Dear Mr. Friedland
I recently purchased a new Buffet R-13 clarinet. It plays beautifully. However, after about thirty minutes of play the middle A key on the top of the horn begins to play inconsistently and on occasions makes an airy gurgling sound. You can actually slowly open the key and see a water bubble between the pad and tone hole.
I took the horn to a local repair shop and they saw a very tiny chip in the wood grain near the tone hole. They patched this chip but the horn still plays the same.
My question is this-is there anything really wrong with this horn or am I just a very “wet” player. It is very unnerving halfway through a performance to not be able to play this A. I have tried blowing forcefully into the tone hole but this does not work. Sliding a piece of paper between the pad and the tone hole provides temporary relief. The tension on the key seems fine and the pad does seem to be leaking. Any advice would be appreciated. I am contemplating returning the horn as it is still under warranty but would rather hang on to it if thing problem can be remedied.
Thanks for your help
Here is the rule on leaking keys. You must blot the water with a clarinet paper or a cigarette paper unti it is gone.Completely. Then and this is crucial, you must swab out the instrument. If not the condensation will simply reappear for there is usually condensation in the bore which drips into the A because it is the closest place.
And be careful that you do not get the whole key and pad watersoaked. If that happens, you must wait for it to dry out, or else the pad may have to be replaced. If this horn is new, it should be broken in slowly. At least that is what I would do.
And take care to keep saliva and condensation out of your reed and mouthpiece. Take it back into your mouth almost every time you play and it will disappear….guaranteed.
best wishes and good luck on the new horn. Rest it well.
Dear Mr. Friedland
Thank you for your prompt response. I really appreciate the great advice! Yes, this is a brand new horn. I have never heard of clarinet paper before – is this something that can be purchased at a music store? I assume from your comments that there is nothing mechanically wrong with the instrument and it does not need to be repaired? Otherwise, I will follow your recommendations and break this horn in a bit more slowly. D
No problem, my friend. I think and certainly hope it will help. Clarinet papers are cute little papers that stand in for cigarette paper, which is about the same, however the “drug” word attached to cigarette papers made the makers make their own product. But, just ask for cigarette papers and you will get the little packet which will last for a long time.
Some players leave the papers in the troublesome keys when they put their horns away just to make sure or insure that no water or condensation is left to damage. (music store probably, but a tobacco store definitely)
“You are a tremendous resource of clarinet knowledge”Thanks again,D