13 Things That Frighten Even the Bravest Clarinetist

To paraphrase Bette Davis, “playing clarinet ain’t no place for sissies!” The mental fortitude and nerves of steel required for a career as a musician vanquish many a hopeful clarinetist. However, there are some things that terrify even the bravest of clarinetists:

  1. chipped reeds
  2. transposition
  3. altissimo register on the E-flat clarinet
  4. bass clef
  5. cracks in your clarinet
  6. playing reeds after extreme environmental changes
  7. Nielsen, Francaix, and/or Corigliano concertos
  8. Peter and the Wolf, Ginastera, Bartered Bride, Daphnis, Scherzo, etc
  9. d# minor (or the dreaded key signature of your choice)
  10. quick clarinet changes in orchestra
  11. unexpected appearances of C clarinet in orchestral music with no advance warning
  12. moldy reeds
  13. alto clarinet (can be substituted for your least favourite auxiliary instrument of choice)

Disclaimer: This is intended to be light-hearted humour, so please don’t take any of these too seriously. I salute all the brave clarinetists out there who deal with all of these (and more) on a regular basis!

4 thoughts on “13 Things That Frighten Even the Bravest Clarinetist

  1. No. 5 ist my worst nightmare…
    Can’t imagine seeing a crack on my Wurlitzers … very emotional reason the way I’m connected to these instruments

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