Hello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!
Readers, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a braggart but my clarinet sound has the robust character and achingly graceful intensity of a young black panther dancing “Swan Lake.” I mean, come on! Right!?
That’s because James Danderfer is all about the sound. There are a lot of things I need to work on but whether I’m performing or practicing, my sound is always my 1st priority. And if I can’t find a good reed, I can’t fully enjoy making music.
So ladies & gentlemen, it’s time for the big reveal, time to let the panther out of the bag… <drum roll>
I play on Légère synthetic reeds and have been for the last 10 years.
That’s right. All those Danderfer albums you listen to night after night? I was playing synthetic reeds.
And finally, after all these years, James Danderfer has become
THE A face of Légère Reeds. Yes, it’s official now, after 10 years… I’m a Légère artist. Don’t believe me? Click here. (And yes, I am still one of the best kept secrets in Canada, don’t tell anyone!!)
The back story goes something like this: In 2003 I was trying out some new mouthpieces from my former teacher (and clarinet hero) Richard Hawkins. He recommended I try Légère reeds and, although I was skeptical, the allure of NOT wasting so much time fussing with cane reeds was irresistible.
I think I bought three of them at first, they looked strange to me, plastic-y and transparent. I was counting on a plastic-y kind of sound. I put it on my mouthpiece, played two notes, and started laughing.
“Oh thank goodness!” I thought. “That long list of things I need to practice? I can now just get on with it and practice those things! No more wasting time buying cane reeds, shaving them, sanding them, clipping them, soaking them, etc., etc..”
And if this sounds overly-dramatic to you, then you haven’t spent 10 years of your life working on reeds.
So that was it, I never looked back.
You can find complete information on this product (and where to buy it) here.
Finally, my suggestion to anyone trying these reeds for the first time:
1. Check the comparison reed strength chart to see what strength will suit you best.
2. Order three of that strength (each one is a little different). Then order a couple reeds a quarter strength harder/lighter to see how they compare (keep in mind the reeds will soften a little after a few weeks of play).
3. Return the strengths you don’t like in exchange for your preferred strength.
4. Find your favourite reeds of the bunch and rotate them so they don’t wear out quickly.
It’s an investment of time and money for sure but it’s sooo worth it. The time (and headaches) you’ll end up saving,… oh my God,… all the time.
That’s my time. Thanks to Légère reeds for their support and to you all for reading. Have a great week everyone!