6. Reed adjustment

Very simple but affective reed adjustment can be carried out with just a pair of medium size long nose pliers. Adjustment must never be made when the reed is dry. If the reed tip is too open (more than 1mm in the centre) it may be too tiring on the embouchure, flat in the upper register and have an unfocussed sound. To correct, squeeze the first wire (the one nearest the lips) very gently from top and bottom to slightly close the tip.

If the tip is too close (less than 1mm in the centre) the sound may be too small and bright, the low register may be impossible to play loudly enough and the pitch may be too high. To correct, squeeze the first wire very gently from the sides to slightly open the tip. These simple corrections alone can have a surprisingly major effect and very often are all that is necessary to change an unplayable reed into a really good one