Bassoon Reed Care 101

Following these few simple, but important steps will drastically improve and extend the life of a bassoon reed.

  • Soak it properly.
    • Two to three minutes for a regularly-used reed.
    • Five to seven minutes may be necessary for a new or seldom-used reed.
    • Don't over-soak! Arundo donax is a porous plant and can soak up too much water!
    • Some bassoonists soak up to the first wire instead of full immersion. This is personal preference and you can experiment to see what works best for you.
  • Let it dry.
    • Once you've finished playing, use your thumb and forefinger to gently wipe the outside of the reed.
    • Use a reed case. Many manufacturers ship their reeds in plastic tubes. That kind of biosphere can result in mildew! Reed cases give the reed room to properly dry.
  • Flush it out.
    • Run your reed under a faucet to flush excess residue. Over time, a bassoon reed is naturally prone to residue build-up. This is very normal, and can even have a positive effect on the reed's response and sound. Too much residue will detract from a reed's playability and must be flushed periodically.
    • Your reed is delicate – water, air, and bocal are the only earthly elements that belong in your reed.
  • Let it rest.
    • Alternate between a few reliable reeds. This will extend the life of all of them. We use different colors to keep track of our reeds. Both our Standard and Professional models come in your choice of color!

And that's it! These self-evident truths will keep your reed up-and-running and playing beautifully. 

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