Feels like I can't blow through

by kim
(stockton, ca)

I played clarinet from 6th grade through High School and into college. Haven't played in about 15 years though, and now my daughter wants to play, so I picked up a used Clarinet, it looks great, but I try to blow through it and it feels like it's clogged-like I can't blow through. I have checked for anything inside, it's clear. I think I may have a small pad leak-possibly. But when I try and play a C, I can barely get a sound to come out, when I play an G, sound comes out but it sounds flat. I can't figure out what's wrong! Thanks for your time!



Hello Kim,

Sorry it has taken some time to respond. I hope that you have solved the problem by now. I would say you probably did have a pad leak in the upper joint of the clarinet. If you could not find the leak immediately, I would take it to an instrument repair person. If the repair person is available, have them check for leaks and see if they can fix it on the spot and have you try the clarinet. If this type of quick service is not available, make sure you play the clarinet at the store it was repaired. Don’t assume it is fixed and go home and try the clarinet.

Is the clarinet plastic or wood? If the clarinet is wooden, it is possible it has a crack and is leaking air. Fixing a crack in a wooden clarinet is a fine art and saved for a true quality repair person.

Again, I hope your daughter does well learning the clarinet and perhaps will spark an interest for you to pick it up again. Find a duet book and play some tunes with her. Most of all, have fun and practice consistently.


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