Winter weather can wreak havoc on clarinets (and reeds) if you’re not careful, so here are a few of my winter essentials for clarinetists:
- protective case cover – Make sure your clarinet case is warm and well-insulated with a padded case cover. (You can even wrap a scarf or towel around the case inside for an added layer of protection.)
- humidifiers – These are important to have in both your clarinet and reed case to maintain a consistent humidity level. There are many different humidifiers available, and a few of my favorites are Oasis, Dampit (I use the violin one), Boveda, and sponges cut to fit inside a toothbrush holder.
- hygrometer – To measure humidity levels
- cork grease – This should always be in your case, but you might need to apply more during the colder months to protect your corks.
- swab – Swabbing should be part of your practice routine year-round, but it’s extra important to swab thoroughly in the winter to remove all water from the instrument to prevent cracking.
- cotton swabs – Make sure there is no water in your clarinet by using these to reach all the crevices around the tenons.
- pad or cigarette paper – You can use these to remove water under the keys.
- lip balm – Dry, cracked lips are no fun when it’s time to practice!
- water bottle – Hydration, hydration, hydration!
What are your winter clarinet essentials? Leave a comment below!