Wants to change to German system

Dear Sir, I am writing to you to find out if you have any information concerning why all the Boehm clarinet makers keep placing a metal tube into the interior of the upper bore which is of course the extension of the speaker hole to prevent condensation running into this orifice. As you may very well know, the German type clarinet has no such obstruction and has instead an extended mechanism around to the front of the instrument thus doing away with the necessary of any internal obstruction, a much more practical solution. This bit of tubing extending into the bore is, I think a real pain in the arse as any standard pull-through will always get caught up with it. Also I am surprised that such an obstruction would not be detrimental to the overall tuning of the instrument. Have you ever heard of any Boehm clarinet owner getting this feature altered to the German system? Yours Truly B V, amateur clarinetist

Hi there:
Concerning your problem: there is no sense in attempting to get the Boehm clarinet makers to change to something else for the register key protrusion into the top end of the clarinet. Many other types f woodwinds have many more complicated obstructions in the bore.
First, always reverse swab, meaning you pass the swab through the bottom end of the clarinet. Then while turning the clarinet make sure that it is tilted in such a way to make the weight on the end of the swab pass away from the protruding register tube. This is very simple to achieve and only takes a couple of times before you’re ready for prime-swab. Or switch to German System, which you may not like all that much.

I had a swab get stuck in my clarinet directly before performing the Easley Blackwood Clarinet Concerto with the Tanglewood Orchestra, conducted by Gunther Schuller. At the time, I was playing Full-boehm Mazzeo system clarinets. The bass clarinet player had a wrench and he loosened the hex screw-top of the register key, took it out and freed the swab. Took all of perhaps 90 seconds, and caused me to rethink the way I swabbed my clarinet, resulting in in my suggestion to you.
Best regards, and keep practicing.

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