ENGLISH | 中文    
Maintenance & Cleaning


First use a soft paint brush (at least 1") and brush off the entire body, including tone holes. Next apply a liberal amount of NAYLOR'S organic bore oil. we use a pipe cleaner to paint this on. Use another soft paint brush and brush the body vigorously. This gets the oil well into the tone hole chimneys and around the posts. Let this sit for a few minutes to loosen up the dirt.
Next use a soft, lint free cloth and wipe the body down carefully. Be certain to remove as much oil as possible. After this step use your first brush (the dry one) to brush down the body again. This distributes the excess oil and makes it easier to wipe up. Let the body stand overnight. You may need to brush and wipe one more time. It is critical to remove all of the excess oil from the tone holes so that oil does not get on the pads. We think it is important to oil the tone holes to reduce damage from water accumulation.


Many times clarinets are dyed because the darkest grenadilla is relatively scarce. Test your instrument before you clean it to make sure that you will not change its appearance in a way you would find unattractive. Try cleaning a small spot on the back (perhaps under the thumbrest) to make sure that you don't damage the finish.


Bore Oil

In short, we use organic oil such as almond or olive. You can get almond in a drug store. Many experts say it's the best for grenadilla.

Unless you're in a very dry climate, a year is enough. Apply oil very lightly with an old swab. Let the horn sit overnight. Don't get it on the pads. You can put pieces of paper or cellophane under the pads to make sure no oil gets on them. Wipe out the excess next day."

Pads replacement

The following procedure is for soprano and sopranino clarinet with felt/skin pads.

Tools Needed:

Safety glasses
2 Screw drivers (small, large)
Smooth Jaw pliers
Pad "slick" or "stay"
Alcohol burner or glue gun
Needle spring or common pin
Feeler gauge (piece of cassette tape)

Supplies Needed:

Denatured alcohol (for burner)
French cement or glue stick (for glue gun)
Appropriate medium thick pad (thin will also do)
Water (just boiled) for pad seating

Procedure Outline:

Remove the key/pad
Size the pad
Pierce the pad
Press the pad
Apply cement/glue to the pad
Heat the pad cup
Place the pad in the cup
Put the key back on the instrument
Level the pad
Seat the pad
Test the instrument

Procedure in detail:
(#'s above refer to #'s below)

Remove the key(s) from the instrument using the proper size screwdriver. Use the smooth jaw pliers to pull out the long hinge rod (if applicable) after unscrewing. Heat the back of the pad cup with the flame from the alcohol burner until the old adhesive softens then remove the old pad and clean the pad cup by scraping out any remaining adhesive.

Choose a new pad that fits the cup properly. To ensure proper fit, find a pad that fits snugly then use the next size down. For example, if a 10mm pad fits snugly then use a 9.5mm pad. A pad for a sopranino or soprano clarinet will set in the cup with the stepped portion of the pad protruding (the exception is indicated in step #9.

Pierce the side of the pad using a pin or needle spring. Pierce only the edge of the pad; it is not necessary to poke into the felt. The skin is pierced so that the moisture in the pad will not cause the pad to swell when it is heated into the pad cup.

If the quality of pad you are using is poor, you will have to iron the pad. A poor quality pad is one that the surface of which is puffy. A good quality pad will have a smooth flat surface to cover the tonehole squarely. If you are using a good quality pad with a flat surface then proceed to step #5. If you feel you should iron the pad, proceed as follows: dampen the surface of the pad with water. Heat the pad slick over the alcohol burner for approximately 5 seconds. Lay the pad slick down and press the pad onto the pad slick (approximately 5 seconds). The water on the pad should sizzle when the pad is placed onto the hot pad slick. If the water does not sizzle, repeat the procedure, heating the pad slick a little longer. If you heat the pad slick too much, you will scorch the pad surface and have to start over again with a new pad.

Determine the depth of the pad and judge the amount of French cement or glue from the glue gun. Using too much French cement or glue will be unsightly, as the cement/glue oozes out between the pad and the pad cup. Too little cement will be evident in about a week or less when the same student is at your side again, telling you the pad you put in has just fallen out (no doubt this will happen right before a concert!). If you are using the French cement, hold the end of the cement stick over the alcohol burner until it softens slightly. Be careful not to set the cement on fire and/or allow it to drip. Your only objective at this point is to soften the cement so you can work the end of it to a point. Heat the cement again - this time a bit more - enough so you can dab it on the back of the pad. Remember to judge the proper amount for the pad cup. If you are using a glue gun and haven't plugged it in yet, now is a good time to do it. The method using the glue gun is simpler. All that you have to do is apply the proper amount of glue to the back of the pad.

Heat the back of the pad cup over the burner for about 5 seconds.

Place the pad in the cup, making sure it settles evenly. Do not press the pad into the cup. Let the assembly cool.

Return the key to the instrument.

Heat the back of the pad cup (be aware of where the flame is in relation to the instrument body), closing the key with normal (light) playing pressure or allow the spring to close the key. Once the pad cup has cooled, insert the feeler gauge between the pad and the tone hole at the front of the pad (the 6:00 position), close the key with normal playing pressure (or allow the spring to close the key) and pull the feeler out, noting the tension of the drag. Repeat this process at the 12:00, 3:00, and 9:00 positions, each time noting the drag. If the drag is equal all the way around, continue to step #10. If the drag is not equal (which is most likely to be the case unless you are really lucky), you will need to adjust the pad in the cup in order to get a proper seal on the instrument. With the use of the feeler gauge you have ascertained where the pad is not sealing. Heat the cup for approximately 5 seconds to loosen the cement/glue slightly. Using the pad slick, gently shift the pad toward the area where you felt the least drag. Usually a slight shift will do the job. You might have to try this more than once before you are satisfied with the result. If leveling seems impossible in that the 12:00 position always has more drag, then a thinner pad is the solution. If a thinner pad is not available, the next size down in diameter is the solution. The entire pad, including the stepped part, will settle down into the cup.

