Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Stage: Rico reeds

When the D'Addario company (string manufacturer) acquired Rico in 2004, they set out to change and improve the quality of reeds through new machines and technology. At their main website The Stage, a word search for "clarinet" pulls up over 70 videos and PDF files which cover an assortment of topics ranging from advice on playing the clarinet to reed preservation. The Rico company has many artists who endorse their products and can be seen in these videos. Bass clarinetists, particularly teachers and those new to the instrument, will thoroughly enjoy videos of J. Lawrie Bloom rendering advice on how to play, assemble, and choose reeds for the instrument. Many episodes of "Clarinet Secrets" by Michèle Gingras can also be accessed. For those interested in seeing the new process of reed production within the company, Rico has videos which show the entire process beginning at the cane fields in France to the finished product sold at the music store. This site is full of short and interesting materials that clarinetists of all levels will enjoy.

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