My clarinet is playing flat – how can I fix it?

Asked by: Larry Johnsson

If your clarinet is too flat, shorten the barrel. When adjusting the barrel, try to be gentle instead of giving sharp pulls and pushes. You’ll need to experiment with the barrel length as you work on tuning notes. As you adjust the barrel, periodically stop and play a note into the tuner.

How do I fix a flat clarinet?

And i'm a firm believer of keeping the tongue. Position. As as as as similar throughout all of the registers of the clarinet. As possible. And so i was taught to keep my tongue high in the mouth.

Why am I flat on my clarinet?

If you are flat, here are two possibilities: 1) your instrument is still cold; 2) there may a problem with your equipment – mouthpiece choice; barrel length. An unfocused clarinet tone will almost always be flat.

What do you do if your clarinet wont play high notes?

So you might need to up the strength of your read if you're on a number to read try moving up to a two and a half or if you're on a two and a half you might need to move up to a three or even higher.

How do you know if your clarinet is broken?

If the joint is pulled away the lips should be pulled with it, and should make a popping sound. If the joint remains in contact with the lips, the vacuum should last a minimum of five seconds. If it does not, there is a leak, and the clarinet should be brought in for replacement of any leaky pads.

How do you restore a clarinet?

You can just wipe it on the instrument. Like so once you finished applying oil and you basically just put it aside and let it soak in overnight.

Can clarinets be tuned?

TUNING TIP: REMEMBER THAT NO INSTRUMENT WILL BE PERFECTLY IN TUNE, AND THE CLARINET IS NO EXCEPTION. Some notes on clarinets are more out of tune than others, and these notes can change with clarinet make and model.

Do clarinets wear out?

For professionals that may be true, but for us poor amateurs a good clarinet, well maintained can last for many decades. I’m sure that Harold Wright played as much in 10 years as I have in 50. Swab, clean, lubricate, replace pads, replace key corks, replace tenon corks, adjust keys, swedge, replace springs, etc.

How long will a clarinet reed last?

A good rule of thumb is you should replace your reed every 2-4 weeks, no matter how often you’re playing your instrument. You may want to replace your reeds more frequently if you’re practicing several hours each day. Some reeds also may not last as long as others, every reed plays slightly differently.

How do you make a clarinet sound less airy?

So I would put the tip a millimeter or so above. The top of the mouthpiece. Now. You have to warn them this is going to feel hard to blow. And it's going to make their tone a little area in fuzzy.

Can clarinets be repaired?

To know if your clarinet pads need to be replaced, you need only look. If the pad is starting to look old, discolored, or tattered, you can assume that it’s probably leaking. If the pads on your clarinet have become loose or unattached, you can easily glue them back into place.

How often does a clarinet need servicing?

You should have your clarinet serviced every 12 to 18 months.

How much does it cost to replace the pads on a clarinet?


Service Estimate of Price
Pad Replacement w/ Adjustment *$8.00
Adjustment – No Pads $50 – *$70
Pad Replacement Only *$13.00
Replace Tenon Cork *$25.00

Can an old clarinet be restored?

The process in a vintage restoration is much like the premium overhaul, however, older instruments often require significantly more time and care with regard to wood conditioning, tone hole resurfacing, spring replacement and tightening of the key mechanism.

What oil do you use on a clarinet?

Cover each pad with a bit of plastic wrap material to ensure that the pads do not come in contact with the oil. 3. Pour approximately a teaspoon of oil (bore oil is typically made of mineral oil but some use olive oil, almond oil, walnut oil or other light oil) on a swab to be used only for oiling the clarinet.

How often should I oil my clarinet?

Application periods are dependent upon clarinet use, but for steady playing apply bore oil inside the clarinet only every 3 months. Again, a very light, even oiling is all that is required. Too much oil may cause the inner fibres to swell which also poses the risk of cracking.

Should you oil a clarinet?

Oil. It's also a good idea to add your clarinet serviced annually and the technician can inspect it at that time and oil it if necessary.

How do you lubricate a clarinet?

Start by putting a very small amount of grease on the cork. Then use your fingers to rub it in and around the entire surface of the court.

Can I use Vaseline on my clarinet?

Don’t use vaseline, it can degrade the adhesive on the joint corks.

How often should you put cork grease on a clarinet?

When a clarinet is new you should use cork grease every time you put the instrument together for the first week or two. After that, the corks will soak up some of the grease and you only need to use it once or twice a week.