"About the most
radical development in bassoon reed technology that I'm aware of in the last
Top symphonic and jazz musicians have been using the
Légère single reeds for more than a decade. From the principals
of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, to jazz greats like Gerald
Albright and Hamiet Bliuett, our reeds have been tested at the highest possible
Now this same quality is available in a Bassoon
Like our single reeds,
Légère bassoon reeds have all the depth and warmth that elite
players demand. Because they are made from our specially prepared synthetic
material, the deliver all the advantages of a traditional Légère
reed: consistency, durability and an instant response.
Légère reeds are made from polypropylene, which is
approved by the FDA for use in direct food contact applications, so our reeds
are completely safe to use. For more information, see our
bassoon reeds are cut from our own unique polymer on 3-axis, computer
controlled precision cutting machines. We can also measure our reeds with
extreme precision using computer controlled equipment, and this allows us to
maintain very tight quality control.
The reeds are cut in halves using
our own customized profiles which are based on a mathematical description of a
reed profile rather than a model or prototype. The halves are then bonded
together again using a digitally controlled system. The result is a reed which
is perfectly balanced in both blades, and has just the right combination of tip
thickness, heart, and flexibility.
|Hello - this is Paul
Hanson, bassoonist with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Cirque Du Soleil ZED,
DAVKA, Peter Erskine, Steve Erquiaga, Dennis Chambers, Oakland EastBay
Symphony, The Klezmorim, Billy Childs, Tracy Silverman and many
Recently I was given an opportunity to try Legere's new bassoon
reed prototype. I was expecting it to sound like an electric kazoo. When I
tried it-I was blown away by how musical, warm, dynamic the reed sounded. I was
and still am amazed. Not only does it play like one of the best cane reeds ever
but it STAYS THE SAME for MONTHS! It doesn't change after a 4-hour intense gig.
It doesn't change in dry or wet, cold or hot weather. I CAN DEPEND on this reed
to deliver exactly what I want it to. The dynamics of this reed are second to
none. What a fabulous idea; for people who just like to play and not spend half
their lives profiling cane and watching it dry - the Legere bassoon
About the most radical development in bassoon reed technology
that I'm aware of in the last 100 years.
Sincerely, Paul Hanson
|Instructions for Playing the Légère Synthetic Bassoon
|1. Basically the reed
is what it is! Currently, we are producing reeds with a tip width of 16 mm in
soft and medium strengths. Do not try to work the blades with your knife. You
will only dull your knife. The polymer is about half the thickness of cane, is
very brittle, and has its own "grain". The only adjustment possible is to the
aperture. You may close the aperture by gently squeezing the blades together
about 15 mm from the tip edge. You may also open the aperture slightly by
gently squeezing on the sides with your fingers about 15 mm from the tip edge.
Do NOT use strong force or pliers because the reed will crack.
sides have been sealed from the butt to the tip edge and it is important not to
break that seal.
3. If you wish to make the reed harder, you will need
to OPEN the aperture. Place the reed in hot water (approximately 90 Centigrade/
194 Fahrenheit ) for 30 seconds. Remove with tweezers, insert a plaque and
place in cold water for a minute. Be careful not to jam the plaque in so as to
unseal the sides. You can also tie a string onto the reed to make it easy to
remove from the hot water. If you heat the water in the microwave above the
boiling point it can flash boil when the reed is inserted. This phenomenon is
called super heating. To avoid this, stir the water gently with a fork before
inserting the reed. WARNING: opening the aperture will allow more air but may
also cause the 1 finger e to fall. (See #4)
4. If the 1 finger e falls,
you may close the aperture slightly. If you need to have more stability, you
may also clip the tip back as you would on cane reeds.
5. If you wish to
make the reed softer, you will need to CLOSE the aperture. Place the reed in
hot water (approximately 90 Centigrade/ 194 Fahrenheit ) for 30 seconds. Remove
the reed with tweezers and immediately close the tip edge by squeezing the
blades with your thumb and fore finger. You may also use a clamp but clamps
tend to close the aperture too much necessitating the partial insertion of a
metal plaque to re-open the aperture slightly while the reed is still warm. You
can also tie a string onto the reed to make it easy to remove from the hot
water. If you heat the water in the microwave above the boiling point it can
flash boil when the reed is inserted. This phenomenon is called super heating.
To avoid this, stir the water gently with a fork before inserting the
6. If you have a thick walled bocal and the reed will not fit, you
may ream the reed the way you would ream a cane reed. However, be careful to
remove the debris from inside the tube with a rat-tail file.
7. After a
period of playing (usually around 15 to 20 hours), you may notice an
accumulation of debris on the inside of the blades of the reed often
accompanied by a slight discoloration. This debris will actually dampen the
vibrations of the reed, making it a bit "stuffier", and therefore should be
removed without breaking the seal on the sides. (See Caring for your reed
|Caring For the Légère Synthetic Bassoon
synthetic bassoon reeds are rugged and should last for many hours of playing.
However, the tip edges are fragile and the reed can split or break if one tries
to manipulate the aperture by squeezing the tube as one would a cane reed. (See
Instructions for Playing the Légère Synthetic Bassoon Reed above)
One of the best features of a Légère reed is that it does
not need to be moistened prior to playing, and it is not subject to weather and
humidity differences. It will warm up over the first few minutes, and should
then be stable for an extended period.
The reeds should be cleaned
periodically with water and a mild detergent. Germicides such as Sterisol can
be used to clean the reeds, but you should not assume that such products will
sterilize them. You can also pull a soft pipe cleaner from the butt through the
aperture to remove debris. Be careful, however, NOT to break the seal on the
sides of the reed. We advise against sharing reeds or using reeds that have
been tested or played by others unless the reeds have been sanitized.
With proper care and maintenance, your Légère reed should provide
you with many hours of playing pleasure. Many players report that our reeds can
last for months.