To seat the pad, allow a drop of water to bead up on the pad slick. Insert the pad slick between the pad and the tone hole and dampen the surface of the pad. Be sure you clear the tone hole with the pad slick so it is not damaged. Use the pad seating clamp (unless the key is a normally closed key) or push a wedge of cork under the foot of the key. Allow to set for about 20 minutes or more if possible. Drying time can be shortened to seconds, using a hair drier. Return any other keys to the clarinet joint.

As a last check, stop one end of the instrument joint with one hand and closing the tone holes with the other, use both suction and air pressure to determine if you have sealed the instrument and there are no more leaks. Play the instrument.

* Use cork grease as needed. Too little will cause the cork to crack.
* Do not leave the reed attached to the mouthpiece. This will shorten the life of the reed and cause it to collect germs.
* Wipe off your fingerprints from the keys after every use. A clean, non-treated cotton cloth will work the best. NEVER clean your clarinet with water.
* Clean out the moisture from your instrument with an absorbent cotton drop swab after every use. Clean the inside of all sections of the clarinet. Removing the moisture from your clarinet before putting it away each time will prolong the life of the pads.
* Always store your instrument in its case with the lid closed when not in use. This will lower the risk of damage.
* Do not put anything (including sheet music) inside the case with your instrument that does not belong. Closing the case with extra contents can cause damage to the delicate keys. Also, make sure that all the latches are securely closed before transporting your instrument.
* Do not leave your clarinet in the car or in direct sunlight. This could cause the instrument to crack.


* Always consult your teacher if you are not sure how to put together your instrument.
* NEVER force the parts of your instrument together.
* Clarinets play the best when a moist reed is used. Get into the habit of soaking the thin end of the reed in your mouth while you are assembling your clarinet.
* When assembling the clarinet you may need to apply a small amount of cork grease on each of the corked joints. When properly used, cork grease should allow you to assemble your clarinet without using excessive force.
* Always make sure that you have extra reeds, cleaning swabs and cork grease.

When you assemble the instrument (specifically the 2 keyed joints), make sure the posts holding the lower ring key (lower keyed joint) and the D/A ring key (upper joint) are in a straight line. Check to see if the D/A ring key pad and the lower ring key pad (top most pad on upper joint) are closing together. Use a piece of cassette tape or a piece of cigarette paper to check the regulation between these two pads.

If the two pads do not close evenly the following procedure can be used to adjust the regulation.

Tools Needed:
Safety glasses
2 Screwdrivers (small, large)
Smooth jaw pliers (to align bridge)
Pad "slick" or "stay"
Feeler gauge (piece of cassette tape)

Basics for all clarinet regulations:
All pads are level and seated.
The clarinet is assembled properly, with the upper and lower ring key posts in line with each other.
All corks are the proper thickness.
Bridge is not bent out of alignment.
The feeler gauge is inserted between the pad and the tone hole at the 6:00 position. The key is closed with normal playing pressure.
Procedure Outline:
Throat G# to A
Ring height
Lower ring key to D/A ring key (bridge)
E/B to F/C
Play the instrument

Procedure in detail:
(#'s below refer to #'s above)
There should be slight lost motion between the throat A key and the G# key. In other words, the A key will travel slightly when opened before it makes contact with the regulation screw attached to the G# key. Turn this screw counter clockwise to achieve lost motion. Use the feeler gauge to make certain both the throat A and the throat G# are closing. Insert the feeler under the A key pad, allow the key to close on the feeler and remove the feeler, noting the drag. The same is done for the G#. The drag should feel the same for both keys.

The rings on the clarinet that surround the raised tone holes (chimneys) should be slightly higher (.5mm) than the surface of the chimneys when the key is in the closed position. If the ring is too high, insert the pad slick between the pad of the key and its tone hole and flex downward on the ring. If you are adjusting the lower rings, make sure you flex all three at once. If the ring is too low (the chimney is sticking up past the ring when the key is closed), hold the ring(s) up while flexing the pad cup downward. If the Thumb ring key is too high, hold the arm extending off of the back of the F#/B ring key down while flexing the thumb ring key down. If the ring is too low, pry the thumb ring key up carefully. Ring height is subjective, varying from player to player.

The bridge mechanism must be in for this step. The bridge arm and foot must be parallel with the hinge rods they extend from. To adjust the bridge so that the D/A ring key and the lower ring key close together, insert the feeler under the pad of the D/A ring key and close the key from the lower ring key. Note the drag (if any) while pulling the feeler out. Insert the feeler under the pad of the lower ring key, close the key and note the drag. Both keys should have equal drag. If the D/A ring key pad has more drag than the lower ring key pad, flex the upper bridge upward. Check the drag again as above. If the lower ring key has more drag, hold the D/A ring key pad cup down firmly against the tone hole while flexing the upper bridge downward.

Insert the feeler under the pad of the E/B key and close the key from the left E/B touchpiece (lever). Pull the feeler out, noting the drag. Insert the feeler under the pad of the F/C key and again close the key from the left E/B touchpiece and pull the feeler out, noting the drag. The drag should be equal between the two keys. If the drag of the F/C key is heavier, push down firmly on the right hand F/C touchpiece, flexing it past the point where the pad hits the tone hole. If the drag is heavier under the E/B key, close the E/B key from the pad cup and flex the crow's foot upward.

Play the instrument.