I was so excited to get my Légère oboe reed in the mail the other day. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a few years now. It has taken them a while to prefect it so we’ve all been waiting. As soon as I got the newsletter that said they were shipping I ordered quickly. I was a little taken aback at the price. $149 plus shipping freaked me out but you only live once so, BAM!
The pictures you see in the internet are a little hard for your eyes to comprehend because it is clear and so different from the cane reeds we have been used to. I read a few warnings about it like problems with the fit into the reed well or being hard to play. I was pleasantly surprised to find that both were not a problem for me. It is a “European scrape” reed so my European oboe was apparently a good match.
I was a little concerned about the fact that is “European Scrape” rather then “American Scrape” but I found no difference in how it plays. Right out of the box it played like a good old friend. It’s completely synthetic so you don’t need to soak it. How awesome is that! No drying out while somebody talks between pieces. So cool!
It took a little getting used to but it didn’t take long before I was able to get all the notes to speak well. The sound is not as bright as my cane reeds but I never liked that brightness anyway. It has a more mellow tone.
I find that I have to do less or no pinching of the reed with my lips for certain notes to play. With just a little more air pressure than I am used to it plays every note quite confidently.
They say that the Légère reed will “Last for months instead of days.” I don’t know what kind of person whose reed lasts only for days anyway. I use a cane reed for at least 4-6 months. This synthetic reed should be good for years. I’m not a professional who practices all day so I expect a long life. It’s hard to imagine that it could wear out anyway. It’s plastic.
Our Community Band’s Independence Day concert is coming up in a few days. I wasn’t sure I would be ready to use it so soon but I am feeling quite confident that it’s a go for the concert.
A Few months later…
I’ve been using my Légère oboe reed for a few months now and I love it! It plays very well once I got used to it. Not having to soak or adjust it is totally wonderful. If I had one of these when I was in High School, my life might be totally different today. Who knows. I might be some kind of professional oboe celebrity rather than some guy who fought with his reed for decades.
I think I’m in love. The Légère reed is my favorite thing. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.