Reed Size?
 

Reed Size?

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Reed Size?    14:39 on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

roadran422
(1 point)

I have 2 reeds, one is a size 4 vandoren reed and the other is a 3.5 rico reed. I am a moderate player and I have played the clarinet for 3 years. My teacher says I shouldn't be playing on the size 4 reed, yet on the 3.5 reed I can't play any high notes (the G on the staff, or c with register key on clarinet). So what is the problem? Am I ok playing the size 4 vandoren reed? Also, I salivate a lot, and when I play me clarinet it has this weird shaky noise from my spit. How can I fix that? If anyone can help thanks!

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Re: Reed Size?    11:50 on Thursday, January 19, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

contra448
(686 points)

I think your teacher is correct - not having played for three years you need to go back a bit & use softer reeds. You probably haven't got the breath support back yet to cope with these hard reeds. This could explain the saliver problem as well. Also the choice of strength of reed depends on the instrument & mouthpiece as well as the length of time you've been playing. Many excellent professional players still only use 2.5s to get the result they want.

Good luck

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Re: Reed Size?    20:53 on Saturday, February 04, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Silver_Rose
(2 points)

I know from being taught in school by a professional player that reed strength is very important. He had played for well over 20yrs and still only used a size 3 reed. You may find that it would be easier if you back down half a size and only play the 3 1/2 size reed instead. that may give you the higher notes and reduce your saliva problem. generally worked for me

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Re: Reed Size?    17:57 on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

daveca5150
(3 points)

Something to keep in mind is that Van Dorens run stiffer than Ricos. A Van Doren 4 is a very stiff reed for a young student. The fact that you can't play above G consistently on your Rico points to air/embouchure issues, unless the reed is bad.

A couple of things, are you saying you only own 2 reeds total? If so, this could be a part of the problem. If you play every day on the same reed, it never has a chance to dry completely and the wood will soften and warp. I make my students always carry 3 good reeds. They rotate between the reeds to give each a chance to dry completely between uses. This is minimum, 10 or more is better. You can buy a box of 10 on Amazon for under $15 generally.



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Re: Reed Size?    02:20 on Sunday, March 04, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

on the 3.5 reed I can't play any high notes (the G on the staff, or c with register key on clarinet)


I'm confused about what you mean by "high notes". "The G on the staff" would seem to be the G on the second line of the staff, played with no fingers, but I wouldn't call that a high note. "c with register key" suggests both the C just past the break and the C at the top of the clarino range. If it's the former, are you saying you can't get the G or the C, but you can get the G#, A, A#, and B in between? If you mean the G at the top of the staff and the C above the staff with two ledger lines, there is still the question of notes between. I was able to play the G four ledger lines above the staff with a 2.5 reed. (I now play with a 3 reed.)

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Re: Reed Size?    01:48 on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

sherwinjtb
(28 points)

Rico and Vandoren are different brands so you can't really compare the reed strengths.
Short story, if you don't have any problems getting nice sounds out of the Vandoren 4 then stick to it.

Only problem with higher strength reeds is if you stop playing for a while it will be tough playing the clarinet again. You're going to have to go back to lower strength reeds to build up confidence. Just because size 4 is available doesn't mean you have to use them. They do sound smooth though given the right lip muscles.

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Re: Reed Size?    00:37 on Saturday, December 01, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

A couple of things, are you saying you only own 2 reeds total? If so, this could be a part of the problem.

It sounds even worse than that to me. If the two reeds are of different thicknesses, he's effectively saying he owns one reed total.

Short story, if you don't have any problems getting nice sounds out of the Vandoren 4 then stick to it.

Shorter story: If your teacher says you're not ready, you're not ready.

   

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