Musson Bassoon Reeds are adjusted to be ready to play. Just dip each reed blade in water, take out and wait 2-3 minutes before playing.
Your reeds will sound better and last longer if you “blow them in” as follows:
On the first day, play a reed for a maximum of 10 minutes, then leave it out to dry off in the air. Reeds undergoing the blowing in process should be left out in the air of the room to dry out completely between sessions and not be put away in a box or reed case. Gradually increase the daily playing time up to one hour over the next 1 to 2 weeks.. During this “blowing in” period, the reed will start to feel more resistant but do not make any adjustments at this stage. After many hours of playing, this resistance will begin to decrease again, indicating the reed is now “blown in” and will remain stable for a long time.
If you prefer an open, more resistant reed, open the blades very slightly by squeezing the first wire (the one nearest the blade) from the sides with long nosed pliers. Conversely, if you find the reed too resistant, the blades may be closed by squeezing the first wire from top to bottom. Always damp the reed first and make only the very slightest wire adjustments until you achieve the desired effect.
Remember that temperature, extremes of dryness and humidity and even altitude can affect both reeds and bassoons. Some adjustments may be needed to compensate for these factors.
Don’t over soak reeds before playing. A quick dip in clean water is adequate. All reeds will last longer if taken out of your reed case at home after a day’s playing and left to dry completely overnight.
Paul Globus, a professional clarinettist from Montreal, Canada, offered the following tips in a Reeds Australia newsletter:
“My tips, none of which are revolutionary, come from over 40 years of playing and dealing with reeds: