How To Prevent Reed Warping


For single reed instruments, reeds are one of the most important components of your instrument. It will influence everything – how easy it is to play, how much fun it is to play, what kind of sound you will get, and how much tone and richness you will produce. With all that in mind, it makes sense that musicians need to take good care of their reeds. In this guide and the video above, we will go through a quick guide on how to keep your reed from warping. Be sure to check back next week for a video on how to fix your reed once it has warped!

Humidity Is #1

Humidity will keep your reed from warping (kind of). That’s really it. Keeping your reed at the right humidity level (between 70 and 75%) will make your reed last longer, and produce a good sound during its life. Keeping your reed at the correct humidity level, however, is another story. Thankfully, smart people have already thought of that, and we have their solutions!

How Can My Reed Warp?

Before we get into the solutions, though, let’s talk about the problems that they are going to solve. When your reed gets too dry, it can warp one of two ways. It will either warp outward, making an oval instead of a rectangle – ( ) instead of | |. Alternatively, it can warp in one direction, looking like this: ( (.

When either of these warps occur, it can cause a variety of problems, including back pressure, squeaking, and more. Fixing it is possible, but requires training and a skilled hand, so it’s better to take preventative measures before you need to delve into the world of fixing them.

How Do I Prevent It From Happening?

To prevent your reed from warping, like we’ve talked about, all it takes is humidity. We recommend either a reed case that will seal and protect your reeds, or a humidity pack you can put in a sealed Tupperware container with your reeds.

Reed Humidity Case

Reed Humidifier Pack

The benefit of the case is that it has a small profile, and is made exactly for this purpose. If you’re someone with a lot of reeds, it is almost certainly worth it to invest in the case. You will never have to worry about it accidentally not sealing and ruining your reeds, as the latch prevents that. If the price tag for the case is a little high right now, start with a Tupperware container and a humidity pack, a cheaper, but bulkier option that, as long as you keep your container sealed, will work just fine.

Remember also that using reeds is a destructive process, meaning that the reeds will not last forever. As you play with them, they will eventually wear out, but these tips can extend their lifespan 2-5x as long as letting them dry out would.


All you need to remember is that humidity is #1. Keep your reeds between 70-75% humidity and they will give you a long, happy, and a beautiful sounding reed life. If you need some recommendations on what reed to choose, check out our guide on How To Find Your Reed Size! Check back next week for a guide on how to fix your reeds once they’ve warped, and we’ll see you then!

%d bloggers like this: