Below are 5 valuable small items that I always carry in my clarinet case. ClarinetMike says, “Remember the words of John Wooden, ‘Little Things Make Big Things Happen.'”
ClarinetMike’s 5 Powerful Little Secrets! by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
- Darker Lead Pencil. I always try to mark my music with a darker leaded pencil. This really helps me to see my markings. I have found that often “custom” pencils, such as university logo pencils have a darker lead for some reason.
- Ear Plugs. I always carry a set of simple ear plugs in my case. You never know when you’ll go on a gig and you’ll be sitting in an orchestra with a trumpet in your ear! Some of my worst memories involve the slapstick in “Sleigh Ride!” If you are involved in an ongoing gig that is tough on your ears, do some research on getting high-end musician earplugs. Protect Your Ears!
- Synthetic Reeds. Many single reed players play exclusively on plastic reeds and they sound GREAT! Unfortunately, I can’t get them to work as well for me, so I still use wood reeds. However, I always carry a couple of plastic reeds with me for special occasions when regular reeds tend to fail: outside performances, “quick instrument switch” doubling gigs, etc. FYI, I like the Legere European Cut Signature Clarinet Reeds – Click HERE.
- Pad Dryer. During a long practice session or gig, especially in a cold room, water can get under your pads. I carried cigarette paper for years in my case to dab the water off the pads. I now carry the BG Pad Dryer. It works great! Check it out HERE. The last thing you need is to try to explain to a junior high school official about how cigarette papers are part of your “standard equipment” in teaching clarinet lessons…. FYI, Muncy makes a product called “Muncy Pad Papers.” They are cigarette papers without the word “cigarette.” Click HERE.
- ReedGeek. A couple years ago I started using this amazing product. The truth is I hate working on reeds and am scared of knives. But I love my little ReedGeek “Universal” Reed Tool – IT WORKS! The ReedGeek has REALLY helped me do simple reed adjustments that have very much improved the quality of the cane reeds I play on. Check it out HERE (watch the videos).