A woodwind reed is a thin strip of cane wood or synthetic material that's responsible for the sound produced by the instrument. Your instrument relies on the reed to shape its tone, so it's critical to use reeds that are well-made and properly fitted. Woodwind & Brasswind carries a huge selection of saxophone reeds and clarinet reeds along with double reeds, tools, supplies and more. Reeds can require some maintenance – read Every Day Reed Maintenance for help.
There are literally hundreds of reeds to consider, from great brands like Vandoren, D'Addario, Giardinelli, Legere, and more. Obviously, the instrument you play will drive the first step in selection. Next, consider the reed's strength. Most reed manufacturers sell reeds in strengths from 1 to 5, often in half-steps, with 1 being the softest and 5 the hardest. You'll also need to think about whether you want natural cane reeds or synthetic reeds. We suggest you try both, as which reed you prefer is completely subjective. If you need help learning about this, head over to read Cane Vs. Synthetic Reeds.
Choosing the perfect reed should ultimately come down to the specific sound you want to achieve. Feel free to experiment with different brands, materials and strengths to see which reed is the best match to your musical style. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned saxophone player, a student clarinetist or an intermediate bassoonist, you'll be able to improve and change your sound with the right reed. If you need more help, read our handy Reed Buying Guide.