Protect From Temperature

Wood instruments should not be subjected to extreme changes of temperature. Don’t chill quickly by taking a warm instrument into extreme cold. Don’t try to warm up a cold instrument quickly by putting it on a radiator or hot air register. It is not good for a wood instrument to blow into it or on it when it is cold. Don’t attempt to play a wood instrument until room temperature has gradually warmed it up until it no longer feels cold to touch.

These quick changes of temperature cause surface checks and often real cracks. These cracks may not be more than a hair line at first and may not go deeply into the wood, but in time they may develop and cause real trouble.

Repair a Crack

Wood is a product of nature and cannot be standardized. From the time the grenadilla wood log is cut from the wasteland of Mozambique or Madagascar, South Africa, up to the finished clarinet, fully 90% of the wood has been discarded through expert saving, careful selection, long years of curing, treating in oil, and repeated inspection. The wood in fine clarinets is as near perfect as human skill and experience can get it. And yet a certain percentage of clarinets will crack in spite of everything, and even though they receive expert care while in use.

If your clarinet does crack, don’t be unduly alarmed. Experienced professional clarinet players think nothing of it and they consider the clarinet after it is repaired to be less liable to crack again than it was before it was repaired. Many fine old clarinets are pinned in several places.