Whether your sax of choice is the tenor, alto, soprano, bass or baritone, you can't overlook the important role that the reed plays in your performance. Of course, today's top reed manufacturers are well aware of this; companies like Rico, Vandoren, Rigotti and countless others design saxophone reeds with meticulous attention to detail. On today's music market, you'll find more than enough high-quality saxophone reeds in sets of 3, 10 and 25. In fact, you don't need to look any further than this catalog for a wide range of sax reeds in strengths of 1 to 5 (soft to hard).
Speaking of strengths, you'll definitely need to take them into consideration before choosing a saxophone reed. Generally, reeds on the softer side of the spectrum deliver a bright sound while harder reeds produce a darker sound and higher resistance. You'll also want a saxophone reed that suits your embouchure and lip shape. Since everyone has different physical traits and playing styles, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to reed strength. With that being said, most beginners opt for softer reeds because they are easier to play.
With so many saxophone reeds to look at, you might want to consider narrowing down your options by sax type. For alto saxophonists, check out a top-rated pack like the Vandoren Alto Saxophone Reeds; they produce an extremely pure sound courtesy of a thin tip that's balanced with more cane in the area that climbs to the heel. Tenor saxophonists have plenty of popular choices too, including the Rigotti Gold Tenor Saxophone Reeds. A best seller, these reeds are hand-picked and precisely cut to ensure their consistency and top-notch playability. As for all you soprano sax extraordinaires, you can't go wrong with the D'Addario Woodwinds Select Jazz Filed Soprano Saxophone Reeds. Featuring a thick spine and blank, these reeds offer incredible projection and focus.
Honestly, we could go on forever talking about the remarkable saxophone reed sets here, but your best bet is to jump in and see them for yourself. Even baritone and bass saxophonists can browse top-selling packs from the likes of Alexander Reeds, Harry Hartmann and Marca. And remember, all of these brands put a great deal of time and effort into the creation of their saxophone reeds, so you can expect a high level of craftsmanship no matter what you choose.