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New 'medium soft' Bari synthetic reed too hard?

#1
Hello, I have recently purchased a bari medium soft synthetic clarinet reed to try, as it's a relatively new thing. But when it came to my mail yesterday, i found it very hard to make good tones. I wanted a softer reed to play lower notes, but the reed seems to be too hard.
Now, when i got reeds before(cane reeds), i got the strength '3' ones, and it worked fine. But the 'medium soft' was quite hard for me. I am an intermediate beginner, so is 'medium soft' too hard?
thanks for any help!!!

P.S i thought medium soft is about 2.5-3.0, am I right? If i am right, how come it's very hard to play on?:frown:
i play on Bb clarinet.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#2
I generally play Medium to medium hard reeds, but use soft whenever I use a bari.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#3
(Psst! Carl! Bari is a reed company.)

You also have to note that reed strengths are not identical across all manufacturers. A Rico 2.5 can be Vandoren's 2. LaVoz's medium could be Mitchell Lurie's 3. Etc.

"Softer" doesn't always mean "easier to play." It's not going to hurt if you get back to the new synthetic you bought in a few days and try it again. Give it some time. If you still think it's too hard, buy a softer strength next time. Or ask your instructor, first.

You should also define a bit more what you mean by "make good tone(s)." Additionally, why'd you switch from cane, anyway?
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#4
(hey broccoli head, I know that, and play MH on baritone sax too :geezer2: )

Bari brand reeds have always run on the harder side of the scale to my way of viewing them. I think I keep one in my tenor sax case and one in my bass and soprano clarinet cases too. They aren't especially good, but they seem to be the most consistent, of the transparent synthetic reeds, from when you first put it on the mouthpiece to the time you are done playing for the session. The Legere reeds always start off a bit too hard and seem to end up too soft whenever I have tried them out, but the tone of them is better when they are right.


Hey Pete, your comment reminds me of the time I got chewed out in college by a "jazz expert" for telling my buddy I was changing seat during intermission to get a better view of the keyboard. He tore me a new one about it being a piano and not a keyboard, and kids should really learn more about the instruments. I had to tell him it was a 9ft Steinway and I regularly played that particular instrument since I was a sound engineer in the hall, and I couldn't see the pianists hands OR the black and white keyed part of the instrument called the keyboard, so I was moving to see the K E Y B O A R D ! The joys of being a longhaired older than average student...
 
#5
Hey guys, thanks for the replys.
-Yes, I did knew that reeds strength may vary between brands, but it seems to be too hard(much harder than I imagined, like one of the 4).
-And thanks for your suggestion, Broccoli.I will give it some time and try them after.
-Also, when I said make "good tones", I mean I want a rounded sound with no "pufffff" sound. But when I blowed on my clarinet with these synthetic reeds on, there is a puffing sound as if there is lots of water in there mouthpiece. And the articulation isn't clear.
-I used synthetic reeds instead of cane reeds because I was having fun and want to try out new things:smile:
-Thanks Carl for your reply, and I think the Bari reeds are harder than my Vandorens.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#6
(hey broccoli head, I know that, and play MH on baritone sax too :geezer2: )

Bari brand reeds have always run on the harder side of the scale to my way of viewing them. I think I keep one in my tenor sax case and one in my bass and soprano clarinet cases too. They aren't especially good, but they seem to be the most consistent, of the transparent synthetic reeds, from when you first put it on the mouthpiece to the time you are done playing for the session. The Legere reeds always start off a bit too hard and seem to end up too soft whenever I have tried them out, but the tone of them is better when they are right.

Hey Pete, your comment reminds me of the time I got chewed out in college by a "jazz expert" for telling my buddy I was changing seat during intermission to get a better view of the keyboard. He tore me a new one about it being a piano and not a keyboard, and kids should really learn more about the instruments. I had to tell him it was a 9ft Steinway and I regularly played that particular instrument since I was a sound engineer in the hall, and I couldn't see the pianists hands OR the black and white keyed part of the instrument called the keyboard, so I was moving to see the K E Y B O A R D ! The joys of being a longhaired older than average student...
Well, I can say that your post didn't use capitalization and isn't worded that clearly -- e.g. "Whenever I play Bari reeds ..." is much clearer than "Whenever I play a bari ..." No harm, no foul :D. (If you were offended, ["He tore me a new one ..."], sorry 'bout that!)

As a sidebar, I don't think there's any such thing as a "jazz expert." I realized that after watching about two episodes of "Ken Burns' Jazz" -- and from being told for years that I should know all about jazz because I play a saxophone. It'd be very interesting to actually find someone that is an expert player in all forms of jazz, who can teach on an expert level and is an expert musicologist regarding all things jazz. Oh. I'd like to hear him define "jazz," too!
 
#7
Reed is great now

This is fifth day that I played on the synthetic reed. It's now sounding much better! Lots of improvements in all areas. Looks like giving it a bit of time is a good idea. Thanks
 
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