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How to always have a good reed in any situation?

You can make countless reeds but never have one that’s truly good for a great performance.

That’s why a smart way to always have a good reed is to organize and plan ahead. To do so, you should have a few reeds in your case.

Why?

1 – Influence of the weather
Temperature and humidity directly affect the reed. So, a reed that may work well on a pleasant autumn day may suddenly stop working well if the weather gets too cold and humid, or too hot and dry. It’s pointless to stick with that reed, which is why having other options makes sense.

2 – Usability
Playing with only one reed can make it “tired” and soaked. It’s important to alternate and give the reeds a “break.”

3 – Repertoire
A reed that may be good for playing Stravinsky may not be suitable for playing Mozart. Some reeds may have a harder sound, more volume, and not as much pianissimo or softness. That’s why it’s also important to evaluate the reed according to the repertoire you’ll be playing.

I suggest you work in the following way:

  • Try to have a case with 4 reeds (either by making them yourself or buying them).
  • Choose 2 reeds and work on them for a few days.
  • Make the necessary adjustments according to the repertoire you need to play at the moment (wires, tip opening, scraping, etc…)
  • Let the other 2 reeds rest.
  • The next day, alternate.

By doing this, you’ll make the reeds vibrate and make any necessary adjustments without overburdening them.