Bass Clarinet Reeds
The reed may be one of the most important inventions in all of music history. It led to an entire family of instruments, and their name (woodwinds) is an homage to that one key part which does the heavy lifting in creating their sounds. The bass clarinet is a perfect example of a member of that family, and getting the best performance out of yours will always depend on having a great reed fitted to its mouthpiece. Fortunately, with the selection of bass clarinet reeds found here, that great fit is easy to find. You'll have your choice of strengths, cuts and even materials, so personalizing your bass clarinet is easier than ever.
To take the traditional approach, you can start by checking out the cane reeds in this section. For example, the Vandoren V12 Series Bass Clarinet Reeds are a best-selling set and are available in strengths from 2.5 to 4.5. Their thick tips and long pallets give them deep, rich and full-bodied attack that really brings out the character in your bass clarinet. Another popular choice would be Rico Bass Clarinet Reeds, packed in boxes from 3 all the way to 25 so you can have as many as you need even if you're buying reeds for a whole clarinet class.
For the more modern-minded clarinetist, or those of us facing tough environmental conditions, there's also a lot to be said for synthetic reeds. Legere is an especially sought-after brand, and their Contra Bass Clarinet Reeds are the perfect examples to show the advantages of synthetics. They don't need to be moisturized, and they're not affected by the humidity in the air. You'll only get one in a box, but that's okay because they're far more consistent and reliable than cane reeds, so you never have to discard one. With synthetic reeds from Legere, Bari, Fibracell and others, you can always count on great sound that's virtually maintenance-free.
All you have to do is ask yourself what you want from your reed. Searching for a warm, soft, traditional and nuanced sound? Opt for a cane reed. Prefer absolute stability and a lot of clean power with barely any upkeep? Then synthetics are probably for you. Beyond that, the only leftover concerns are strength and cut, and those are things that are as individual as your clarinet itself - so feel free to experiment to find your favorites.