Tips for Dealing with Clarinet Reeds in Hot, Humid Weather

with Dr. Jackie McIlwain

For hot, humid weather, get these reed break-in tips from Vandoren Artist-Clinician Jackie McIlwain.



Jackie's Break-In Method

1. Take flow packs out of the box and cut the packaging. Jackie leaves this for a few days so that her reeds can acclimate to her environment. 

2. Take 6-12 brand new reeds out of the packaging and play on them for 30 seconds each for the first day.

3. The next day, Jackie increases the time to a minute. 

4. Jackie has four Hygro Reed Cases she likes to use to keep her reeds humidified, safe, and organized. Read below for her rotation method. 


Jackie's Rotation Method

1. Jackie labels her four reed cases: 1 is for breaking in reeds, 2 & 3 are broken-in and performance/rehearsal ready. The fourth case includes the reeds that are on the way out but she still manages to use them for practice/rehearsal sessions. 

2. Regardless, Jackie always has reeds that she's breaking-in, ones that are performance ready and ones on the way out (oldies, but goodies!). 




About Dr. Jackie McIlwain

Dr. Jackie McIlwain is Assistant Professor of Clarinet at The University of Southern Mississippi. In addition to championing new works for clarinet and performing in regional orchestra, Dr. McIlwain is also licensed in Body Mapping as an Andover Educator. View her current position at the University of Southern Mississippi here

Join the conversation