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How to use a pipe cleaner to open your reed

Last week I showed you how to use a pipe cleaner to clean your reed and this week it’s time to learn how to use a pipe cleaner to open your reed.

How to use a pipe cleaner to help keep the tip open

If your reed is old, and the opening keeps collapsing on you, you can temporarily prop the opening open with a pipe cleaner. This can be helpful if you have a hard time getting dynamic contrast, or sudden difficulty getting low notes to speak.

WARNING: Never remove a pipe cleaner from a dry reed. It can severely damage your reed. NEVER pull the pipe cleaner out through the cork.

  1. After you’re done playing, suck any excess moisture out of the reed.

  2. Select a straight, clean pipe-cleaner that will fit inside your reed and inside your case. You may need to cut it shorter.

  3. Gently insert the pipe cleaner into your reed, starting at the cork end. Don’t push the pipe cleaner all the way through the reed, stop when the top of the pipe cleaner is just below the opening of the tip.

  4. Carefully put the reed with pipe cleaner inside into your reed case, and allow it to dry fully.

  5. When you need to play the reed again, put the reed and pipe cleaner into water to soak.

  6. Once the reed is soaked enough to play, remove the pipe cleaner and allow the pipe cleaner to dry.


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