Excessive Condensation

Dear Sherman,

I have just bought an E-13 Buffet Crampon which I have been
playing for over a month now. I am 1st Clarinet in a Symphony
Orchestra and often have to play for 2-3 hours rehearsals. I have
however experienced excessive condensation on all usual holes
(right hand Eb/Bb, C#/G#, …). I am aware that this a problem
expected with all clarinets (to a certain degree), that there has
to be a self discipline to keep the holes clear (special pads,
cigarette paper, …) but I have reached a point where I am
starting to wonder whether the way I hold my mouthpiece/clarinet
influences the amount of water logging. I have decided to try a
higher clarinet (RC, Yamaha pro range) but if it comes from my
playing I need to sort it out first. Any help will be valuable.

Thanks.

Sebastien

Dear Sebastien:

Please do not buy a more expensive clarinet because of excess
condensation in the side holes of the clarinet. There are several
ways of repairing this common and repetitive problem.

Replace the offending pads (over the holes you mentioned) with
cork pads. These are a bit more difficult to install, however once
in the clarinet and tight, they last much longer, AND they do not
draw condensation as much as a regular skin pad does. This should
solve the problem, along with always making sure the pads are dry
when you put it away.

HOWEVER there is one final precaution you may take, however it is
difficult to facilitate, however , once done, it is perfect and
you will never have the condensation again. You must install a
ridge of cork grease, (or like material) directly in the line of
the condensation which will divert it away from the tone hole.
Takes a while to get right, but once done, it will solve the
problem and it will put you at rest. In your mind, that is the
most important place to avoid the condensation …

Take care and good luck in all your “clarindeavors”.

Sincerely

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