Flavored Clarinet Reeds – A Complete DIY Guide

A reed is a backbone for the clarinet. When you use the reed rightly, the instrument produces a harmonious tone. The raw reed is sometimes hard to use as clarinet players and does not taste good either. This is where the motivation to learn the instrument drops a bit. There’s a solution to it – flavored clarinet reeds.

Flavored clarinet reed contains a flavor made out of the following flavors – cherry, orange, mint, cinnamon, grapes, and other additives to enhance the taste. Flavored clarinet reeds allow players to enjoy using the reed and playing longer. You can either buy or make them yourself.

If you are a clarinet player, you need to try flavored clarinet reeds. In this article, I shall also tell you how I made a flavored reed so you can follow the same without spending anything extra.

Note: picture of normal unflavored reeds before flavoring them

Are Flavored Reeds Any Good?

Flavored reeds are good in terms of use, comfort, and mental satisfaction. According to Sweet Reeds, a manufacturer of flavored reeds, students demonstrate increased motivation levels to practice clarinet when they use flavored reeds.

Another reason for calling flavored reeds good is because it adds warmth to the instrument’s tone. When you play high notes with your clarinet, it can be hard to use reeds. If you are someone playing clarinet for long periods, you need to go for flavored reeds that can soothe your mind and keep you energetic.

How Long Do Flavored Reeds Last?

A naturally prepared flavored reed lasts for a session or two, while those from brands last as long as the lifespan of the reed itself.

As per Sweet Reeds, the flavor moves via the pores of the reeds. As a result, it stays longer, and when you don’t taste the flavor anymore, it also signifies the end of the lifespan of the reed.

As a professional clarinet player, I would prefer using flavored reeds for long practice sessions and advising them for beginners to use. Generally, beginners need to stay motivated to learn the instrument and practice it correctly. Playing the natural reed can be pretty exhaustive, and this is when a flavored reed does the magic.

Where To Buy Flavored Clarinet Reeds?

It takes time and effort to make our own reeds (you can see how further down the article). It is much easier to buy them.

It would be best to look out for reliable places to buy them in those instances. Based on my experiences with several stores, I should admit that there are some factors to look at when you buy these flavored reeds.

  • Ingredients – Several flavors contain additives and chemicals that can harm your lips.
  • Flavor – The choice of flavor is of utmost concern. When you choose a flavor that you don’t like, you are more likely to stop playing the clarinet.
  • Cost – You need to check if it is worth every dollar spent.
  • Duration – Using flavored reeds for short practice sessions is not recommended. You can practice with regular reeds for those sessions.
  • Instruments – If you plan to use the flavor for more than one woodwind instrument, you need to check its compatibility and then purchase accordingly.

Keeping these factors in mind, you can buy flavored clarinet reeds from one of the stores below.

1.       Flavoreeds

Think of flavored reeds, and this brand should certainly strike your mind. Flavoreeds is a manufacturer of flavored reeds for various woodwind instruments.

You have over ten flavors to choose from. The brand has a thorough knowledge of reeds used for instruments. As a result, the making process retains quality and safety.

2.       Sweet Reeds

Name a flavor, Sweet Reeds will have a clarinet need in that flavor. The brand is highly reliable as it is run by a woodwind instrument player who thoroughly knows the needs of students. The majority of flavored clarinet reeds available on the site can be used for other instruments like saxophone as well.

The prices are highly affordable for students and educators.

Can Flavored Reeds Harm Your Clarinet?

Flavored reeds need regular maintenance, so they don’t harm the instrument. Washing them after every practice and keeping them hygienic is essential.

Flavored reeds function the same way as other reeds. After using them, you need to clean the reed, so that the clarinet does not retain any smell. If you are purchasing flavored reeds from other marketplaces, you need to pay attention to directions for use. It is strongly recommended to buy from a well-known reliable producer of reeds to achieve value for money and long-lasting impacts.

Some flavored reeds can be of poor quality. During such instances, the instrument can be harmed.

How To Make A Flavored Clarinet Reed

The procedure to make a flavored clarinet reed is quite simple and easy to follow.

Materials needed.

  • Two bowls
  • Unflavored reeds
  • Herbs of your choice

How to make flavored clarinet reeds Tutorial:

  1. In a bowl, add herbs based on the flavor you want. If you wish for a basil-flavored reed, you need to add basil leaves to the bowl.
  2. Allow the leaves to soak in the bowl for about 2 hours.
  3. Smell the water to confirm if the flavor intensity is sufficient. If not, allow the leaves to soak for some more time.
  4. Transfer water from this bowl to a new one (just enough to soak the reed). Filter leaves.
  5. Unpack the reed and allow it to immerse in the bowl.
  6. After 30 minutes, take out the reed and test the intensity of the flavor. If it is not strong enough, soak it again.
  7. Take out the reed and place it on tissue paper to wipe the water off.
  8. Fix the reed to your clarinet and begin playing.

This Youtube video explains how in-depth

You can also try other flavors. For example, if you have access to an edible essence of orange or strawberry, you can add it to water and create a flavored reed. According to Bill Lewington Musical Instruments, there are several flavors to add to reeds, including grape, orange, pina colada, bubble gum, watermelon, mint green, cinnamon, raspberry, and strawberry.

Tabby Reviews and Ice ASMR has used rosemary leaves to prepare a flavored reed. A flavor that I like is mint. It tastes natural and does not have side effects.

The advantage of flavoring the reed naturally is that it is free from chemicals and safe for your mouth. Another advantage is that it doesn’t cost you a penny as you can source ingredients around you.

Let me also talk about the downside. The natural method does not last forever. Unlike commercial flavored clarinet reeds with long-lasting effects, the do-it-yourself (DIY) method has a short life span.

In fact, you can expect the essence to last for a couple of sessions, and you may have to try the method again.

Are Clarinet Reeds Edible?

Clarinet reeds are made of cane, and these are entirely safe. While they are not wholly edible, they don’t damage your body when consumed. However, several synthetic reeds are not edible and remain unsafe if consumed.


Flavored clarinet reeds are highly recommended for beginners to develop further interest in the instrument. The flavor gives more comfort and mental satisfaction. While you can flavor the reed at home, it is also available at several sites online.

When you use a flavored reed, ensure it does not have harmful chemicals and fragrances as these can damage the instrument and your lips. Use it only when you need it and not regularly.

Happy playing!

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