Clarinet Reeds from Dawkes Music

How to Buy

Our full range of Clarinet reeds are available to buy online, or you can visit and browse our range at our store in Maidenhead. Order before 2pm for same-day despatch (Mon-Fri) and choose your postage service at the basket. If you’re local why not pop in and pick up your reeds from our Maidenhead shop. Our friendly staff are on-hand to answer any questions and discuss your requirements.

How long do Clarinet reeds last?

It varies depending on the material (cane vs synthetic) and also upon how regularly the reeds are played and how well they are cared for. We would always recommend drying your reed thoroughly after playing and keeping it in a clarinet reed case so it remains flat. With normal use (20-30 mins practice every day) a box of cane reeds should last 2-3 months. Similarly, a synthetic single reed should last about the same length of time as a box of reeds. There are exceptions and if you play for many hours on end then we would advise rotating a stock of 3-4 reeds at any one time.

How much do Clarinet reeds cost?

Beginner Clarinet reeds are usually supplied in a box of 10 and start from around £15. Depending on the make/model the cost can rise up to £30 per box of 10. The more expensive reeds are made from better quality cane and have a more sophisticated cut and finish, resulting in a more nuanced feel and response.

How to choose

It can seem overwhelming at first, but there are different types of reeds to offer different players a choice of response and tone. It’s also important to remember that your mouthpiece plays a big part in which reed type you should choose. If you’d like some help with this, please do contact us and we can advise accordingly. Do remember that reeds are natural products and as such they can vary slightly within the same make and strength. As such, we would always recommend trying a box of 10 to be sure you’ve had a good representation of the reed. If in doubt, we offer French Cut and American Cut Selection Packs which offer you a selection to choose from.

Filed vs Unfiled

All Clarinet reeds finished in either a Filed or Unfiled style. The Filed type is known as French Cut and the Unfiled is known as Amercian Cut. It’s two different designs that make the reed play and respond differently, and also you should choose based on your mouthpiece design.

Filed reeds have an extra strip of the bark removed in a straight line, just below the main vamp area. The removal of this extra bark makes Filed reeds commonly brighter and more flexible. They also commonly have a thinner tip and thicker heart. Filed reeds are best suited to mouthpieces that have a gentle French style facing curve such as Vandoren 5RV, B40, B45, Selmer 120, Concept & Focus, Buffet Plastic Models, Weinberg M1, M3 and D3 models, D’Addario Reserve X10E, X15E and X25E.

Unfiled reeds have the bark left on the reed at the base of the vamp and as such they provide a fuller, potentially more powerful tone. These reeds commonly also have a thicker tip and a thinner heart. The Unfiled reeds are commonly best suited to clarinet mouthpieces that have a more abrupt end to the facing curve, otherwise known as an American style facing curve. This might include models such as: Yamaha 4C, 5C, 6C, Vandoren M15, M13, CL4, CL6, BD5, Backun Vocalise and Weinberg Prime, Zeus and Heritage mouthpieces.

Are all Clarinet reeds the same?

Each type of Clarinet (Bb, A Eb, Bass, Alto etc) need their own type of reed. The only exception to this is Bb and A Clarinets which, as they use the same mouthpiece, can use the same reed. The size of reed varies for all the other types because the mouthpiece size varies. Clarinet reeds are also different in size from all types of Saxophone reeds.