How to put your clarinet together

  1. Before you open your case, be sure that it is right side up.

  2. When possible, avoid touching the keys when you are putting your clarinet together.

  3. When joining the lower and upper joints, you must press the rings of the top joint to lift the bridge key.

  4. Do this carefully so you do not bend any keys.

  5. The joints of the clarinet should twist together easily. If you have any difficultly, grease the corks. Wipe off any excess grease so it doesn’t get on the pads or in the keys.

when you have finished playing

  1. Remove your ligature, reed, and mouthpiece from the clarinet first.

  2. Swab your clarinet each time you finish playing. Leaving the rest of the clarinet assembled, insert the swab into the bell. DO NOT pull the swab through the mouthpiece. Clean the mouthpiece with a tissue when you have finished practicing at home. Moisture left in the instrument after you have finished playing will cause the pads to deteriorate.

  3. Always remove your reed from your mouthpiece, wipe the excess moisture off of it, and place it in a reed guard.

  4. Leave the ligature on the mouthpiece to keep it from getting bent, and be sure to replace the mouthpiece cover on the mouthpiece.

  5. Always keep your clarinet in its case when you are not playing it. Never put anything into your case that it was not designed to hold because the pressure from papers or music can bend the rods and keys.

regular maintenance

  1. Do not polish the keys. Use a soft cloth to wipe off moisture and finger marks after playing.

  2. To keep pads clean, don’t eat candy or chew gum before playing and never while playing.

  3. Do not let anyone else play your instrument. The clarinet is a delicate instrument, which must be handled carefully. If you must set it down during class, put it on a flat surface with the keys up. Never leave your clarinet on a music stand.

supplies needed

  1. Clarinet, in good working order

  2. Swab

  3. Cork grease (tube style is best)

  4. Reed keeper

  5. Clarinet reeds – Strength of #2.5 or Medium. Keep at least 3 reeds in playing shape.

Clarinet Care Sheet PDF

Want To Learn More About the Clarinet?

Watch as a professional instructor demonstrates how to properly get started on your clarinet. Click Here.

Check out our post, 6 Ways to Prolong the Life of Your Reeds.

Learn How to Care for a Wooden Clarinet.