Behind the Reeds – Episode 2 – Interview Noémie DuboisOctober 23, 2023
Behind the Reeds – Episode 3 – Interview Manon MancauxOctober 25, 2023
Choose your reed type:
Steuer offers a wide range of reeds for clarinet and saxophone, suited to your level and playing style. Strengths range from 1 (the weakest) to 5 (the strongest) and are available in half-strengths. Choose the reed best suited to your level and playing preferences.
Check the condition of the reed
Before adjusting the reed, make sure it is in good condition. Check that it is not cracked, warped, or excessively worn if it has already been played. If necessary, replace it with a new reed.
Adjust the reed/mouthpiece/ligature interface
To adjust the reed, place it correctly centered by width on the mouthpiece table, then check that the tip of the reed is level with the tip of the mouthpiece. Tighten the ligature to hold the reed in place. The position of the reed on the mouthpiece and the tension of the ligature can affect the sound and response of the instrument. To give your reed greater resistance, you can have it protrude very slightly (no more than 2 or 3 tenths of a millimetre) from the tip of the mouthpiece. Conversely, positioning it slightly set back will tend to facilitate the response of your reed.
Test the sound and playability
Play a few notes to assess the sound and playability. If the sound is too weak, soft, or unstable, try tightening the ligature slightly. If the sound is too loud, hard, or difficult to produce, loosen the ligature a little (taking account of your ligature model, its reed attachment and tightening system, which may vary from one brand to another). Continue adjusting the reed attachment until you find the setting that best suits your playing and musical style.
Take note of environmental conditions
Bear in mind that humidity can also influence the perceived strength of the reed. If playing in an environment that is very humid or too dry, you may need to adjust the reed strength accordingly. The relative strength of the reed, i.e. the strength felt in relation to the strength stated on your reed, decreases in very humid setting; conversely, it increases (i.e. its relative strength is greater) in playing conditions where the air is very dry.