Vandoren Clarinet Reed Guide

One of the questions we frequently we receive is “which reed is best for me?” Vandoren has forged a reputation as an elite maker of quality reeds for clarinet and saxophone that work right out of the box. Each type of reed is designed with a specific sound quality in mind. If you were wondering what each reed is designed for, here is a detailed description for each type of reed!

Traditional

The most widely played reeds in the world with a superiority proven over the years, these reeds suit all styles of music. Traditionals famous for their excellent response in all registers, allowing a pianissimo attack in even the highest notes. They are also extremely flexible, allowing the legato or staccato execution of large intervals while maintaining a richness of tone that gives body and clarity to the sound, which is a hallmark of Vandoren reeds.

V12

V12 reeds for Bb clarinet are manufactured from cane tubes with the same diameter as cane used for alto saxophone reeds. As a result, they have a thicker heel and are cut on a longer palette with a slightly thicker tip than the Traditional. The longer palette means that more of the reed is vibrating, resulting in a deeper, richer sound. The thicker tip gives body to the attack and increases the longevity of the reed.

56 Rue Lepic

Designed from thicker cane with a heel taper very similar to German-style reeds, the 56 emits a rich, centered, and extremely pure sound while providing maximum stability and quick response in all registers. Strength gradations are smaller and more specific, resulting in very consistent reeds.

V21

The V21 reed combines the conical shape of a 56 Rue Lepic reed with a V12 profile. This unique combination makes all registers of the clarinet more accessible with warmth and a depth of sound. It will allow you to play with amazing presence and immediate response. V21 is the perfect reed for performances that require the ability to handle large interval leaps efficiently with an even and rich tone.

If you are looking to try these reeds, Paige’s Music offers a Vandoren Mix Pack featuring the V12, 56 Rue Lepic, and V21 reeds. These mix packs are available in 3, 3 ½, and 3 ½+ strengths.

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