Legère has been well known for having synthetic single reeds which have been mostly used for marching bands or for doublers who don’t want to keep up with reeds for multiple instruments. This fall they have released a synthetic bassoon reed.
I have played on plastic bassoon reeds before, Charles music makes one and so does wwbw.com. These reeds are really intended for beginners to get a feel for the basic technique of bassoon and learn the first few notes. They sound very bright but passable in the low register, not much in the tenor register. That is the quality of sound that i was expecting from the Legère reeds as well. My teacher Steve Paulson played on them with the San Francisco Symphony and he sounded amazing. So i decided to put my name on the list and buy one.
The shipping took some time but the company is in Canada so its understandable. I first played a few long tones and it was a little resistant. I make reeds that are easy blowing and respond with very little effort, they can tend to be bright sounding. So in comparison this reed was a bit hard for me.
Its been a few weeks and I have been using this reed exclusively. I have gotten completely used to it and it is capable of producing a very full rich sound with a little bit of push. The tenor register especially needs a little boost to get a good vibrato. I clipped the corners and it allows me to tongue easier without the sharp edges. Double tonguing fast passages takes some getting used to as every note has a bit more resistance to get started. These reeds come in three densities: soft, medium, hard. I use soft and so does everyone i know who uses one. These reeds have more playing resistance than cane reeds.
I would recommend that everyone gets one of these to keep in the back of their reed cases for bad weather days or traveling. I have been in between apartments in San Francisco and all of my reed making equipment is packed up so if I had been using cane reeds i would have been out of usable reeds by now, not to mention the drastic weather changes here in the city.
Can you please tell me where you purchased your Legere Bassoon reed? I would like to order one but can’t find a place that sells them. Thanks for any help you can give!
they are now available through millermarketingco.com or directly from legere’s website. My opinion about these reeds has changed quite a bit since posting this. Its a nice tool for emergencies, but after switching back to cane i realized how much better cane reeds sound.
they’re too hard. and the tone could be better.
this is not the solution to cane reeds. it’ll take another 40 years of experimentation.
When I forgot my Legere and had to use a cane reed I realized how mush BETTER the Legere is than cane.
Yes there are a few differences. I am back on cane for now. I switch back and forth every few months.
Can you maybe go into a bit of detail about what modifications you made to your Legere?