13 Things That Annoy Every Clarinetist

Playing the clarinet is usually pretty awesome. We can play any genre of music – classical, jazz, Klezmer, pop. We blend well with most instruments. Heck, even Mozart loved us (his favorite instrument was the basset clarinet!). Clarinetists are known for being down-to-earth, but there are some things that will always irritate us:

1. When your ligature slides while changing clarinets

2. Getting spit in your keys

3. Warped reeds

4. Having to play a school-owned auxiliary instrument, which are usually plastic and in serious need of repair

5. Having to transpose C clarinet parts

6. When composers give you zero time to switch clarinets….

7. ….Or zero time to turn pages

8. When one-and-one B-flat doesn’t cover

9. Nailing the tonguing on Mendelssohn’s Scherzo…and messing up the trills. When your tonguing isn’t the greatest in Scherzo, but you nail the trills. When you’re asked to play the section after the trills in Scherzo. Basically, everything about the Mendelssohn Scherzo.

10. When you tell someone you play clarinet, having to hear “My mom/brother/sister/aunt/friend/dog played clarinet!”

11. When you tell someone you play clarinet and someone asks if you can play any song from the Top 40 (because people assume you are a human jukebox)

12. Benny Goodman or Kenny G references

13. Squidward references

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