Reed position on mouthpiece

by Mike Willner


I'm really enjoying your site. I am studying the saxophone and am enjoying doubling on the clarinet. I'm not exactly clear on exactly where to place the reed on the mouthpiece. I don't spot that on the site, I could be overlooking it.

Can you either point me to where to find it, or give me your thoughts?

Mike Willner


Hello Mike,

You will find some information on Reeds at this link Clarinet Reed Adjustment.

I usually always start a reed in the dead center position keeping it symmetrical with the table of the mouthpiece and even with the tip of the mouthpiece (not higher or lower). I test the reed to see if it plays well in this position. Whether it plays well or not, I’ll start fooling around with the position, a tiny to the left – test it, a tiny to the right – test it, a tiny high – test it, a tiny low – test it. Usually, I can find the best place the reed will play at that time and date. I will then mark the reed with an arrow of left, straight, or right and I have certain marks for if the reed needs to be a little higher or lower than the mouthpiece tip.

All of this can vary depending on the life of the reed. Please read through the above link and let me know what you think. I’m by no means a reed expert like so many that make their own, but what is on that page shows how I pick and adjust commercial single reeds.



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