One of the most frustrating things about playing a woodwind instrument is the eternal search for a consistently good reed! Regardless of brand or strength, the following is a guide on how to prepare your reeds for clarinet and saxophone to get the most out of them.
1. On a flat, hard surface, rub the flat side of your reed in a circular motion several times over a plain
piece of paper. This makes sure the reed is perfectly flat and any rough imperfections have been
2. Soak your reed in a glass of room temperature water for roughly 5 minutes. It is important that the
reed is submerged up to the vamp of the reed at least.
3. Wipe off any excess moisture from the reed and place on a flat surface (preferably glass) and with
your thumb, gently stroke forward the reed from the vamp to the tip. This makes sure the reed fibres
are even and facing the same direction.
4. Now play the reed for 5 to 10 minutes no louder than mezzo piano (mp). Avoid high notes or any
kind of forceful playing.
5. Remove any excess moisture from the reed and place in a reed case (preferably one with a glass
6. The next day, play reed as per usual!
Using this process, you should find that you get more good reeds per box and that they play more consistently and last longer.
We hope this is of use and gets you more out of your reeds!