Cane Vs Synthetic Clarinet Reeds

Can you tell the difference between a cane clarinet reed and a synthetic clarinet reed? Cane reeds are made from Arundo donax, a tall perennial cane that grows in damp soils, while synthetic reeds are made of man-made materials that imitate the quality and playability of a cane reed. For many listeners, it’s difficult to tell the difference between cane and synthetic. Whether an artist chooses to play cane reeds or synthetic reeds is purely a personal preference. No matter which you prefer to play, Woodwind & Brasswind carries a huge selection of cane clarinet reeds from D’Addario, Rico, Vandoren, Zonda and more, plus synthetic clarinet reeds from Legere, Fibracell, Forestone and more.

There are pros and cons for both cane and synthetic clarinet reeds. Cane reeds generally provide a warmer sound, the response is even through all registers and the player has a lot of control over the sound. But since cane reeds are made of plant materials, each reed is unique and a box of reeds might provide a few great ones and a few not-so-great ones. Synthetic reeds are consistent, generally last much longer than a cane reed and do not react to temperature and humidity. However, some clarinet players may think that synthetic reeds offer less control over their sound. Our advice? Try out many different types and brands of clarinet reeds and use what you think makes you sound best!

Browse all cane clarinet reeds and synthetic clarinet reeds at With our new low prices on most clarinet reeds, you’re sure to find the right one for you!

Leave your guess for which one is cane and which one is synthetic in the comments section!


zebra3stripes says:

Something tells me this guy prefers wood.

Lol Lol says:

First is plastic

dan ricci says:

The red shirt was synthetic. Blue shirt had cane but was a poor quality reed.

Chrispy J. says:

The right was the synthetic. At 0:40 you can see the reed slightly

Wolfmaus13 says:

i think the red one is the synthetic reed. and the name of the piece is ‘lord of the dance’

trevinia turner says:

the red was synthetic

Nick Drake says:

This guy looks like an actor on Sesame Street or even better. Like the guy at my job when he was high and barley did any work!?

Booty Messiah says:

Anybody able to tell me the name of the piece this excerpt is from?

Stefan Sigfinnsson says:

Second one was synthetic reed because it lacks the overtones that a cane reed has. I also heard it right away when I listen to the test clips of opening of Brahms 2nd sonata and staccato.

MosesGamer says:

It would be nice if you told us which one it was

Musix4me says:

The second rendition (red) had the more pleasant tone.  Now, whether that was due to the player or other conditions, I cannot guess.  The first one (blue) had the classic, “He wasn’t ready” sound on the first notes.

metamurph says:

why did you keep playing the stupid backing track the whole time? that fully messes with how harmonics appear

Paolo Tramannoni says:

I don’t know, but the left one sounds better.

mmfsonb says:

no difference

Bill Campbell says:

the ONLY good reed is Legere Signature series…The rest are mediocre at best and the signature reeds are really great,  sound, intonation, response and last forever.

ClarinetAddict says:

Well I wish they would have given us the answer at the end >.<

Sergio Domínguez Gallardo says:
David Arancibia says:

Black people are gays too?!

slavin smoke says:

The second one sounded completely different

John Smith says:

this guy is trash. he barely make it to the Clarion rejistre


Both sounded good to me…..unless your some pureist or an over analytical prude that critiques people on what they use, it probably is not a hugely noticable difference for us music lovers.

MeriMorMick says:

Which was which? I liked the red shirt.

Sheridan Burns says:

Second one is plastic is my guess.

franky Hernandez says:

First one is probably wood/cane reed

Sergio Domínguez Gallardo says:

I think the red guy was playing with the syntetic, ’cause it sounds cleaner

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