FAQ & TIPS

What about Vandoren and ecology?

The preservation of our planet is a concern for Vandoren: the cane not used for making reeds is composted and used not only to heat the plant, but also fertilizer for cane beds.

The employees of the factory use electric vehicles to go to the plantations and to go from on point to the other within the factory. We only use recyclable, or already recycled carton for reed boxes. Reeds protectors are made of recyclable polypropylene.

We use a standard cellophane made off polypropylene. We keep an eye on the development of biodegradable cellophane and will change our cellophane as soon as we can use the recycling methods linked with it.

The reeds of your new packaging don’t seem to be better than those in the old packaging. Why even have the new packaging?

The reeds in Flow Packs don’t seem to be better to you because you’ve luckily never had to use reeds that have travelled in or have been stored in very bad conditions. In very hot and dry conditions in particular, reeds without protection can be damaged beyond repair. In general, the reed warps and can’t be played. The only way to play it again is to use, cautiously, a reed resurfacer.

We sell our reeds throughout the world and 70% of our products cover 5,000 Km before being purchased! Don’t forget that the longest part of a reed’s lifetime is before you play it.

The Flow Pack packaging is especially important in countries where the hygrometry varies strongly, such as Japan or Brazil, or in very hot and dry regions such as Texas or Arizona. It is a real improvement for musicians that live or perform in these climates because it considerably limits the warping of the reeds and thus preserves the original quality of the reed from the factory to the musician.

Furthermore, concerning the musicians who buy their reeds individually, (which is the case in many countries), the individual packaging is a little revolution in convenience!
We receive many positive feedback on the flow pack, especially from musicians who travel a lot or live in areas where the climate is extreme.

What is the best way to break in reeds?

Play-in new reeds: play them for a few minutes each day before normal use to break them in.

How to play with a reed too hard or too easy?

If a reed is too tight, scrape its table (flat part of the reed) on fine sandpaper, in light circular motions. If a reed is too easy, cut the end of the reed by the equivalent of only one hair, using a cutter.

Is it better to use water or your saliva to wet a reed?

It may be better to use water to wet the reed. Some people have a high acidity level in their saliva that can wear out the reeds more quickly. However, make sure not to leave the reed in the water for too long.

Was the cane better than it is today?

No. It is a plant, so a natural product with all the nuances that go with it.
Many experiments have been made to find a replacement material. If we had to produce only one sound, we could perhaps consider finding any synthetic material that would achieve a good sound. But you must have an immediate response on four octaves with adding the dynamic nuances and until now, we have not found better than the reed.

Usefuls tips

  • 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.
  • Prowling the reeds: play them for a few minutes a day for a while before adopting them.
  • Do not get used to a single reed. Stiffness loosens as the reed weakens. All the reeds then seem too strong.
  • Choose your reed to suit the place where you are :
    A softer reed in a resonant, dry, air-conditioned venue.
    A harder reed in an acoustically “dull” room, outdoors, or in a damp place.
  • A musician accustomed to playing with a Reed 3 1/2 will choose a Reed No. 3 if he plays in an air-conditioned room, or a reed No. 4 if he is to play in a very humid region close to Ecuador for example