Can you leave your instrument assembled for extended periods of time?

Can you leave your instrument assembled for extended periods of time?

Got a question from Lauren, asking the following:

I have a question about clarinet care. I have a temperature controlled music room and I live in Florida (in case the humidity of where I live matters) Is it ok for my clarinet and bass clarinet (both Buffets) to be left out of the cases on instrument stands and with covers over them (but not air tight) for extended periods of time?

I do remove the moisture and the reeds it’s just easier for me when I have multiple instruments I practice not to have to take so much time setting things up or putting them away on an everyday basis.

My response, and believe me, I know this from experience:

I totally hear you about wanting to save the time when the “practice mood strikes.” Leaving instruments assembled is okay for a day, possibly two, but it’s not recommended for an extended period of time.

Why? Well, for one, the tenon corks will shrink and one day you may pick up your instrument and the bottom joint will fall off. (Seriously.)

And, while you’re covering your instruments, which is good to keep dust out of the key/rods, it’s not keeping the flow of oxygen from the silver keys, which will cause them to eventually tarnish…and there goes all the time you saved, because then you have to spend literally hours removing that tarnish.

I wish I could give this my blessing, but yeah…I can’t!

Hear me now, believe me later: take ‘em apart.



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