Since we are now in the depths of winter it important to take extra precautions to care for your clarinet. These tips will help you get through the winters months without cracks or too much trauma to the bore:
- Never play a cold clarinet. It’s imperative to warm up your clarinet before playing. If your instrument is cold to the touch, hold it in your hands or under your arms until it is warm. I find that touching the wood to my face is the best way to test to see if the wood is warm. We want to warm the outside of the instrument first before blowing warm are into the clarinet.
- Be sure to remove all water from your clarinet after play. Swab your clarinet regularly when playing and be sure to do a good clean at the end of your playing session. I find it helpful to look into the bore of the clarinet after swabbing just to be sure all the water is gone.
- Blow water out of the tone holes on the top joint. Use cleaning player or cigarette paper to take the water out from under pads under the trill keys and A and G sharp keys.
- Never leave your instrument in a cold space. Keep your clarinet in a room temperature environment. Avoid leaving your clarinet in the car or being outside for extended periods of time. This is also true for hot weather as well.
These tips should help you keep your clarinet in great working order over the winter. It’s best to see a repair person right away if you do notice a crack in the wood of your clarinet.