What Every Clarinetist Should Have in Their Case

by Mitchell Estrin


Photo by Kal Loftus

Clarinetists have to equip and prepare themselves for a myriad of unforeseen circumstances related to their craft. Due to the nature of the instrument and all of the necessary related paraphernalia, we must always be ready for the unexpected. Having all of the “right stuff” in your case will make you ready for anything. 

Your clarinet first aid kit should include the following items:

  1. Extra reeds in a secure reed case (lots of them!)
  2. Mouthpiece cap (use it to prevent mishaps!)
  3. Cork grease
  4. Swab
  5. Pack of cigarette paper (in case you get water in a key)
  6. Pencil with a good eraser (no pens!)
  7. Metronome and tuner (or download the apps on your smart phone)
  8. Extra mouthpiece (in case of that unmentionable emergency)
  9. Extra ligature in a protective case or box (they can break, screws get lost, etc.)
  10. Instrument screwdriver (or jewelers screwdriver set)
  11. Reed adjustment tools (knife, sandpaper, Dutch rush, etc.)
  12. Small piece of beveled edge glass or plexiglass (to work on your reeds)
  13. Lip balm
  14. Toothbrush and toothpaste (travel size)


And, lastly, don’t forget to put your name and contact information in your case (there are some honest people in the world). I put my business card in all of my cases. You may also wish to put in a business card or the contact information for your favorite local repair technician.

Don’t wait to get caught without all of these listed items. Your musical life will be less stressful because you are prepared for whatever comes your way! 


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