French Mouthpiece

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What size reed should I be using for the Bb Clarinet?

I have been playing the clarinet for almost 3 years in the school's band program. I have not had any private lessons so I am unsure of the type of reed and size I should use. I feel it important to know because I'm in the Marching Band and are playing in different temperatures with high notes that don't sound as well as I know they can. I'm now using a size 4 in the Mitchell Lurine brand, I believe. Can you help?

some good points here - some not so good.

The reed you play on is more a function of the tip opening of your mouthpiece than any other consideration. It's not even a little related to how long you've been playing or how good you are.

What brand you use doesn't matter as much as being able to pick the good reeds from the box and not use the not-so-good reeds. An excellent Vandoren beats an off center Laurie every day and vice-versa.

What you need right now is a clarinet teacher. Band teachers are great and many are also clarinet teachers, but your band teacher can't give you the 1:1 attention you need right now to make sure you have the right set-up for you.

In a single lesson, a clarinet teacher can tell if you have the right mouthpiece, ligature, and reed combination for you and what you need to start with to improve your playing.

If cost of lessons is an issue, talk to the teacher and see if you can work out 30 minute lessons every other week (instead of 1 hour weekly) or even just a few lessons to help get you set-up and improving.

Anyone that tells you "after x years you need to play on a #4 reed" is confused. It's more about you and what you need. There is no always right answer. That's why there are lots of reed sizes and lots of brands.

On my rosewood with a really wide tip I play on a 1.5 or 2 Vandoren reed. I also use soft reeds on the big clarinets. I have a very close tip French mouthpiece that demands a 4 or 5 reed. Most people I know playing on a medium close tip mouthpiece are using a 2.5 or 3. It's all about finding out what works for you and your setup. You need a professional (teacher) to help with that part.

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KING DOUBLE FRENCH HORN HN WHITE CO W MOUTH PIECE  CASE NICKEL SILVER
KING DOUBLE FRENCH HORN HN WHITE CO W MOUTH PIECE CASE NICKEL SILVER
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YAMAHA YHR 313 FRENCH HORN W ORIGINAL CASE AND BLESSING MOUTHPIECE
YAMAHA YHR 313 FRENCH HORN W ORIGINAL CASE AND BLESSING MOUTHPIECE
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GOOD YAMAHA YHR302M MARCHING FRENCH HORN IN Bb with CASE  MOUTHPIECE
GOOD YAMAHA YHR302M MARCHING FRENCH HORN IN Bb with CASE MOUTHPIECE
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Top new Gold lacquer Bb mini french horn piccolo french with mouthpiece case
Top new Gold lacquer Bb mini french horn piccolo french with mouthpiece case
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Yamaha French Horn YHR313 YHR 313 With Hard Case Mouthpiece  Oil NICE Horn
Yamaha French Horn YHR313 YHR 313 With Hard Case Mouthpiece Oil NICE Horn
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Vintage French Horn with Hard case mouth piece
Vintage French Horn with Hard case mouth piece
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King 186 French Horn with case and mouthpiece
King 186 French Horn with case and mouthpiece
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Silver Double French horn 4 key with case and mouthpiece
Silver Double French horn 4 key with case and mouthpiece
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Professional French Horn Mouthpiece Copper Alloy Durable High Quality E4Q6
Professional French Horn Mouthpiece Copper Alloy Durable High Quality E4Q6
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Bach B1101 Single French Horn w Hard Case  3 Mouthpieces 2 Bach 1 Conn
Bach B1101 Single French Horn w Hard Case 3 Mouthpieces 2 Bach 1 Conn
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Top new Blue Bb mini french horn piccolo french with mouthpiece case
Top new Blue Bb mini french horn piccolo french with mouthpiece case
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New Yamaha French horn mouthpiece HR 32 GP From Japan
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Professional French Horn Mouthpiece Copper Alloy Durable High Qual
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BB French horn A stuffing valve with case and mouthpiece
BB French horn A stuffing valve with case and mouthpiece
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Bb French Horn with case and mouthpiece Karl Glaser
Bb French Horn with case and mouthpiece Karl Glaser
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DURABLE COPPER ALLOY GOLD PATING FRENCH HORN MOUTHPIECE R7I7
DURABLE COPPER ALLOY GOLD PATING FRENCH HORN MOUTHPIECE R7I7
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Vintage King French Horn Mouthpiece Model 7BW
Vintage King French Horn Mouthpiece Model 7BW
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DEMO CONN 7D DOUBLE FRENCH HORN W CASE AND HOLTON FARKAS MC MOUTHPIECE
DEMO CONN 7D DOUBLE FRENCH HORN W CASE AND HOLTON FARKAS MC MOUTHPIECE
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Estate Find French Horn With Case No Mouthpiece Rare Maker See Photos
Estate Find French Horn With Case No Mouthpiece Rare Maker See Photos
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French Horn Mouthpiece with Durable Stylish Copper Alloy Golden K3U6
French Horn Mouthpiece with Durable Stylish Copper Alloy Golden K3U6
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French Horn Mouthpiece with Durable Stylish Copper Alloy Silver E5Y8
French Horn Mouthpiece with Durable Stylish Copper Alloy Silver E5Y8
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1 PC Professional Plated French Horn Mouthpiece Metal Copper Alloy French A1T2
1 PC Professional Plated French Horn Mouthpiece Metal Copper Alloy French A1T2
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Yamaha YHR 314 Singe French Horn in F with Mouthpiece  Case Plays  Looks Good
Yamaha YHR 314 Singe French Horn in F with Mouthpiece Case Plays Looks Good
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Jupiter JHR 752 Single Bb French Horn As Is One Mouthpiece in Hard Case Taiwan
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JZ Double French Horn Anthem A 5000 Stencil Accent Soft Case and Mouthpiece
JZ Double French Horn Anthem A 5000 Stencil Accent Soft Case and Mouthpiece
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Double French horn 4 key with case and mouthpiece new
Double French horn 4 key with case and mouthpiece new
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CONN 8D FRENCH HORN WITH CASE AND MOUTH PIECE SILVER TONE
CONN 8D FRENCH HORN WITH CASE AND MOUTH PIECE SILVER TONE
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Top new blue Bb MINI French horn with Case mouthpiece
Top new blue Bb MINI French horn with Case mouthpiece
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WHY RENT GREAT  BEGINNER 3 4 SIZE FRENCH HORN LONDON BESSON CASE MOUTHPIECE
WHY RENT GREAT BEGINNER 3 4 SIZE FRENCH HORN LONDON BESSON CASE MOUTHPIECE
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VINTAGE SILVER HOLTON FARKAS MODEL MDC FRENCH HORN MOUTHPIECE
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Bassador French Horn With Good Mouth Piece  Nice Case Tested Good S3021x
Bassador French Horn With Good Mouth Piece Nice Case Tested Good S3021x
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Double French Horn 4 key with case and mouthpiece
Double French Horn 4 key with case and mouthpiece
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