SWAB YOUR CLARINET!!!

ClarinetMike says, “Swab Your Clarinet!!!”

Spring Break is over here in Texas, but the weather is beautiful and mild –  lots of sun and 70 degree temperatures! [Hang In There Northeast USA!] Nevertheless, there’s a lingering issue I must comment on.

  • It has come to my attention that many students do not swab their clarinets after every practice session. This is bad for a million gross reasons.
  • And I have come to understand that some clarinet teachers do not emphasize the importance of swabbing the clarinet. THIS IS REALLY BAD.
  • I have also come to understand that some clarinet teachers tell their students to NEVER swab their mouthpieces ever. THIS IS SUPER DUPER BAD!!!

So, here’s a small slice of clarinet instruction from ClarinetMike:

Common sense (the best tool in a teacher’s toolbox) clearly says you should swab out your clarinet, including the mouthpiece, after every practice or performance, etc. Also, swab your clarinet during these sessions as needed. Excessive water in the instrument, especially “Flooding Out,” damages good clarinet playing.

NOTE: The swab I’m holding up in the picture above is a GEM Swab. I recommend using “hanky” style swabs like this one. I do not recommend using the stubby little nylon cheapo ones that often come with new clarinets. These little demons can get stuck in your clarinet! And that is BAD!

CLARINETMIKE SAYS, “SWAB YOUR CLARINET!!!”

About ClarinetMike

American clarinetist MICHAEL DEAN performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as "world-class clarinetist and pedagogue," "consummate performer," "inspirational," "outstanding teacher," "super," "brilliant performer," and "one of the best clinicians I have ever seen." His career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Eastman School of Music, and Royal Northern College of Music with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at Orfeo Music Festival 2018. He is featured on 5 commercial CD's and on New Media, such as YouTube. He is currently preparing another new clarinet CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He's performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He performed for 11 years with the Paducah Symphony. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-read ClarinetMike Blog, clarinetmike.wordpress.com-viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents. He was recently a tenured Associate Professor of Clarinet for 11 years at Southeast Missouri State University. He returned to his native Texas in 2012 due to family concerns. He is a past president and former National Board officer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Jess Youngblood, Bob Ackerman, and Pam Youngblood. His web page, clarinetmike.com, features video of his teaching and performing as well as information on his CD's and other publications. He is a BG France Performing Artist.
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