In this short tutorial, I want to talk to you about how to put a reed in your clarinet to help you get a great sound.

I put my reed on and decided it would be a good time to share my knowledge with beginner players.

Also, it’s a crucial part of the clarinet assembly and you should know the proper way to put reeds in clarinets.

1. Wet Your Clarinet Reed

clarinet reeds

Alright, now I will take you through all the steps to do it. So, the first step is putting the reed in your mouth to get it wet.

Afterward, once you remove the reed from your mouth, keep your lips sealed around the reed. Gently pull it out to remove any excess saliva from it.

Having excess saliva on the back of your reed can result in a crackly, fuzzy sound.

Also, make sure that you clean the clarinet before putting a reed in it.

2. Put Reed On Mouthpiece

clarinet reed on mouthpiece

Now, hold your clarinet with your left hand. With your right hand, you place the reed on the mouthpiece.

You want to look for that sliver of mouthpiece above the reed. Ensure the reed is positioned evenly at the bottom of the mouthpiece.

Next, hold the reed with your left hand, grab the ligature with your right hand, position it on top, ensure it’s even, and then secure it.

3. Play & Check The Sound

little boy playing a clarinet

Be cautious of some common mistakes to avoid when setting up your clarinet reed.

One pitfall is having the reed positioned too high, which can result in a fuzzy sound and make it difficult to play.

On the other hand, having the reed placed too low is also something to watch out for.

Once you have found a suitable position for your reed, go ahead and give it a try by playing an open G.

Make sure you’re getting a crisp and clear sound. If not, it’s a good idea to double-check your setup and ensure there’s no excess moisture on the back of the reed.

Another aspect to consider is the angle at which you observe your reed. The reed needs to appear as a straight line when viewed directly.

If the reed appears wavy, it may affect the sound quality. To fix this, try wetting the reed for a longer time.


As you can see, to put a reed in a clarinet is not a hard thing to do. however, you need to pay attention to the details. Wet the reed properly and then place it on the mouthpiece as I have explained above.

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