As a clarinet player, one of the most significant things that you need to have with you aside from your instrument is a clarinet reed. Clarinets reeds provide the clarinet with its distinct sound and fit inside of the clarinet mouthpiece. Without a reed, it will difficult for you to play your instrument efficiently. Traditionally, clarinet reeds are two-and-a half-inch long with a wafer-thin piece of cane.
Clarinet reeds come in various cuts and strengths, and they affect the sound and tone of the clarinet. Since there are a lot of clarinet reeds available today, it could be challenging to select the most appropriate one. On this article, we are going to dwell on the features that should be considered when picking the best clarinet reeds. We are also going to identify ten of the best clarinet reeds for your guidance.
What to Look for in the Clarinet Reeds
Choosing among the best clarinet reeds could pose as a problem, especially if you are still a beginner. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the features which should be present in the clarinet reeds so that you could narrow your options to a smaller number. Here are some of the features that you should consider before purchasing from the best clarinet reeds.
Strength of the Clarinet Reed
One of the most vital features that you should consider when deciding on the clarinet reed to use is its strength. Clarinet reeds are usually sold in various strengths from 1 to 5, often in half-steps. A reed with a 1 strength is the softest while the reed with a 5 is the hardest. Softer reeds are usually easier to play with. Harder reeds, on the other hand, produce a thicker and heavier sound. For clarinet players who are still beginning, you could purchase a clarinet reed with a strength of 2 or 2.5.
Cut of the Clarinet Reed
Another feature that you should take note is the reed’s cut. Clarinet reeds come in either “French file” or “regular” cuts. File-cut reeds provide a faster response time. Clarinet players with a darker-sounding mouthpiece prefer filed reeds while those with a brighter-sounding mouthpiece may choose regular-cut ones.
The features which are stated above are just some of the vital elements that you should consider before purchasing a clarinet reed. It is worth noting, however, that the ultimate choice will still depend on your preference as the player.
Best Clarinet Reeds
All Clarinet Reeds
1. Vandoren CR103 Bb Clarinet Traditional Reeds
The Vandoren CR103 Bb Clarinet Traditional Reeds are clarinet reeds which are most famous for their excellent response in all registers, allowing clarinet players to perform a pianissimo attack in the highest notes. The reed is exceptionally flexible, allowing the players to execute legato or staccato at large intervals while maintaining the richness of the tone that gives clarity and body to the sound. Every reed is tightly sealed in a flow pack to ensure freshness.
2. Mitchell Lurie Premium Bb Clarinet Reeds
The Mitchell Lurie Premium Bb Clarinet Reeds feature a thinner tip for a more comfortable response and articulation. These clarinet reeds are made from premium grade cane for consistent response and playability. The set comes in a box of five reeds which are filed cut for flexibility and quick response. The reeds have a strength which ranges from 1.5 to 5.0. The clarinet reeds have optical laser measurements to ensure accuracy.
3. Vandoren CR1025 Bb Clarinet Traditional Reeds
The Vandoren CR1025 Bb Clarinet Traditional Reeds are suitable for all styles. They are able to maintain a rich tone when used by any clarinet player. The reeds are also able to deliver an excellent response in all registers. Moreover, they allow users to execute a pianissimo attack even in the highest notes. Since they are extremely flexible, they could allow clarinet players to execute a staccato or legato of large intervals while being able to maintain a richness of tone that gives the clarity to the sound.
4. Rico by D’Addario Bb Clarinet Reeds
The Rico by D’Addario Bb Clarinet Reeds are reeds which have a thinner vamp cut designed to allow clarinet players to play with it with ease. Moreover, this cut allows the reed to vibrate easily, making them a favorite choice among educators. Its affordable price is also one of the reasons why many educators choose this reed. This reed comes in various strengths from 1.5 to 4.0. Every set comes in a box of ten clarinet reeds.
5. Vandoren CR5035 Bb Clarinet 56 Rue Lepic Reeds
The Vandoren CR5035 Bb Clarinet 56 Rue Lepic Reeds are designed with a thicker cane with a heel taper that is similar to German-style reeds. They emit a rich sound which is centered and exceptionally pure while providing maximum stability and quick response in all registers. The strength graduations of the clarinet reeds are smaller and more specific, resulting in reeds that are consistent. Each reed is sealed in a flow pack to ensure its freshness.
6. Tanbi Music 10 Bb Clarinet Reeds
The Tanbi Music 10 Bb Clarinet Reeds are high-quality reeds which are excellent for beginners and experienced clarinet players. They are durable and easy to play with, giving you a good and clear sound. Moreover, they are soft reeds which have various strengths which range between 1.5 and 2.0. These quality-persistent reeds come in ten reeds per box. It is also worth noting that each read has its own nylon case which gives them maximum durability.
7. Vandoren CR8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Reeds
The Vandoren CR8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Reeds combines the conical shape of a 56 rue Lepic clarinet reed with a V.12 profile. The distinct combination of its construction makes all registers of the clarinet more accessible with the depth of sound and warmth. Moreover, the combination will allow users to play with immediate response and presence. The product is ideal for performances that will require the ability to handle large interval leaps with efficiency and richness of tone.
8. Mitchell Lurie Bb Clarinet Reeds
The Mitchell Lurie Bb Clarinet Reeds feature a thinner tip for an easier response and articulation. These clarinet reeds have strengths which range from 1.5 to 5.0. Moreover, these reeds are made from premium grade cane for consistent response and playability. They are unfiled, giving a deep and dark tone. The reeds come in a set of five reeds which are filed cut for flexibility and quick response. The clarinet reeds have optical laser measurements to ensure accuracy.
9. D’Addario Reserve Classic Bb Clarinet Reeds
The D’Addario Reserve Classic Bb Clarinet Reeds are thick blank reeds that deliver a rich and warm tone. These are ideal for advancing students and professional clarinet players. It is worth noting that the reeds are designed from naturally grown cane. Furthermore, they contain a heavy spine that promotes tone quality and dynamic flexibility in all registers. They are also equipped with a traditional tip thickness, making it easy for users to articulate using such reeds. They are available in strengths which range from 2.0 to 4.5.
10. Rico Royal Bb Clarinet Reeds
The Rico Royal Bb Clarinet Reeds are reeds with traditional Rico cut and a stronger pine. They work well for both jazz and classical use. The clarinet reeds come with strengths which range from 1.0 to 5.0 depending on the availability. Moreover, these reeds are French filed for a fast response and flexibility, especially in the low register, adding clarity to the tone while making soft attacks easier. They are conveniently packs in boxes of ten or three reeds.
As a clarinet player, it is essential that you choose the best clarinet reeds for your instrument. Each of the best clarinet reeds which have been discussed above have distinct characteristics that may suit your preference. It is worth noting that you should base your decision on the significant features and the price of each of the clarinet reeds.
Now that you’ve chosen your clarinet reeds, make sure you get the best clarinet mouthpiece.