Some tips from Vandoren :
• It is important not to consistently play on a reed which is too hard or too soft. This will limit the capabilities of the mouthpiece you have chosen.
• Play-in new reeds: play them for a few minutes each day before normal use to break them in.
• Reed Rotation: Do not get used to one “good reed.” It will become progressively weaker and so will your lip muscles! All subsequently used reeds of the same strength will seem too hard.
• Choose your reed to suit the place where you’re playing: a softer reed in a resonant, dry, air-conditioned venue, a harder reed in an acoustically “dull” room, out of doors, or in a damp place.
The most widely played reeds in the world with a superiority proven over the years, these reeds suit all styles of music.
Traditionals are known for their excellent response in all registers, allowing a pianissimo attack in even the highest notes.
They are also extremely flexible, allowing the legato or staccato execution of large intervals while maintaining a richness of tone that gives body and clarity to the sound, which is a hallmark of Vandoren reeds.
Clarinet V•12 Vandoren reeds have a thicker heel and are cut on a longer palette with a slightly thicker tip than the Traditional. The longer palette means that more of the reed is vibrating, resulting in a deeper, richer sound. The thicker tip gives body to the attack and also increases the longevity of the reed.
The introduction of the 31⁄2+ strength allows a smaller and more specific gradation, resulting in reeds that are more consistent within the same strength.
The V•12 line also included the Eb and Bass clarinet reeds, which offer a warm, rich and powerful sound.
Strentgh reeds series comparison chart.
56 rue Lepic
Designed from thicker cane with a heel taper very similar to German-style reeds, the 56 emits a rich, centered, and extremely pure sound while providing maximum stability and quick response in all registers.
Strength gradations are smaller and more specific, resulting in reeds that are very consistent.
The V21 reed combines the conical shape of a 56 rue Lepic reed with a V•12 profile.
This unique combination makes all registers of the clarinet more accessible with warmth and a depth of sound. It will allow you to play with amazing presence and immediate response.
V21 is the perfect reed for performances that require the ability to handle large interval leaps efficiently with an even and rich tone.
If you are not playing with Vandoren reeds, here is a general reed comparison chart