Tight,tight new instrument, give it a nice rest

Hi…My name is Ty Price. I’m 61 and a retired band director/music teacher. I recently bought a new Leblanc Concerto II clarinet and it has developed a problem. No matter how much cork grease I apply, the upper and lower joint become “stuck” and require enormous effort to twist them apart. I’m afraid of doing damage so I’ve stopped assembling it until I get some advice. This was not a problem during the first three weeks…only during the past several days. Nothing has changed…the weather, the humidity, the temperature…nothing.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Ty Price


Hi Ty:

You are playing the clarinet too much, much too much and not allowing it to dry out between playings, really that is all it is. Dry off all of the cork grease, place a light coating of it, and let it dry out.
That is what is called “breaking in” the clarinet. Take it apart and leave it apart for a while between playing.

Give it a rest, just like a new car. If you drive the car until it heats up , you are going to have trouble, but if you never go above a reasonable speed, you will keep the car for a long time, and no problems of this kind. I believe the analogy is very true.

good luck, and give that nice new Concerto a rest, and play it seldom.

Sincerely, sherman


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