Also, the fact that these Mitchell Lurie Premium reeds are filed cut guarantees your accurate measurements, which will undoubtedly reflect in the top-notch sound quality that your Clarinet will produce.
The package comes with 5 reeds and offers the strength of 3.0. But they’re also offered in strengths of 1.5- 5.0.
This is one of the most important features you should consider whenever you want to purchase a reed for your Clarinet.
You see, the clarinet reeds are normally sold according to strength. And usually, they range from 1-5.
So, in this case, a 1 strength reed is the softest that there is in the market, and the 5 strength clarinet reed is the hardest.
The difference between the hardest and the softest reed lies in their ease of playability, where the softer ones are easier to play, and the harder reeds are not.
Therefore, if you’re a beginner, you would want to consider a reed strength of around 2 -2.5. And a pro clarinetist can go for the strength of 4-5.
Reeds are normally cut. Therefore, you should take time to examine the cutout and see if it’s a French file cut or a regular cut.
Remember, if a reed is file-cut, then you can expect a faster response time and vice versa.
Also, if your instrument’s mouthpiece produces a darker sound, filed reeds will be ideal. But if the mouthpiece’s sound is brighter, then go for a regular-cut reed.
And if you find yourself confused about the type of reed you should pick for your instrument, always feel free to consult your teacher.
Check Out the Brand
There are various clarinet reed companies in the current market. And while all promise to offer high-quality reeds, not all of them keep their word.
So, if you’re a beginner, it’s advisable to stick to popular brands such as Rico, Vandoren, and the many others mentioned in this article.
You can always try out the lesser famous brands, once you gain experience in the field and have had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the marketplace.
Take, for example, Rico. It’s a US brand and most famous among beginners due to the soft nature of the reeds they manufacture.
Vandoren, on the other hand, produces high-quality reeds, and their craftsmanship is on another level.
I could go on and on, but the main point here is that, know what you want, and then source it out from reputable brands.
Is There A Bulky Option?
Although most of the reeds we have reviewed here come in bulky, not all brands offer that option.
Most Clarinet beginner players are often tempted to go for the single reeds, given that they tend to be cheap. But that isn’t a smart choice.
Remember, the more you practice, the more your instrument’s reed is likely to experience some wear and tear, and the more often you will have to change it.
That means, if you only purchase 1 reed at a time, then you will be frequenting music stores from time to time for a new order.
And that can be tiring, especially if you have other things to do or have to travel several miles to the closest music store.
Also, what happens if the reed decides to fail in the middle of the practice session?
Do you see the inconvenience that could come your way?
That’s why it’s always advisable to purchase reeds in bulk. That way, you will only be picking the best reed in the batch and get to business.
For instance, if you buy a box of 10 reeds, then they can comfortably serve you for a couple of weeks.
So, if you don’t see yourself heading to the music store in a few weeks, then it’s better if you purchase more than 1 box at ago.
Remember, mostly, not all reeds in a box will be favorable for use. You will have to discard 2-3 cracked/split, discolored ones. And you should do so immediately you open the box to avoid inconveniences later on.
The Reed Function
The Clarinet is fixed unto its mouthpiece. And because of that, they play a huge role in the type of sounds produced whenever you play.
Some reeds are good for jazz music, while others can comfortably switch between jazz and classical tunes.
Also, if your focus is to use it for leaning purposes, then a soft reed would come in handy. But for professional performances, the harder the reed, the better sound quality you will get to wow your audience.
As much as you want to purchase the right reeds for your Clarinet, you should also consider the maintenance costs you’re likely to incur.
For example, wood reeds are high maintenance as opposed to synthetic ones. So, they might not be favorable for a beginner student.
Also, reeds that come in a case are easy to maintain, because all you need is to place them in a favorable environment and you will be good to go.
You should, however, ensure that you try them on from time to time.
Also, reeds that are resistant to humidity and cracks make a perfect choice, especially if you’re living in a high-humidity environment.
FAQs About The Best Clarinet Reeds
What Clarinet Reed Strength Should I Use?
The strength of the clarinet reeds you use will primarily depend on your capabilities. The basic scale of reed ranking ranges from 1-5, with 5 being the hardest and 1 the softest.
In fact, a few manufacturers label their reeds as “soft,” “hard,” and “medium.”
A reed strength 2-2.5, makes an ideal pick for a beginner (not hard but not too soft), intermediate players can go for 2.5- 3.5, while advanced players mostly settle for 3.5 and above.
Therefore, it’s up to you to identify a reed that suits your current needs and go for it. You can always change the strength level on your next purchase if you aren’t comfortable with the present one or feel you’re ready to move to the next level.
It also depends on the type of music you want to play.
How Long Should Clarinet Reeds Last?
Here, I would say that the correct way to look at this question is how long you can use the reed before discarding it, and not necessarily how long it can last.
There is really no absolute answer to this question as it depends on a lot of factors.
For example, if you play your instrument several times a week, then you might find yourself changing a reed every week.
But if you don’t practice that often, then it might go for even a couple of months, 6 months even, before you find it necessary to discard.
That said, the type of cane also matters a lot. Some are long-lasting, while others are not. And you simply can’t compare the two time-frames.
But, most clarinet players confess that it isn’t an easy choice, especially after you develop some connection with the reed.
So, don’t overthink if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
Are Harder Reeds Better?
Harder reeds are really not that better. It’s simply an assumption that has been passed on for years.
Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon to find advanced players playing a 2. And this has something to do with their mouthpieces.
For example, a jazz player will prefer 2.5 reed strength and below, thanks to their large mouthpiece tips.
A classical player, on the other hand, will use a harder reed to match their more closed mouthpieces.
So you see, it really isn’t true that harder reeds are better than softer ones, it simply depends on your expectations and of course circumstances.
Also, harder reeds survive longer on higher altitudes, the same way softer reeds are a perfect choice for humid climate.
How to Put A Reed in A Clarinet
Have the ligature
Examine the reeds and decide which one you want to use
Use a little water to wet the reed, if you see the need
Now slowly slide the ligature unto your Clarinet’s mouthpiece to its almost rightful position. Don’t tighten the screws.
Let your we reed slid under the ligature
Now push the ligature unto the bottom part of the reed then tighten it, a little
Check out this YouTube video for a better explanation:
How Do You Know What Size Reed for The Clarinet to Choose?
First, it’s important to note that the strengths or reeds vary in half measures. For example, 1, 1.5., 2, 2.5, and so on.
The number refers to the size of the reed, and that’s measured in thickness. But, even the thickness varies with the manufacturers.
If you’re using a beginner clarinet, then you would probably start with 1.5-2.5. The more advanced you’re, the larger the reed size you’re likely to use.
Also, the size depends on the type if the instrument you’re playing. So, if you can’t seem to decide correctly, then don’t be shy to let the experts at the music store help you out.
What Reeds Do Professional Clarinet Players Use?
Most professional clarinet players will use 3 strength reeds and above. But, others can comfortably use the 2.5 reeds and play pretty well.
So, there is really no rigidity in this. Although professionals mostly play the hard reeds of 3.5 and above due to the quick response they offer.
To become a professional clarinetist, you have to know how to select the best reeds for your instrument.
And now that we have discussed the best 10 in this article, you have to go through the various features before choosing the reeds that perfectly suit your preference.
Don’t also forget to consider your budget while at it.