What is the Lifespan of an Oboe Reed?by Angela Schindler on 03/05/19
How long do reeds last? Typically reeds will perform at their best for four weeks for student who are playing everyday in band rehearsals and at home practice.
The reed blades are very thin and eventually wear out due to use. The fibers will wear out from vibrating and plaque will build up on the surface of the reed prohibiting the ease of vibration. Germs and bacteria also clog the fibers of the reed and can become detrimental to one's health.
Your reed should be fully operational. Don't wait until you are "fighting" your reed and compromising your correct embouchure formation to make the reed work. It makes it even more difficult to adjust to a new reed when your embouchure has been compromised and it may require a longer breaking in period as well.