Over the years we have seen a lot of problems caused by bad habits. These 10 clarinet commandments should help to prevent them from happening. It is a good idea to make these second nature even if some of the issues don't apply to your instrument at the moment (like No 3). You might one day have an instrument with it and it is hard to change habits:
1.Don't swab the wrong way
Always use only pull-through swabs and start to pull it through the instrument from the upper end.
We have had to drill out countless amounts of swabs from instruments because they were pulled from the bottom of the instrument. Don't do it. You will see lots of illustrations with it. The are ALL wrong!!
The narrowest part of the bore is where the register hole sticks into the bore. If you get a knot in your swab or it is too thick, it will get stuck there, the cord might break and then the swab is stuck inside the bore. It will also happen if you start from the top, but then you will still have enough material to pull it out easily. Here is a picture of a clarinet where the swab got stuck, and the musician tried to pull it through with force. The sad end of an almost new R 13 A.
Water will always run down and follow the laws of gravity. Therefore
a) lay the clarinet onto the left-hand keys Lay it so, that only the left-hand pinky keys hit the table. This will keep the water out of most tone holes. Don't have it laying down or hold it with the A and G# facing down.
b) don't lay clarinets on the side keys water will run into the side trill holes
c)don't put basses with the keys down on a stand,
water will run into the A, G#, and all the tone holes at the top of the instrument. The wood will swell much more and can damage the tone holes.
3.Don't press the trill keys If you have an instrument with cork pads, you will damage the cork pads of the 2 top side keys. Cork is a great, very reliable and long-lasting material. Ideal for pads. But there is one thing cork pads can't stand and that is physical pressure. By holding the instrument up there you will press the pads against the sharp edges of the tone hole. That will break the pads. Further down you don't have that problem. read more
Don´t press the trill keys Don't press the F / C key of the lower joint If you press the C / F key, the pad is the natural stopper. However, the C / F lever can be pushed even further so that it stretches, which ultimately leads to the key bending a little bit on itself.
If this happens, the left B / E can only be played with the addition of the right C / F key. This would not be necessary if the correspondence was correct.
This is one of the most common problems with clarinets. It's easy to fix Read more
5.Don't bend the bridge key
Depending on the type of clarinet you will have several keys corresponding between the different parts. Keep a close eye on them, to make sure not to bend any of them, because they will get out of alignment.
Keep an eye on the Bridge key.
When assembling the clarinet, hold down the top joint ring key without pressing the lower joint ring key.
Be extra careful with the basset horns or bass clarinets.read more
6.Don't stress the wood Avoid quick humidity changes. Inside the instrument, you will have 100% humidity while it might be very dry outside the instrument. This creates a lot of tension inside the wood and can cause the instrument to crack.Humidity cracks
7.Close the case lock Don't forget to always lock the case right after you close the lid. This happens very often when cases have a zipper. Otherwise, you might pick up the case and the instrument falls out.
Make sure the zippers and locks are closed
8.Always store the instrument vertically Water can then run down and it will dry the best without warping the wood.
9.Don't forget to leave your contact info in the case If you forget your instrument somewhere, people will be able to contact you. You might be surprised how many are honest and you can get it back!