I played clarinet for over ten years consistently, it was actually huge part of my life. I was an excellent player, playing in many competitive bands, orchestras, and chamber ensembles across the state, and I absolutely loved it. However, I chose a different path in terms of school major and over the last two years have had little time for playing between studying abroad and moving for graduate school. I pulled out my clarinet the other day to reconnect as life has become more stable but Iwas shocked to find that any note that required any keys in the lower joint would not respond and I could only produce any sort of sound on the upper joint, basically middle C on a keyboard through B flat. I went to buy some new reeds at a store down the street and it helped slightly, but the lower joint refuses to respond in any way other than a loud squeak.
It might also be of importance to note that I also moved from a very humid part of the south to Boston, so possibly weather has altered my beautiful clarinet. But ultimately I’m wondering if my time off has resulted in such a dramatic loss of embouchure that i’m left a beginner in terms of tone or if it’s just a malfunctioning part of my clarinet. Strangely enough, it scares me to think that I simply have lost my ability the way one loses a second language if it goes unspoken, but I also don’t want traverse to a repair shop without the slightest hint of what’s wrong only to be told it’s me, not the clarinet. Any help you could give would be great, including any great places in the Boston area to get my clarinet looked at.
No, you have not lost any of your ability to play whatsoever. You simply
have a key which stays open or is leaking or needs a pad which prevents you It has nothing to do with the weather.
Over years and years of playing I can safely tell you that it probably can be fixed in less than five minutes or so, first locating the leak and then fixing it either by any means of freeing up whatever is in the way or replacing a pad or even bending a key back into its proper position.
The worst thing to think is that it is you. It isn’t.
There is a great place to go in Boston, (there are probably many), however
Rayburns Music, drectly across from Symphony Hall is the best place which will probably fix your problem quickly and inexpensively. Of course, I can be wrong, but hopefully it is one of the simple problems listed above.I was in Boston just last week performing and teaching at the Berklee College of Music.
Good luck and don’t worry. They are open tomorrow . Go in the morning to regain your clarinet peace and your chalumeau.
The Weather has nothing to do with it, that little leak