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Baritone & Bass Saxophone Reeds

It takes a lot of bits and pieces to create the sound of a saxophone, but if a single one had to be picked out as the most important, it would definitely be the reed. After all, the sound comes from vibrating air, and this is the physical part of the instrument that vibrates to get the air moving in the first place. Keeping your instrument's tone in top-notch shape depends on a reed that's also in good condition, which means that swapping in a new one from time to time is a routine fact of life for saxophonists. If you play a lower-keyed horn, then you'll find those replacements here in this selection of baritone and bass saxophone reeds.

The traditional material for reeds is cane, and it remains the most popular today. There's a catch, though: cane reeds are cut from naturally grown plants, and that means no two are exactly alike. This is the main reason why they're sold in multiples - in a given box, you may find that not every reed is quite up to snuff, but the throwaways will surely be made up for by a few outstanding ones in there with them! Cane reeds are sold in assorted strengths, where softer reeds tend to work better for newer players and harder ones, which are tougher to play but can really jazz up the horn's performance, work great for experienced saxophonists.

A second option that's really gained a lot of traction over the last few decades is the synthetic reed. Check out the Legere Signature Baritone Saxophone Reed, Fibracell Premier Synthetic Baritone Saxophone Reed and Harry Hartmann Carbon Fiberreed Baritone Saxophone Reed for a few examples. Unlike cane reeds, these are unaffected by humidity and never need to be moisturized. They're much more consistent (you'll never get a 'dud') and they last longer, too. The tradeoff for all that is a slight different in the tonal character, but for many artists, especially those who play outdoors in unpredictable weather and humidity, it's more than worth it!

So which baritone and bass saxophone reeds are right for you? That's a choice you'll have to make on your own based on your personal preferences, and it's completely subjective - no reed is right or wrong, and the best option is up to you. Go cane for a traditional sound, go synthetic for low-maintenance consistency, or maybe even combine the two with a hybrid reed like the Rico Plasticover Baritone Saxophone Reeds: the power of choice is in your hands!