Real Reeds bass clarinet reeds
Disclaimer: This page reflects my personal opinion, only based on some 30 years of reedmaking. It therefore need not be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
How on earth is it possible, that CNC machines working with precision of 1/100 of a millimetre, produce single reeds, that are after production classified between strength 1 to 5?
How is it possible, that one box contains so many reeds that are just not reeds?
Who needs reeds 1,5 anyhow?
The alleged precision of the machines is not the most important factor and in fact alleged.
The cane that is used is of good quality.
The produced reeds are in fact semi-manifactured articles of poor quality.
Why do clarinettists and saxophonists buy more reeds, as they are more unsatisfied with them?
The reed producers seem to have found a black hole in the market where the economical laws just don’t apply. The more the customer rejects the product, the more he buys.
Why do clarinettists and saxophonists not make their own reeds, as oboe and bassoon players do?
Are they lazy? Too rich? Deaf? Quickly satisfied?
.........Or just ignorant?
When you only eat cold pre-cooked potatoes, you tend to think that cold pre-cooked potato is synonym for food. But there is much more you can do with a potatoe. For instance, you could try to heat the potatoe, but why not peel one yourself and cook, bake, fry? Why not add some salt, herbs, vegetables.
The same goes for the cane: one can do more with cane than run it at top speed through a machine and hope something useful comes out.
Are you curious and impatient? Do you want to know how a real clarinet reed sounds and feels like? What possibilities you have, that you were never aware of? Do you want to hear in real life the sound that you know must exist somewhere outthere?
One reed can say more than a thousand words.
I produce reeds in very limited edition, for myself and some of my pupils, for German and French clarinet mouthpieces. Strenght approximately 3-, 3, 3¼, 3½, 4- and 4 (related to Vandoren classic and White Master). The cane I use is at least 10 years old. The reeds are tested and fine-tuned in real playing, not dry by a computer.
I can only say, that my pupils buy one reed at a time, and use an average of 3 to 4 reeds a year, and are very satisfied with them. They don’t play any other reed.
My reeds last long, alter very little during the first period, the difficult tones (g’-Bb’) sound less poorly, are balanced and the overall sound is better and more stable than you can imagine. They can cope with more energy without going ‘over the egde’. New reeds are not fully soaked after 5 minutes of playing.
This is not only the result of the balancing of the reeds, bus also of the extreme smooth finishing of the reeds. This results in the moist getting less rapid and less deep into the cane.
Because the reeds are balanced you can easily play with a reed that is a bit too hard or a bit too soft. You only have to adapt to the reed's resistance, in stead of "fight" the reed.
I can go on and on, but one reed can say more than a thousand words.
Are you becoming curiouser and couriouser?
This is what other players say about REALREEDS:
Josh Sinton (USA): ”Really terrific bass clarinet reeds, I’m going to have to get more of those”.
Victor Estrarelles Camarasa (Spain): “Very special feeling with your reeds”.
Steve Bergman (USA): “I love your reeds and bass clarinet stand! Your dedication and quality are quite evident”.
Gary Sperl (USA): “Wow! Great reed, it’s fun to play again!”
Hazalch Klips (Latvia):“You’ll never find better reeds than these ones.”
Bill O’Neil: (USA): “Very nice reeds, felt comfortable, better than my others.”
N. Smorti (USA): “Reliable! Consistent and easy speaking.”
Jessica Phillips(USA): “Best of Clarinetfest 2015!”
Paco Ferrer ( Spain): “Sincerely the best wooden reed I’ve ever played on!”
Lorenzo (Spain): “I really like this reeds, you are doing an amazing job!”
Jason Alder ( Netherlands): “Great reeds! Very consistent, smooth and flexible to playon.”
Karl Leister (Germany): “Many thanks and compliments for the fantastic reeds”
Sarah Watts (UK): “Really interesting to work on a bass clarinet reed with you. The results were very positive and I also love the bass clarinet stand. Great work, keep going with it all.”
Alex Simy (Netherlands) “I have already 3 reeds from Gijs and they play fantastic. They were made to fit my sound and response choice and 2 of them where developed specially for my Tenor clarinet/mouthpiece which is unique. The challenge was bigger since we were looking for a reed which fits a new type of mouthpiece, yet the result is fantastic! The reeds are maintaining their qualities throughout the playing time and their life time is impressively long. I highly recommend that you try this reeds to understand the difference.”
Michael Dean (USA): “Where were you ten years ago?”
Jonathan Krehm (Canada): “Great reed”
Johannes Schittler (Germany): “I was sceptical, but the very first note convinced me. Excellent qualityand feeling.”
Nicolai Pfeffer (Germany): “Very impressive reeds!”