Are You Ready to Go Synthetic?
Légère Reeds LTD, has become one of the most popular synthetic reeds on the market nowadays.
More and more saxophonists have made the switch to Légère due to the many common problems and inconsistencies they have faced while dealing with traditional cane reeds. I have tried various Forestone and FiberReed and few other synthetic reed brands in the past but have actually not had the chance to test the Légère Signature Series reeds so far. I will be providing a product overview on the Légère Signature Series reeds for all type of saxophones as well as my overall thoughts.
Many players who play Légère, tend to prefer the Signature Series reeds, which produce a warm and rich tone across all registers. The Signature Series reeds are made from a stiffer material and are cut thinner than the Classic reeds. “These attributes make the Signature Series reeds more flexible across the tip which results in a full spectrum of overtones and a beautiful sound with minimal effort.” Regardless of which cut you choose, you will always receive the same Légère quality and the durability that Légère has come to be known for. All Légère reeds are offered also in quarter strengths and are available for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone.
Légère Signature Series – What I noticed!!!
Tenor & Alto & Soprano & Bariton: I typically play between a 2.5 to 3.5 strength cane reed across various brands (Vandoren, D’Addario, Gonzales etc.). I found when test playing the 2, 2.1/4, 2.5, 2.3/4, and 3 strength Légère Signature Series reeds, that number 2 strength played the best with jazz mouthpieces on tenor Vandoren T35 or Jody Jazz Giant (8 and 7), number 3 and 3,5 reeds played best with Classical mouthpieces like Selmer S90/180, SelmerSD20, Selmer Conceptand on tenor. For classical alto saxophone mouthpieces like Vandoren AL 3, AL4 and Selmer Concept was best number 3 or 3,5 strength and Selmer S90/180 number 3,5 strength and Jody jazz HR 8* with number 3 strentgh.
In terms of responsiveness, I found Légère Signature Series reeds were very free-blowing from top to bottom and incredibly easy to play in the altissimo register even more, that I have found on traditional cane reeds. Sonically, I liked the sound of the Légère Signature Series reeds played a little bit brighter in the low, mid and high register compared to my traditional cane reeds!!! And the sound was more spread rather than focused and although the Légère Signature Series reeds sounded very close to traditional cane, there were various timbres and high overtones on my sound throughout all register that were not as present compared to traditional cane – and I did like it! The Légère Signature Series reeds did not feel like cane when first playing, but after playing for a few minutes, it felt comfortable on all 4 different type of saxophones.
I highly recommend trying synthetic reeds in general even if traditional cane is your preference because it’s valuable to understand how these reeds play in comparison. When testing the Légère Signature Series reeds, I strongly recommend that you play one for a whole practice session and over a few days so you can make a decision whether the synthetic reeds work for you or if traditional cane is still your preference. Personally, I am not a traditional cane purists, I PREFER NOW Légère Signature Series reeds amongst other synthetic reeds being offered on the market nowadays. I would still recommend TRYING out various synthetic reeds BUT in case of an emergency, this reed will save you.
What is your experience with Légère and other synthetic reeds?
How to choose the strength of a plastic reed?
Légère Reeds have the same strength value as you were using the canned or wooden reeds. But you have a variety of quarters and threequarters! Which are always close to: Canned to corresponds to Legere 2 and 2 quarters. Canned 2,5 corresponds Legere 2,5 and 2 treequarters.