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Taking Care of Your Clarinet

Part of the Clarinet For Dummies Cheat Sheet

After the break-in period with your new woodwind instrument, you can relax a little and play your clarinet as much as you want. However, you still need to attend to some occasional maintenance duties, like oiling the keys an cleaning the key pads, to keep your clarinet in good shape.

  • Oiling the keys: A clarinet’s keywork is made of metal, and as we all know, metal rusts and wears down. To keep the rust at bay and reduce the wear and tear around the hinges, apply a small drop of instrument key oil on the joint near every screw in the key mechanism once a week.

    Keep key oil away from pads. Oil on a pad ruins it. Also, it’s possible to put too much oil on the keys. Just use a tiny bit.

  • Cleaning the key pads: Pads can become sticky, and you may find yourself having to press down on a key harder and harder to pull up the pad. If a pad becomes sticky, place a slightly moistened cigarette paper under it. Gently close the pad on the paper, and then gently pull the paper out from under the pad.

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Clarinet For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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