Légère Oboe Reed Review – First Impressions

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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.

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