All About Reeds

Austin Music Center has a large selection of reeds in stock to meet your musical needs. 


What does the number on the reed mean? 

The number indicates the strength and tone of the reed. A higher number indicates a stiffer reed and is more difficult to play due to the breath support and embouchure needed to produce the desired dark tone.

New players benefit from asking their teacher which strength to use.

Which reed is better-one made of natural cane or one made of synthetic materials? 

Natural cane reeds from a variety of regions are typically the preferred material because they produce a rich tone. However, they are effected by atmospheric conditions, for example humid versus dry air, unlike reeds made of synthetic materials. They are consistent regardless of weather conditions.

What is the purpose of the different parts of a reed? 

The size of the tip dictates the initial response. Thin tips create an immediate sound. Heavier reeds can handle more air.

The vamp is without bark. Longer vamps are more flexible and responsive while shorter vamps have more focus.

The heart determines the tone and color of the reed. A thinner heart produces a reedier quality than a thicker one.

Web Design
Brian Cannon
Felicia Cannon,

Austin Music Center 2016
Revised 2017

Thank you to our many loyal customers. We appreciate your continued business and  the new customers you send our way. Word-of-mouth is our best advertisor. 

Many thanks to the schools, school districts, houses of worship, teachers and extra curricular fine arts programs for your excellence, effort and dedication to introducing and cultivating  a love of and an appreciation for the fine arts. 

We are proud to be part of this community.