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Beginner How do I know a read is dead ? - Can they be revived


New Member
Related to the voodoo post but a slightly different thing. So I play vandoren blue 2.5's.
Ive slowly learnt that some reeds are just no good from the off and some of my reeds get choppy/split/wrinkled at the tip (ive murdered them). Some of my reeds seem to just got get a bit lifeless/flat sometimes after ive only been playing on them for an hour or 2 h are these goners or should I just put em away and see if they come back to life another time


Sax-Mad fiend!
Café Supporter
The Malverns, Worcs
I rarely have a reed that I can't play straight from the box. When they reach the end of their useful life, I tend to get odd squeeks occuring, and the sound is muted. If at this point I put on a new read, the difference in air pressure needed to play the instrument is quite significant.

I always have 2-4 reeds on the go and cycle through them. This means that is one reaches the end of its life, I can start breaking another one in during practice sessions, but still have some comfortably playable ones for performances.

I have a moisture control reed case for my alto reeds, but my bari reeds just live in their plastic case. I have to admit to not noticing a great deal of difference between the two. But at least my alto reeds are all kept together and I can easily cycle through them.


Well-Known Member
I also keep 3 - 4 on the go, also I write the date on the back and number them so I can rotate them daily. :thumb:

Two Voices

Senior Member
United Kingdom
I find that most student saxophonists can play all the reeds out of the box. However, the more accomplished you become as a player you might find that suddenly you can only play one or two out of a box of ten! The sign of an elitist! :confused::shocked::w00t:>:);}

Kidding aside; a box of ten is inconsistent but a reed that plays too softly can be firmed up just as a reed that’s too hard out of the box can be softened up. I’ve never had a reed yet that I couldn’t play.

I have 12 reeds on the go and alternate between them as keeps each reed in top condition. I tend to dispose of a reed after 6 weeks regardless of its playability to ensure I have top preforming reeds

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