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  • Choose reeds that are appropriate for your mouthpiece and blowing pressure.
  • Soak your reeds in water. The enzymes and acids in saliva are detrimental to the cane.
  • Don’t try too many reeds at one time.  Your lip will desensitize and you will not get an accurate impression of the reeds.
  • Break in new reeds slowly. Play them for a few minutes each day.  Playing on a new reed for too long before it has been broken in properly will shorten its useful life.
  • Avoid playing excessively in the altissimo register on a reed that is not broken in. Allow the reed to “set” first.
  • Rinse reeds in water when you are finished playing on them.
  • Dry reeds with a clean, soft cloth before putting them away.
  • Store reeds on glass. This will help to prevent warping.
  • Always have several playable reeds ready to go.
  • Keep an ample supply of unopened boxes of reeds on hand.  You never know when you might need them!
  • Work regularly on reeds for the best results.  Make it part of your weekly routine.
  • The best way to learn how to adjust reeds is through trial and error.  Work on all of the apparent “unusable” reeds in every box. See if you can make them more playable.
  • Invest in the proper tools for reed adjustment. This is a minimal monetary investment that will reap you large rewards.