Our Bassoon Reeds
Unlike your local music store, MMI carries mostly hand-made bassoon reeds, made by bassoonists that test and finish each one to their precise specifications. We select reed makers that provide a reed that we think is something our customers will enjoy playing on and will give good results to beginners and advanced players alike. Because selecting a reed from MMI is a bit more complicated than “soft,” “medium,” and “hard,” you can refer to this guide when making your first selection, or if you’re considering a different reed than the last time you ordered.
As always, feel free to call us and speak with a bassoon specialist about your needs, experience level, and preferences in a reed, and we can try to make a suggestion for you.
The Bree reeds are made by a professional bassoonist on the East coast. His reeds are square and slightly short in the blade and longer in the tube than some other reed styles. His reeds are responsive and vibrant and are easy to play on. We highly recommend these reeds for younger players, as they provide a satisfying response and sound. There are two resistance/strength levels available, Medium and Medium Hard. In general these reeds are quite light and free blowing, so even Medium Hard for this reed is still relatively easy to play on.
The C.M. reeds are made by a bassoonist in the Texas. They have a long blade and tube, with a somewhat narrow throat. These are very popular with many band directors for their gentle sound that blends well. They’re very even across the range of the bassoon. These only come in one strength.
These are the closest to the store bought reeds you might find at many stores, but they are more finely made. They are an inexpensive reed that will get a young student going with a good sound right away. They’re also good to have a consistent starting point if you are beginning to learn how to adjust your reeds. They come in three strengths, Medium Soft, Medium, and Medium Hard.
Made by a woodwind player in Canada, these reeds are a heavier scrape than most of our other offerings, with a pronounced spine, allowing a more advanced player a little room to tweak if necessary. Right “out of the box” they are a more resistant reed, on the Hard side of the spectrum and have a big sound with an outstanding high register. Very consistent from reed to reed. Definitely recommended for more advanced players, or for a someone with a teacher that can help adjust them.
These reeds are made here in Minneapolis by a local professional. They tend to be big and full sounding and require the player to use good air support. These are popular with players that have been playing wind instruments for a while and know how to control a reed with their air support and embouchure. We have many repeat buyers of this reed. These come in three strengths, Medium Soft, Medium, and Medium Hard. The resistance of these reeds is slightly higher than the Bree, making the Medium Soft about on par with the Bree reeds. High school and College level players like these very much.
These Italian (Danzi) style reeds (imported from Cypress) are very different in construction than our other offerings. They are wider than most American reeds and have a very full and rich sound. They do require significant air support, so we don’t usually suggest them for very beginning players, but they produce great results for more advanced players. The Soft strength is recommended if you haven’t tried these before. The Hard reeds give you some room to finish the reed to your liking. Even the Soft strength is quite heavy compared to most of our other reed offerings.
The Rieger reeds are made to the same precise specifications that the Rieger machines are made on. They are made on the Rieger #2 shape and are incredibly consistent from reed to reed. They play with a big sound right away, but you will probably need to adjust the first wire to get the tip opening just how you like it. They’re similar to the Merz Medium Hard reeds in terms of resistance, so we suggest these to players that have been playing for at least a year or two.
These reeds are also made by a Minneapolis bassoonist. They are a balanced American style reed with a very thin tip and an open throat. These are very responsive and even across the entire register including the very high register. They can be quite vibrant but are controllable with the player’s embouchure. Recommended for players of all levels.
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