Select Page

The reed should be made with great calmness and patience. You can try to make reeds very quickly, but the problem is that they will change too much and usually don’t last long. It’s too aggressive for the reed to do everything at once. The reed needs time to adjust to the various adjustments it undergoes in the scraping process, tip opening adjustments, climate changes, etc.

In my own experience, I noticed that the best reeds I made in general were made slowly, with patience.

So, my recommendation for you is:

  • On the first day, just form the reed blank.
  • Let it dry for at least 24 hours on the mandrel,
  • and the next day, adjust the wires and add the thread.
  • On the following day, cut the tip and do an initial scraping. Scrape until it reaches a playable point, but with good sound, volume, and intonation. Don’t care too much about very soft dynamics, or attacks in this phase.
  • The finishing details of the tip and sanding should be done in the following days.


I’ve always heard that Eberhard Marschall (he was the principal bassoon at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for many years) made reeds very slowly. It took him about 3 weeks. One day he would scrape off a tiny bit, then make some more small adjustments. And so on, as far as I know, for 3-4 weeks… Maybe this previous example is a bit exaggerated, but taking your time to make the reed ensures consistent results, without having to make dozens of reeds and getting stressed out. I believe that 1 week is an excellent timeframe to have the reed truly ready to play.

The reed should have a great appearance. Make sure that the design of your reed is as perfect as possible. Analyze your reed from various aspects such as symmetry, overall size, etc.

Reed Care
Always keep the reed clean and dry. After playing, wash it under running water and keep the reed clean. Dry it thoroughly before storing it in the case to prevent the reed from rotting. This habit will make your reeds last longer and maintain higher quality.