The brand and quality of reeds is VERY important. We recommend Vandoren 2.5 or 3. Never Rico in the orange box, and I will explain why.
For example, today in class we were working on a high note passage with the 7th grade clarinet players. A student was on an inferior reed and just could not play the passage. I gave the student a Vandoren 2.5 and suddenly there was instant success! The reed the student was on before was just not allowing the notes to play. This happens over and over again with students who do not have the correct reeds.
*A NOTE FOR 6th GRADERS – 1 box of size 2’s in any brand is OKAY to start because they will go through them quickly in the first month learning how to assemble the mouthpiece and take care of the reeds. Anything after that 1st box should be Vandoren 2.5.
A better quality reed is a bit more expensive, but the improvement in playability, pitch, and tone is priceless. I highly recommend going online for them where prices are often cheaper. For example, http://www.amazon.com/Vandoren-CR1025-Clarinet-Traditional-Strength/dp/B0002E1OZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440716787&sr=8-1&keywords=vandoren+reeds+2.5.
If a student still has brands we don’t recommend, they can leave those at home and use them for practice or emergencies.
Teaching the students to care for these reeds is important so money is not wasted. Here are some tips that I share with the students at school:
Thanks so much for you attention to this matter! I appreciate everything you do for your musicians and hope these tips can help our reed players sound better and have more success!