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Would you recommend synthetic reeds to your students?

clarinet saxophone reeds woodwind

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#1 hammer action

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:27

Just interested in the views of woodwind teachers on this topic.  

 

I (reluctantly) tried a synthetic reed purely out of curiosity a little while ago and found it surprisingly easy to play and gives great staccato.  I've spoken about them to my more advance students and leave it up to them if they want to try, but I'm now wondering about my beginners as many of them struggle with that fluffy sound from new reeds, soggy tonguing, reed not moist enough/too moist etc.  I'm sure they'd cope better with a synthetic reed that is used dry, but.... it's not the 'correct' way is it?  Or if it makes life easier, then why not?  I'm undecided on this and would appreciate some feedback.

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 LoneM

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 13:47

I am not a teacher myself but know a couple who recommend synthetic reeds to beginners because they are more robust and less likely to be wrecked by, for example, being caught on the player's jumper...


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#3 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 14:38

I recommend synthetic reads to my bagpipe students, and use them myself.  (Hey, bagpipe is a woodwind, right?  Right?)


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#4 vezrez

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 23:15

Hi! As a woodwind teacher I'd have no problem recommending a synthetic reed especially for my younger pupils, as long as tone quality is not compromised too much!

Please can I ask which brand did you buy?

I've only used them on a Clarineo to varying success (I found them harder to blow than my pupils did!) but I teach at a Special Needs school where I suspect a synthetic reed would be a welcome relief! One current pupil break reeds approx 1 a lesson (sometimes more!)  - & it is getting expensive, poor thing!

Thanks :)


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#5 hammer action

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 11:00

Hi! As a woodwind teacher I'd have no problem recommending a synthetic reed especially for my younger pupils, as long as tone quality is not compromised too much!

Please can I ask which brand did you buy?

I've only used them on a Clarineo to varying success (I found them harder to blow than my pupils did!) but I teach at a Special Needs school where I suspect a synthetic reed would be a welcome relief! One current pupil break reeds approx 1 a lesson (sometimes more!)  - & it is getting expensive, poor thing!

Thanks smile.png

 

I've tried a few different brands, the most recent being a Legere European Cut Signature which I was really impressed by.  They're £26 each however....

 

Previously i used Vandoren strength 3 but was advised to order a Legere 2.5 which I found to be perfect.  I bought a 3 a couple of weeks ago but found it too hard to blow.  They also do them in quarter strengths.  

 

It's a shame they're so expensive as it would make tone production so much easier for beginners, but I doubt if many parents would want to spend that amount of money on one reed to begin with.


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#6 vezrez

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 12:39

Ah yes that's a shame re the price.....I may look into it for my SEN pupil though - he's probably "paid" for that in his reeds so far!!!
Thanks for the recommend.

PS. If you are interested and on Facebook, I started an online cohort of woodwind teachers via a Facebook group a while ago and it is really helpful for asking these sorts of questions! Put "Inquisitive Woodwind Teachers" in the Facebook search.


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