Water in your A key? It happens to all of us.

Water in your A key? It happens to all of us.

Austin writes:

I have a couple constant problems with my R13 Bb Clarinet that I was wondering if you had input for. The first problem is that my A key (left index finger) constantly will have water in it. I was wondering if there was a way to redirect the stream? I have seen some people say to use bore oil but I watched your video on bore oil and you say it doesn't do much. It cause problems in performances on long pieces because I eventually use that key yet the note pops due to the water.

This is such a common problem, though not quite as common as the C#/G# key. But the sad truth is that…there’s not much you can do about it. It’s true, bore oil could actually help with the problem by keeping the condensation moving down the bore of the instrument. (But make sure you don’t use GUN bore oil! by accident!)

Some of the other things I’ve seen is for you to scratch a path for the condensation down the inside of your bore with a paper clip. Needless to say JUST DON’T.

Another possible solve is to take the A key off and take a Q-tip moistened in bore oil (or almond oil) and shove it into the hole (it should just about fit). The oil may prove hydrophobic and keep the moisture from building up in the key.

But, you know, it happens. It happens to professional clarinets and student clarinets. For that matter, it happens even more to Oboes, so I guess you can be thankful you don’t play one of those!


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