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Do you ever feel frustrated when you purchase new reeds and they don’t sound good right away? This is a pretty common issue that we have as bassoonists, but fortunately there are some things we can do to make new reeds feel and sound good to play.

Every time you get a new reed, you should have a process for breaking it in slowly. It takes time (a few days or even weeks) for a reed to start feeling good to play. Even if you are buying high quality reeds made by a professional bassoonist (which I highly recommend!), you may still need to make some small adjustments to the reed even after you’ve broken it in.

Does making reed adjustments make you a little bit nervous? Don’t worry! You only need a few simple tools that you probably already have around the house, and learning to use these tools on your reeds is a very simple process.

In the following video, I teach you:

  • How to properly break in a new reed
  • How to evaluate if your reed needs adjustments
  • How to adjust the wires on your reeds to change the resistance
  • How to use sandpaper to lighten your reed tip for better response

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