A “Legerexperience”

Mr. Friedland:

I read your website frequently because I enjoy the information you offer to those to ask. I’ve noticed that you’ve been working with Legere reeds lately. I just wanted to share my experience with them. I first tried them in college, and I don’t think they had the Quebec cut yet. I found the reeds to be too thin in the heart (standard cut Legere), and I gave up using them. A couple years later I tried the Quebec cut. I liked the tone better, but I never could get a good response in the altissimo. I tried going down a 1/4 strength like many suggested to me…response was a little better, but I just didn’t feel I was getting it at the level of my best cane reeds.
I’ve since started using Tom Ridenour’s ATG reed system, and I’ve found it works well on Legere reeds. I started with some reeds that were slightly on the thick side and worked them down to my liking. I found that I really needed to do some work on the tips of the reeds to get the response the way I liked, but since I started with thicker reeds, I didn’t lose the tonal depth I wanted. I’ve had good luck with a Grabner K13. My wife and I just finished playing a show this past month. She’s heard me play Legere before I really got them working well. I didn’t tell her I played them for this show until a couple days after it was done, and she was surprised that I was using Legere again!

I don’t know how they’ve been working for you, but I thought I’d share my story!

J. W.

Hello J. W .:
My story with Legere reeds has been that they’ve always worked for me, but they have never worked enough,meaning that I cannot get the quality of sound with the the flexibility that I desire.
I have tried every kind that I have purchased or that they have sent to me,Quebec cut, Ontario cut,Center cut, and eye of the round , but to no avail. I have yet to ever play one at a concert, but have on occasion at rehearsals, but cannot recommend them because I have the audacity to believe that my playing expresses a certain lyric quality,a vocal quality,which I cannot achieve with a plastic reed. I believe that it may take a player in the wrong direction to use plastic.
I know that Richard Hawkins, of Oberlin uses them and he is excellent,a great player. But alas, I cannot. Thank you for sharing your “legerexperience”.


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