How To Tell If You Have the Right Clarinet Reed Strength

with Dr. Levana Cohen

Date Posted: October 26, 2020

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Join Dr. Levana Cohen as she guides you down the right path for discovering the correct reed strength. You will listen to examples of reed strengths that are too hard, too soft, and just right. Levana's also giving you some tips on how to find your perfect reed strength.

How Do You Know?

Is this reed too hard or too soft? Listen to the first example of reed strength and decide for yourself.

Test #2 - Is the Reed Too Soft, Too Hard or Just Right?

Test #3 - Is the Reed Too Soft, Too Hard or Just Right?

Have you tried our Mix Card yet?

It's the easiest way to try all of our reed types without breaking the bank. Find your favorite at any one of our online or in-store music retailers.

What to Look for in Reed Strength

  • Look to see if you're playing out of tune
    • Too flat = too soft of a reed
  • Physical strain
    • Too hard = face turns red or more effort is noted in the face

How Do I Know It's the Right Strength?

  • It does take some time to get used to any equipment change
  • If it's taking you a lot of time (more than a week) you're not going in the right direction. Seek additional help from professional or music educator.

Did you know we do not cut to strength?

Our machines cut the reed based on the cut (V12, V21, Traditional, 56 rue Lepic, etc.) and is then tested for strength.

The reed is placed into a strength window and is put into the appropriate box.

Variation in your reed rotation line-up is an advantage. You can tackle any music situation knowing you have a few different reeds that could work.

Cohen Circle

About the Dr. Levana Cohen

Seattle born clarinetist, Levana Cohen is an avid performer and music educator. Her performances have taken her to some of the most prestigious concert halls including, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose hall, the Koussevitzky Music Shed and Ozawa hall of Tanglewood, Benaroya Hall, Symphony Space, The DiMenna Center, Flushing Town Hall and the 92ndY sharing the stage and performing with such artists as Frank Morelli, William Purvis, Steven Taylor, Shlomo Mintz and the Emerson String Quartet to name a few. Levana's life as a NY based freelance musician has made her into an extremely versatile musician performing and teaching in a multitude of different genres. In performance, these genres include the ballet, pit orchestra, opera, chamber music (both in the concert hall and for house parties), studio musician (recording for TV and radio), and the occasional concerto. Currently, Levana perform as the Principal Clarinetist for the Astoria Symphony Orchestra and appears at universities nation-wide leading masterclasses, clinics and performing recitals and concertos.

As a committed and devoted music educator, Dr. Cohen enjoys teaching students of all ages. At this time, she teaches Clarinet and Woodwind Methods at LIU Post, is the Clarinet Instructor at Suffolk County Community College, and operates her own private teaching studio in Port Washington NY. Apart from helping her students find their true, unique voice on their instrument, one of her highest priorities at the college level is to prepare her students for successful careers in music. Dr. Cohen also enjoys her work as a clinician with the Vandoren Regional Artist program, Woodwind Specialist and coach with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of New York, as a chamber music coach for Stony Brook University, and as director of the Port Washington Clarinet Choir.

Levana holds both a Master of Music degree and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University under the tutelage of Daniel Gilbert. She performs on Buffet Tosca clarinets and uses Vandoren mouthpiece, ligature and reed products.

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