Frequently asked questions
What is a Clarinet?
A Clarinet is a woodwind instrument which has a single-reed mouthpiece, a cylindrical tube with a flared end, and holes stopped by keys.
What Reeds Do I Need?
All clarinet reeds are not created equally. Most seasoned players will tell you that simply changing the kind of reed you use can make a major difference in your sound.
To start, there are many different brands to choose from. Rico, a U.S.-based manufacturer, and Vandoren, a French one, are two of the most-recommended brands for beginning players. Other popular makers include Rigotti, Selmer, and Legere.
Aside from choosing a brand, a clarinetist needs to consider a reed's strength and cut. Strengths range from soft to hard, typically rated on a 1-to-5 system (5 being the hardest). While a hard reed produces a fuller and thicker sound, a softer reed easier to play, making it suitable for most beginners. Additionally, reeds come in two different cuts: regular or French-file. While advanced players will appreciate the French-file's quicker response, beginners might not find them worth the slightly higher cost.