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Do not try playing on or adjusting a dry reed because it can lead to cracking. Reeds that are subjected to unusual stress—dropping, unnecessary squeezing on the sides, bending of the tip, or scraping against clothing—are destined to have a short life.
Soak an entire brand-new reed for five minutes in warm water. Do this for the first five times after the initial purchase. After this, soak the entire reed for about two minutes before putting it on the bocal. We recommend using distilled water which does not contain chlorine and sediment.
Always turn the reed into place on the bocal; never force it on straight – this can damage the inside of the reed’s tube. Soak your reed in a small container that is deep enough for the reed. We offer a soaker cup (see therm here) that attaches to either a wire or a traditional music stand. When soaked, turn the reed onto the end of the bocal. When finished playing, rinse the reed with fresh water and blow out any excess water you can.
This will help keep saliva from breaking down the cane fibers. Set the rinsed reed in a safe place and let it dry while cleaning out your bassoon. Finally, place the reed in your reed case of choice. To allow your reed to dry out, your case should have ventilation holes. Rinsed and dried reeds can last up to four times longer than reeds which are left to mold in an airtight container.
Using a reed case (not the packaging your reed came in), will help prolong the life of a reed. Reed cases provide a place for the reeds to completely dry out between uses. A case also protects the reeds from any of the unusual stress listed above.
Watch our bassoon quick tips videos for hints on helping your reed play its best!
If you have any other questions about our reeds, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Bassoon Reed Care