Clarinet repair tips for fixing loose pads.
Clarinet repair is something usually best left to a professional repairer. Clarinet parts can be intricate, like the keywork, and often a clarinet player who tries to do their own repairs often ends up doing more damage!
However, there are some repairs you can do yourself, as long as you remember to take care, work slowly, and stop if you think you might be doing some damage. One of the most common repairs done by owners is working replacing loose pads.
Clarinet pads are one of the most common reasons for minor repairs. If a pad comes loose it is often possible to reattach it by heating the key cup with something like a cigarette lighter, being careful not to leave any marks. Once the metal is warm, put the pad underneath the key cup (use a needle to hold it) and press the key lightly a few times.
As with most home repairs, this is just a temporary measure, and you should consider having a professional look at your clarinet if the pads are starting to fall out. With pads, prevention is always better than cure – try to always keep your pads clean and dry.
If you are interested in doing more than very basic repair for your own clarinet, it is possible to buy books on the subject, or care and repair kits for the clarinet. However, you should be aware that doing your own repair to a clarinet will most probably void any warranty on the instrument. Students are advised to talk to their teacher before attempting any repairs by themselves.
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