Breaking-In Reeds

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From Richard Sprecker:

"First off, when the new box is opened, for the first 2 weeks, I don't play on them, I just soak them for a couple minutes. After soaking, I gently squeeze the reed, removing moisture. Then I use the back of sandpaper, starting at the back of the reed and pushing forward, like I was sanding it. Always, back to tip. This makes the reed very smooth across the top.

After 2 weeks, I'll actually play on the reed, but only for about 5 minutes. When I find a problem area, I'll take it down with my reed knife, if it needs it. But, each time when I'm through playing on the reed, I squeeze the water and rub it with the paper. After a week or so of this, the reed settles, and doesn't change very much while playing. Then you can make subtle changes if you need to. The reed will settle out and, usually, becomes a really good reed."

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