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How do you keep your reeds ready to go


Old King Log
Staff member
I run either four or six reserve reeds for my horns. All are cane; my expensive experimentation with the synthetics has convinced me that I should stay with the natural item and take the appropriate precautions, as below.

Bassoon remains cane as well; the three or four synthetic fag reeds that I have used were all worthless, plain and simple.

To keep them all ready to go, I maintain the reed on each of the horns that I double on. (Currently, only clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor sax for the shows being played this show season; for my show band it's baritone, bass clarinet, clarinet and alto saxophone.) I gave up on mouthpiece caps over thirty years ago, after watching too many clarinet/sax players drop them in the pit. (In the case, the mouthpiece resides either in the compartment or in a bag.)

I mark my book to keep track of which horns are coming up. Prior to their use I periodically "suck" the "on deck" horns to keep things moist. (The bassoon reed resides in the cup on the stand unless it's a very quick change, in which case it stays on the bocal and it gets more oral attention than the other reeds.)

I really want to like synthetic reeds, but the Legeres are too hard on my mouth (cutting into my lip tissue at the worst possible place, the "vermillion verge"), and the others just didn't measure up.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Well, Helen's definitely convinced me to try 'em in the future: bari reeds are $$ and I never had as many gigs as Helen, so a single reed might last me the better part of a year.


Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Well YMMV of course, but I've had very good luck with them.

I actually owe someone on this board a big "thank you" for turning me onto a new Fibracell supplier. I believe Carl H. that it was you. Did you not mention earlier this year that Weiner Music had a sale? I had never heard of them before. I used to buy all my reeds through Charlie Andrews (Charlie A.). I had years worth of reeds, but had finally run low on my tenor ones. I do like the lettered ones better than the new Premium numbered ones as well--like Carl does.

Weiner seems to have the best prices... Especially when you buy in the quantity that I do. I usually buy enough for all my horns, and then some for my friends as well, so I always get the free shipping included. (I have an address in the States that things get sent to. There is no free shipping outside the USA.)


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
When I was subbing on White Christmas over the holidays, I used plastic on clarinet/bass clarinet/bari and just worried about keeping my bassoon reeds wet. It varies from show to show, but for me, the bassoon needs attention, so I use plastic for convenience on the other horns.
I've been using plastic BARI reeds on bass clarinet for a long time. I'm starting to take Merlin's approach, however. If I start having trouble with reeds while doubling on 3 - 5 horns, I have begun to use synthetics, usually Fibracells, on Bb clarinet and less often on saxophone.

Bass sax reeds are a giant pain and a giant expense. Good cane is the best, but Legeres always work. I usually use them.


Staff member
I actually owe someone on this board a big "thank you" for turning me onto a new Fibracell supplier.
That was me (/blushes). Weiner Music is a great online resource. Simon Weiner used to hang out at that "other" forum. I have e-mailed him a couple times, and found him to be very responsive.

The other nice thing is that "holiday special" on Fibracells seems to have become permanent.