A clarinet is as much a delicate instrument as it is a valuable partner. Proper care needs to be appliedto make sure that it can stand the test of time. Though there’s a wide range of clarinets to choose from in the market, it doesn’t matter what expensive material it’s made of if you don’t know how to care for it properly. If you’ve just recently started learning the instrument or if you’re not too sure if you remember all the steps that you need to do in taking care of your clarinet, here are some pointers in clarinet care for you to keep in mind.
Dealing with the mouthpiece
Maintenance needs to be done right after playing. The mouthpiece is the first part that you need to deal with by wiping out the moisture by using a small cleaning swab into the piece until the joint cork end so that no excess dirt or saliva is left. Gently swipe the swab so that you won’t damage the mouthpiece while you’re cleaning the fragile areas of the tip
Dealing with the body
After cleaning the mouthpiece comes dealing with the inside of the body. A medium cleaning swab is used to wipe the areas of the clarinet’s body. Alternatively, for bass clarinets, a large cleaning swab is needed. Take note of passing the clot through the fragile upper body.
The clarinet’s joint usually builds up the most moisture, but rough cleaning could cause it to crack. Wipe off moisture by using a polishing gauze or something similar in texture.
Dealing with keys and pads
Dirt couldaccumulate from using the keys and the pads. It’s best to use only light pressure so that its components aren’t damaged due to cleaning. Moisture in the pads is removed by inserting cleaning paper through the tone holes. Be sure that in using the cleaning agent that you do not use too much force while cleaning and watch out if the keys are pressed down. Use only light pressure in repetition for up to two to three times to thoroughly clean them.
Once you’re done with cleaning, make sure that the clarinets’ parts are appropriately dried before you apply powder paper. If water is present, the powder won’t be as effective in maintaining your instrument.
Applying cork grease
As with all the parts of this tutorial, a good rule to keep in mind is always to use light pressure. Cork grease uses this basic rule as well. If your clarinet’s joint is too tight when you reassemble the instrument, cork grease can be applied to loosen it a bit and avoid the parts cracking.
You can opt not to use cork grease if tightness isn’t present in your instrument after cleaning while some people apply oil frequently. There is a danger to applying too much cork grease as the cork might absorb too much of it which can make the natural adhesive of the cork and the body dissolve. Less is always the best option in handling a delicate instrument.