Légère Synthetic Bassoon Reed - a new review

I am so excited to see that my posts on the Légère bassoon reed are getting thousands of hits!

Not because I'm a bassoon narcissist (can such a thing even exist?) but because I believe deeply in these reeds.  I will share more about why I am promoting these reeds with such vigor but I want to immediately share the proof of how awesome these reeds sound, play, perform, and respond.

The Chinook Winds were invited to film an episode of 11th & Grant with Erik Funk, a Montana PBS show.  We spent 9 hours filming an episode meant to bring a live show into the homes of residents of Montana.  We filmed the Maslanka Quintet in 1 take.  By the end of the day, we weren't so...accurate.  It was an amazing experience and we are truly grateful to Erik Funk and team for inviting us to be a part of such an incredible experience.  Here is the episode and this is what a Légère reed sounds like:


Brief History of my experience with the Légère:

I purchased a Légère reed after Paul Hanson toured through Montana playing a Légère.  A group of Montana bassoonists got together and bought them from Miller Marketing.  You can read my earlier reviews by following the Légère tag.  I used a Legere reed exclusively for the 2014-2015 concert season.  Playing the reed in all elevations and climates, even toted it to the Baltimore Symphony audition though I didn't end up using it for that.  

I now have 3 Légère reeds including the very first one I purchased and have been playing on since June 2014.  Yes, it still plays!  I have purchased two more.  One which I am currently using and another one that is, in reality, probably many months from being used.  

The Légère bassoon reeds are very consistent and easy to adjust as needed.  

Video on adjusting here:  https://youtu.be/hjVIXakzpeg

Taking an entire season off from reed making was amazing and a much needed respite for me.  It also highlights one of the reasons I am such a huge advocate for these reeds.  I am constantly amazed at how often I meet adults who played bassoon in high school and college.  All of them share how much they love the instrument and how much they loved playing it.  They also share that, because they never learned/couldn't master reed making (and despised manufactured cane reeds), they were forced to give it up.

This always breaks my heart to hear!

Reed making, though a necessary right of passage for a professional bassoonist, should never be a barrier to a passionate amateur or hobbyist.  They are innumerable community based ensembles that always need a bassoonist and it's a tragedy to realize that something so tiny stands in the way of bringing dedicated bassoonists into these ensembles.

I spent a portion of last week auditioning/interviewing for a university position and played a portion of my recital on the Legere in order to demonstrate its abilities.  I was very purposeful in doing this because of what I understood about the program and the students in it.  There are many music programs across the country that have bassoonists with great talent and desire to play.  They will likely not go on to be full-time professional bassoonists but will endeavor to play while managing careers, families, church and community service, and the various demands of life.  For these students, I feel like, the best news I can give them is that the struggle of reeds doesn't have to be the "death-knell" of their time with bassoon.

The Légère reeds will provide countless hours of stress-free playing for bassoonists across the whole spectrum of amateur - professional playing!

For the 2015-16 season I am back to making and teaching reeds but having the Légère in my case has proven to be a powerful tool and an amazing Plan B - which I have used in rehearsals and performances as needed.  I will continue to make and play on cane reeds but I will always have a Légère as well!


Wanted to share the following correspondence regarding a Légère reed that I purchased and didn't like because of a change that was made to the manufacturing process - but then corrected.  Not only a great product but a great company with excellent customer service.  IMPORTANT TO NOTE IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A REED 

Greetings!  I wanted to contact you regarding the new style bassoon reed you are making.  I have been using the Legere bassoon reed since June 2014 and have absolutely loved it.  I have recommended it to my colleagues around the country who have since purchased them and students.  However, when Justin Miller sent me my latest Legere with the silver end and with the blades separated I was profoundly disappointed.  The reed does not vibrate!  It doesn't hold adjustment, it doesn't project with power, I can't lower the pitch, the sound is dead and very thud-y.  It functions like a read with weak corners.  I am writing to implore you to return to the previous style with the sides sealed the entire length of the blade.  If not possible, then please allow me to purchase whatever stock you may still have of the older style.  I have a few students ready to buy but I have told them to wait in hopes that you will either switch back or make the other style available in addition to the new style. I have been working with this new style for 6 weeks and simply cannot make it function for me in any setting: chamber music, symphony, teaching, solo work, not even just to practice on.

Please let me know your thoughts about this.

Many Thanks,
Elizabeth Crawford


They have the recently received reeds where the sides are now sealed and this is the only version that they have so rest assure this is the reed that you will receive. If you have any concerns or hesitation about the reeds performance you are more than welcome to contact Bocal Majority and they would be glad to discuss them with you.

Elizabeth, if you could please send your reed back to;
Légère Reeds Ltd.
121 Welham Rd.
Unit# 4
Barrie, ON
Canada L4N 8Y3

I would be happy to replace it for you. Can you please address it to my attention so that there is no delay as we don't typically offer an exchange on Bassoon reeds. If you could also include a short note (even a copy of this discussion) to refresh my memory when it arrives, as to why we are replacing the reed for you it would be greatly appreciated. Make sure to include a copy of your receipt and the address that you would like your replacement reed shipped to.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter. We hope to renew your appreciation for our reeds. Please keep me posted.

Kind Regards,

Julie Vardy


This is wonderful news to receive!  I will let all my students know they should forge ahead with purchasing.  I will send you the reed ASAP.  THANK YOU so much for your response and care in making this product.  Looking forward to many more years of Légère bassoon reeds.
Best wishes,
Hi Julie,

Wanted to thank you for the replacement reed - it plays great!  I also wanted to share with you that my quintet, The Chinook Winds, is being featured on a PBS show here in Montana:11th & Grant.  Our 60-minute episode premiers on Thursday January 28, 2016.  I filmed the entire episode using a Legere bassoon reed.  People often respond to my blog reviews and Facebook posts and the question I hear a most often is: what does it sound like?  I'm really excited that they will now have the chance to hear (and see) the reed in this context.  

You can watch a preview of our episode here:

After the episode airs, it will be available to stream on-line at any time.

Best wishes,

***IMPORTANT NOTICE: Our Exchange Policy process has been improved and was implemented on January 6th, 2016. You will still have the same great opportunities as before but the submission process will require you to secure an RMA# (Return Merchandise Authorization) prior to shipping us your reed. This RMA# will be obtainable through our website http://www.legere.com/exchanges.

Kind Regards,

Julie Vardy



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