can polish the upper side of a reed. This will
prevent saliva from penetrating too rapidly, thus
degrading the reed. Put the reed on a flat surface
and seal the cut surface by rubbing it with, for
instance, the back of a teaspoon. Move towards
the tip! Just as long until the upper side is
hard and smooth.
is better to moisten the reed by putting it in
a glass of water than to suck on it.Wipe the reed
very clean and rinse it with water when you have
could also scrape it clean, but with care. Best
is to leave the reed overnight in a solution of
3% hydrogen peroxide, not forgetting to rinse
it with water afterwards.
often bend. Don’t worry! It only means the moisture
is not evenly spread. It will regain its original
is to keep the reeds you use in a reed holder.
It has to be clamped on a flat piece of plastic
even though you have taken good care of the reed,
it will eventually become soft and spiritless.
The only thing left is to cut the edge. This is
however only a temporary remedy.
order to cut the reed it has to be very wet. Cut
small pieces at a time and test it. Ultimately,
you can’t cut off more than one and a half of
a millimeter. If necessary you can file the round
tip edge to fit the tip of the mouthpiece. (File
with a nail file from the outside inwards.)
can you do with reeds that don’t play satisfactory?
Try out the reed for a while (so play it in) because
the character of the reed changes,
specially when it’s new. Usually it becomes more
flexible after some time.
it stays capricious it is often out of balance.
There are some stiff parts in the reed or the
reed is stiff on one side. Sometimes you can see
this by holding it up against the light. You can
also hear it when you blow alternately the left-
and right side of your mouthpiece. With sandpaper
you can sometimes correct the stiff places, but
this is an art by itself! Best is to use Dutch
Rush. You will get the most effect by sandpapering
the sides of the reed at about a half to one and
a half centimeters from the tip. Always work towards
the tip. It is better to leave the thin front
piece of the tip alone. It is also better to leave
the hart (the V-form) of the tip alone; this is
the backbone of the reed. Only when the reed is
too strong for you, you can, very carefully, take
are also plastic an fiber reeds; these have a
constant quality and have a prolonged life. Plastic
reeds commonly sound loud and raw. A fiber reed
sounds less attractive than a cane one.