Sticky Selmer in Singapore

Dear Mr Sherman,

I am a clarinetist from Singapore and have recently bought a pair of Selmer recital clarinets. I really love the unique sound of this clarinet. Just getting used to the weight of this fat clarinet now. But i really love it. As i was a Buffet player for many years i had very little or no problems with sticky pads. But i realize that the recitals upper joint especially is really noisy in the pads…. not in the sound but without playing and pressing the keys… there is alot of sticky pads that i hear. I am currently using a solution that i got from Ishimori in Japan. It is used for sticky pads and only applicable for Leather pads. So far… i have applied 3 drops of the solution and the sticky pad issue seems to be getting better. I am just wondering if this is a usual problem with Selmer clarinets or leather pads? Just like to hear your opinion on this matter.

Sincerely D C.

Dear DC in Singapore:

I certainly hope that you enjoy your new set of Recitals as much as I have. As you mention, the quality of response is unique in the Recital, due of course to the smaller bore and the thickness of the wall. I found the intonation to be perfect, especially with the C85 mouthpiece, which was designed for the Recital.Do you have the vent for bringing up the pitch of the Low F?

As far as noisy pads are concerned, you are speaking about the stickiness of the pads as you depress and/or open them. This has little to do with the material of the pads, or shouldn’t, as it is more a problem you have within your own particular playing habitude. What kind of leather pads do you have? Are they actually leather? What about the top joint? I have cork pads in my upper joint, leather in the lower and have never had a problem of the kind you mention. Actually these are the very best setup I can think of, visa vie pads.

It seems more a problem of the previous owner of your clarinets. Or , if they are brand new, there should be no problem with the pads being sticky unless the tester of the clarinet in France had a maple syrup sandwich prior to testing your Recitals.
I once played a recital in New Hampshire on a hot summer evening. It was very humid and the pads tended to stick. uring that concert I used some plain talcum powder which solved the problem completely.

Once again, I do not think any pad should stick unless there is something sticky on the pad. If that is the case, you must clean the pads, perhaps with the product from Ishimori in Japan. And, one more thing. Depending upon what you have eaten prior to playing your clarinet, a residue could be left on the pads, making them sticky. Especially in the upper joint, the first part of the horn receiving the sticky residue.

I hope this helps. Good luck, sherman

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