Depending on the brand, strength, material and number of reeds, clarinet reeds have different prices. Different brands have different prices but typically a box of 10 reeds costs between $50 and $100.
All woodwind instruments, except the flute, use reeds to produce sound and therefore the majority of woodwind players, including clarinettists will have to deal with reeds during their career. Knowing the cost of reeds and how to choose, maintain and replace reeds is crucial for any clarinet player. The rise in clarinet reed brands and different reed styles and materials has made the process of purchasing reeds tricky, especially for beginner clarinet players. Since there are many different clarinet reed brands, the prices are also different. Additionally, factors like the material of the reed (wood or synthetic) and the strength of the reeds affect the prices. It is crucial to note that not clarinet brands offer good quality reeds therefore when purchasing, you should be careful. Good quality clarinet reeds typically cost between $50 and $100.
How much are clarinet reeds?
As mentioned earlier, the price of clarinet reed varies from one brand to another and from one make or style to another. The material of the reed, whether wood or synthetic, will also determine the price of the reeds. Additionally, the amount you pay for clarinet reeds will depend on the number of reeds you’ll purchase. A box of 10 good quality reeds may cost between $50 and $100. Lastly, the strength of the reeds will also affect their price.
Where to buy clarinet reeds from
You can get clarinet reeds from your local music store or on leading online stores like Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba and AliExpress. However, when purchasing reeds online, be careful about the brand you pick as there are many poor-quality clarinet reed brands. For beginners, it is wise to get your reeds from a physical music store because you’ll get additional help on which brand and strength to select.
The table below has summarized the best clarinet reed brands to buy from, the estimated amount you’ll pay, the strengths available and the online ratings the brands have gotten.
|Brand.||Estimated price.||Strength.||Online Rating.||Where to purchase.|
|Rico Bb Clarinet Reeds (10 pack)||$20 – $70||1.5 – 4||4. 5 stars||Amazon, D’Addario website, Walmart or any music store.|
|Vandoren CR101Bb clarinet (10 pack)||$45 – $75||1 – 5||5 stars||Amazon, Vandoren website, Walmart or any music store.|
|Gonzalez GD (10 pack)||$70 – $100||1 – 5||4.5 stars||Amazon, Gonzalez reeds website, Walmart or any music store.|
|Vandoren CR8035 Bb clarinet reeds (10 pack)||$50 for the 3.5 strength.||2.5 – 5||4.5 stars||Amazon, Vandoren website, Walmart or any music store.|
|Legere Clarinet (10 pack)||$50 – $80||3 – 3.5||4 stars||Amazon, Walmart, Legere website or any music store.|
|Royal Bb clarinet reeds (10 pack)||$25 for the 2.5 strength||1 -5||4.5 stars||D’Addario website, Amazon, Walmart or any music store.|
|Vandoren CR1925 Bb clarinet v.12 (10 pack)||$47 – $60||2.5 – 5||5 stars||Vandoren website, Amazon, music stores or Walmart.|
How long do clarinet reeds last?
Depending on how it is cared for, how often it’s played and how often it is rotated, a clarinet reed may last between 2 and 4 weeks. Some reeds last longer and others for a shorter period depending on the quality. Note that clarinet reeds do not expire as they are made out of wood, however, they may crack, warp or grow mould, thus becoming useless.
How to make your clarinet reeds last longer
Although they cannot last forever, some practices will prolong the life of your clarinet reed. These practices include; storing your reeds in a good quality reed case as this protects them from excess humidity and temperature fluctuations. Always break in a new reed and after each performance, be sure to rinse the reed with clean warm water, dry it thoroughly and store it in its case. Never leave your reed in the mouthpiece because, with time, it’ll get warped.
Ensure you rotate your reeds to avoid playing the same one over and over again. A tip to help you with rotating reeds is to write the date you begin to use the reed on its back to keep track of how long you’ve been using the reed. As you practice more, learn how to polish and flatten reeds to prolong their use and to customize, you can use reed knives or sandpapers. Lastly, ensure you wet your reeds with warm water before any performance.
Which reeds should I buy?
Finding the right reed for your skill level and the one you enjoy is a process that takes time, patience and lots of trial-and-error. Beginners are advised to start with reed strengths between 1 and 2.5 and experiment with various brands to find which one they enjoy the most. When it comes to brands, this is personal as different people have different preferences. Also, try out various brands before settling on one and purchasing their reeds in bulk. Some of the best clarinet reed brands are; Gonzalez, Rico, Vandoren, Legere and D’Addario.
The cost of clarinet reeds varies depending on the brand, material (wood or synthetic), reed strength and the number of reeds. Experimenting with various brands, strengths and cuts is advised to find out the reed you enjoy playing with the most.
What are some of the extra tips to remember when dealing with clarinet reeds?
The first tip is to always carry extra clarinet reeds with you as they tend to break easily if brushed against because they are fragile. Another one is, always buy clarinet reeds in boxes of at least 5 or 10 reeds. This will save you endless trips to the music store, save you money and make reed rotation easier.
What do the numbers on clarinet reeds mean?
The numbers on clarinet reeds that typically run from 1 to 5 symbolize the strength of the reed, with 1 being the weakest and the thinnest and 5 being the thickest and the strongest. Reed strength is measured by how much resistance the reed presents during a performance.