The Importance of Storing Reeds Properly

Taking care of your reeds is a crucial part of playing any reed instrument, but is often a habit that is difficult for young students learn and take seriously.

Let’s face it, reeds are expensive! The fact is, the moment we take a reed out of the box and use it for the first time, it’s already on the road to a (quicker than we would want) death. The faster our reeds become unplayable, the quicker we have to shell out money to buy more.

What can we do to prolong its life?

Storage is one of the most important parts of Reed Maintenance. It’s also the easiest to do!

Why is storage so imperative? Well, if the reed is laying flat in a humidity controlled environment, it is less likely to warp and is also less likely to get any accidental chips.

Level I

I suggest students simply put their reeds back in the plastic holders they came in and then put them in a zip-lock bag or plastic Tupperware. This is maybe not the best system, but it is inexpensive and better than nothing. Be advised: this storage system can cause mold to grow since these containers are airtight especially in humid climates. I have never had this issue because I live in the desert.

Level II

If a student wants to look really professional and take the best care of their reeds, there are inexpensive as well as expensive reed cases that help control the moisture levels in the case while the reed is being stored. Some of these cases use humidity packs that you can purchase in cigar shops or some music shops, while some have built-in humidity control systems. I like this one from Woodwind Brasswind. It can also be found on Amazon – Rico Reed Vitalizer Case

As always, let me know if you have any questions and happy playing!