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 Oboe Reed Care Instructions 

Oboe reeds can be tricky to figure out, at first. However, with these tips you can have durable and long lasting reeds in no time!  See the following information to learn how to properly care for your oboe reeds.


Reed Care

  • Always brush your teeth before playing your instrument. Food and dental plaque can clog up reeds and make your key pads sticky, too. 

  • After use, if possible, quickly rinse off the cane of your reed and allow it to dry before securing it in your reed case. This will help remove any skin cells and food particles that may have collected while playing .

  • Keep your reeds safe. Always store reeds in a case to hold reeds securely in place. 

  • Soak your reeds. Soaking your reeds in fresh water will assist in the longevity of your reeds. Soak reeds in FRESH water for approximately two to three minutes. Do not use saliva. Saliva contains enzymes that will break down reed fibers over time. Soak only the cane-part of the reed, not the thread or cork. Please note- reeds soaked longer than five minutes will become over-soaked and will result in difficulties playing your instrument. 


  • Cracked reed. Very small cracks in the tip of a reed will usually be adequate to play on.  However, if the crack extends beyond one millimeter and you are experiencing one or more of the following, then it is time to purchase a new reed:





  •  Jagged or tattered reed. If the tip of your reed is jagged or tattered, it is time to purchase a new reed.

  • No sound or very little sound. If the reed looks okay, but does not make any (or very little) sound when you blow through it, you may need to replace your reed. However, before replacing, try the following tips:









After trying all three tips, if the reed still does not work, it is time to replace your reed with a new one.

Replace Your Reed When the Following Occurs 

-Soak an extra three minutes in WARM water

-Run water through the reed to clean-out all debris

-Take a very small pipe cleaner, and starting at the bottom of the tube, pull through the top of a well-soaked reed to clean-out any accumulation of debris       

-difficulties articulating notes
-sudden flatness
-unstable pitches

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