Storing your instrument:
When not using the instrument, keep it closed in its case to help protect the finish from unnecessary exposure to impurities in the air, especially in geographic areas affected by salt or sulfur content. Also, keeping it in its case helps prevent the possibility of damage by dropping it or sitting on it accidentally. Do not store the instrument in areas of extreme temperature changes. Keep the instrument away from radiators or from windows where direct sunlight can cause extreme heat.
Putting your clarinet together:
Before assembling the instrument, be sure cork for all connections is lubricated thoroughly with cork grease so that excessive force is not necessary. Assemble the lower joint and bell by holding the lower joint so that fingers are covering the tone holes. Attach the bell with a gentle twisting motion. Attach upper and lower joints in the same manner, while holding upper joint keys down to assist the proper location of the bridge key. Assemble clarinet barrel and mouthpiece in the same manner.
Putting your clarinet away:
After you have played your instrument, clean it before putting it away. Use a polishing cloth or soft flannel cloth to wipe off perspiration and fingerprints. Disassemble your instrument then remove all moisture and dirt particles from the bore of each joint using a swab or cleaning rod and cloth.
After each playing, wipe the mouthpiece with a soft cloth. Clean your mouthpiece at least once a week, brushing out the inside with a mouthpiece brush and warm soapy water. Rinse with cold water and dry.
The key mechanism should be oiled once a year. This can be done by a technician when servicing the instrument.
Yamaha’s Product and repair specialist Brae Grimes takes you through the ins and outs of setting up your clarinet, how to correctly clean it and best practice for keeping your instrument in great condition.
Wooden clarinets need the bore oiled occasionally when it becomes dry. Apply bore oil sparingly to a cloth swab and draw through the bore of each section and barrel, making sure the oil does not get on the pads. The frequency of oiling the bore varies depending on the brand, age and amount of use. Getting the bore oiled once a year by your technician while servicing the instrument is usually enough. To help avoid cracking, keep your clarinet away from extreme temperatures and, when not playing, store the instrument in its case.
Repair and maintenance:
Worn felts, worn corks, loose pads, bent springs or keys can result after a period of continuous use. We recommend the instrument be serviced at least once a year by a competent service technician. This will keep the instrument in top playing condition and help avoid costly repairs later on.