Steps for clarinet care
Clarinet care is essential to keep your clarinet in working order. Clarinet players who do not take the time to care for their clarinet properly soon learn that the result is the need for expensive repairs. Caring for your clarinet does not require much time – getting into the habit of taking a few simple steps each time before and after you play the clarinet is all that is needed to keep your instrument in a good condition.
One of the main reasons for clarinet damage is not assembling the clarinet properly. Make sure that the parts are lined up properly before fitting them together, and never force parts. It is a good idea to regularly use cork grease on the tenon cork (cork bits on the end of clarinet parts) to avoid the cork wearing or disintegrating. Make sure you put parts together with a twisting motion, not pushing. The same goes for pulling the clarinet apart when you are finished.
An important aspect of caring for your clarinet is cleaning. Each time after you play you should swab out your clarinet to remove any moisture. Most clarinets come with a swab, usually a cloth with a small covered weight attached. You drop the swap through the body of the instrument after you have removed the mouthpiece, pulling it through as many times as it takes until the clarinet is dry.
It is a good idea to replace the clarinet swab regularly, to avoid a build up of bacteria. It is also a good idea to clean the key pads regularly, using specific key pad papers, or cigarette papers. The mouthpiece can be cleaned with a mouthpiece brush.
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