Does anyone know how wide the reed is supposed to be open? Also do I need to squeeze it together again while playing?

I have two reeds, one 5 mm open, the other 2.5, but out of neither can I squeeze out a sound.

2 Answers 2


Ugh, got it: approximately 1 mm.

If it's closed entirely, i.e. new, put the reed's tip for about 2 minutes into water.

Put about a quarter of the reed into your mouth and very lightly squeeze it while blowing.

  • Yep. I don't know of any reed instrument where the opening is much more than about a millimeter, unless you're powering it with an air compressor. Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 17:09

Don't put the reed into water. It harms the reed. Try to make it wet with your mouth. You can't play on the reed if you put it every time in water for 2 minutes. Don't forget to keep the duduk in a good temperature. Don't put the reed in closed box, just let it somewhere where there is enough air!

And how wide the reed should be open?!, it depends on the reed itself. Some reeds are high (generate higher tones than they supposed to give) so the solution is to open a little more. Some reeds are low by default and to get the good tone you have close it more or to press more with you lips. The best solution to figure out how wide is the reed supposed to be open, is tune your duduk before you play. You can use an app for that like this one Android App.

I have some reeds where they are really wide open, but still give an "F" instead of the "E" and "G#" instead of "F#" :(

  • Given the fact, that practically all reeds for reed instruments come from the same plant (Arundo donax), the claim of water harming the reed comes somewhat unexpected - I never saw an oboist or bassoonist use something else.. Is the Duduk reed something special or do you have a reference?
    – guidot
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 19:00
  • You can't definitely compare Duduk reed to that one of Obo. My reference is my experience because I am a Duduk player! I have met this summer Gevorg Dabaghyan in Amsterdam and I have asked him about that, and I said that he has a video where he tells the watchers to put the reed in the water. He advised me not to put in water and to use my mouth to do that! Do you have a Duduk? Have you ever played it?
    – Peshmerge
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 21:43
  • As a reed player, I must also say I find this a bit strange. Water from spit is still water, and water won't hurt a reed. Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 17:08
  • It's not about the water! It's about the amount of water! When you put a Duduk reed in glass of water is different from when you put it in your mouth!
    – Peshmerge
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 17:10
  • @Peshmerge so put it in a little bit of water? :P Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 12:53

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