Las Vegas' Jimmy Haag on Légère Reeds
Recently, at the NAMM 2016 show in Anaheim California, I had the pleasure of working in the Légère Booth. Being temporarily confined in a mobility chair due to bad knees, I had a lot of time to sit back and observe.
As people stopped by the booth, there were many questions, about Légère reeds in general, but players also inquired on how to play on synthetic reeds. Sadly, the myth still exists about there being nothing like a cane reed. I just don’t understand that way of thinking. With the technology that is available to us today, it just doesn’t make sense.
Most people will automatically choose the same strength of Légère reeds as the cane reeds they are currently playing on and will then form an opinion based on that one reed. This, of course, is completely ludicrous. There is typically an adjustment that has to be made in both strength and position. The Légère reeds are not only cut thinner than most reeds, but are gauged in quarter strengths, which is quite an advantage compared to their counterparts. You might even think about a ligature change to accommodate the different thickness of the reed in general.
I find that one is quick to judge without really experimenting with Légère reeds to the fullest. By that I mean there is definitely a reed placement issue as opposed to the way you knew it. I personally find that reeds need to be placed in normal position, then even with the top of the mouthpiece and then be placed, in some cases, a little higher than normal until you find what I call the “sweet spot”. It varies with everyone as we’re all built differently, and it also depends on whether or not you’re using a hard rubber or metal mouthpiece.
I am a proud endorser of this company and will not use anything else. Here in Las Vegas with low humidity, extreme air conditioning, and temperature changes, it just makes sense to use a synthetic.
Marching bands, as well as concert bands, should definitely take advantage of the benefits and ease of use with these fantastic reeds. The company also offers a one-time exchange policy in the event that you estimated wrong. Légère wants you to be completely satisfied.
Let’s all make beautiful music and play on the best equipment!
Las Vegs, Nevada USA