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!