Do not play on or adjust a dry reed, as it will 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 the reed in enough water to cover the cane for about two minutes. Doing so will moisten the cane, expand the fibers, and close the sides of the reed. We recommend using distilled water which does not contain chlorine and sediment. Soak your reed in a small container that is deep enough for the reed. We offer a soaker cup (see them here) that attaches to either a folding or traditional music stand. After the reed is soaked, blow through the cork end to remove any excess water, and place the reed into the oboe receiver.
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 fibers of the cane. Set the rinsed reed in a safe place and let it dry while you swab out your oboe. Finally, place the reed in your reed case of choice. To allow your reed to dry out, your case should have ventilation holes. Our experience shows that following these recommended steps will prolong the life of the reed up to four times longer than reeds soaked in the mouth or stored in manufactured packaging.
Watch our oboe quick tips videos for hints on helping your reed play its best!
If you have any other questions about our reeds, please do not hesitate to contact us.