Author: EbClarinet 
Date:   2021-01-07 05:31
Attachment:  Reeds.jpg (516k)

yes, I agree with the posts, what r u trying 2 do? can u please tell us how long u've been playing and give us some background info about u?

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/mbtldsongministry/

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: dkojevnikov 
Date:   2021-01-07 18:15

If you can play comfortably in altissimo range and don’t sound like Kazoo with your softer reed setup you are OK.

If you need to play in altissimo range (at least up to A6 /corrected from 7 to 6 in original post/) and your softer reeds do not allow you, then yes, you have to figure out why you cannot play harder reeds on your very closed mouthpiece. Maybe harder reeds you were trying didn’t fit your mouthpiece or were unbalance.



Post Edited (2021-01-07 23:57)

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-01-07 23:27

dkojevnikov wrote:

> If you need to play in altissimo range (at least up to A7)

Which A do you mean? "Throat" A is A4. Do you mean 4 leger lines above the staff (A6) or an octave higher?

Karl

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: dkojevnikov 
Date:   2021-01-07 23:56

Sorry, meant A6 not A7. I should always consult that chart before posting. Will fix the original reply.

https://www.wfg.woodwind.org/clarinet/cl_alt_4.html



Post Edited (2021-01-07 23:59)

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2021-01-08 09:15

Yes, it must be a mouthpiece thing that allows me to play on a 2.5 Vandoren in altissimo. I easily reach that A, and Bb. B & C can be iffy depending on each reed. I can get D usually.

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus


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 Re: Reed strength
Author: AndreiB 
Date:   2021-01-11 22:54

Thank you for all replies these were helpful,
I play some classical pieces, but these are not a primary goal mostly for the developing a technique. I have played for 2.5 years an hour or two a day on average. Most of my playing is ether improvisation with friends or playing along with popular recorded music improvisation or by notes. I play a 3rd register notes during scale exercises and rarely in some pieces - they are not best, but comfortable enough and do get better over time. As by the replies, I will continue on a soft reed setup and will try slowly increasing strength not forcing it through, but I take from the suggestions it is ok to use a setup as is. Thank you!

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2021-01-12 01:35

Two thoughts;
#1 The reed strength needs to match the mouthpiece facing. I can make a facing where a #1 reed is way too hard and another where a #5 is way too soft.
#2 If you cannot play the super high altissimo on a 'softish' reed, often the problem is elsewhere in the sound production system.

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 Re: Reed strength
Author: Shanesax/Clar 
Date:   2021-01-18 01:59

Truly a common question!

If you are young, you should practice longer and more sustained exercises with the objective of getting stronger.
tone is different up close and afar. The high frequencies travel with little absorption and the low frequencies are absorbed everywhere. thus what you THINK you sound like is NOT what you sound like in the hall to others.
also as you get older you will get weaker and weaker and weaker... that's what so many older clarinetists, who do not WORK at their sound and physical abilities sound thinner and thinner as the age. Saxophonists are even worse as their overtone series is MUCH fuller of highs.

You REALLY need a good teacher and mentor for all your decisions. Find a GREAT teacher who is also a well respected (at the professional level) player.

Good luck.

Gotta say after over 50 years I still LOVE Clarinet!
S.N.

S. Nestruck
Saxology Canada
204-474-2588
shanedn@shaw.ca
Winnipeg Canada

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