How to Swab Your Clarinet

Swabbing your clarinet is an essential part of taking care of your instrument. By removing moisture and dirt from the inside of your clarinet, it will help prevent liquid from building up in tone holes. In fact, it's recommended that you swab your clarinet every 15-20 minutes while playing for optimal playing condition.

Here's how to do it:

  1. First, remove your mouthpiece, ligature, and reed from the clarinet

  2. Next, carefully insert the weighted string of the swab into the bell of the clarinet. Angle the mouthpiece towards the ground and guide the string out of the top of the barrel.

  3. Holding the clarinet with one hand and the swab with the other, gently pull the swab up through the instrument. Make sure you're pulling from the bottom (bell) of the clarinet towards the top. NEVER pull the swab from top to bottom!

  4. Once the swab is out of the top of the clarinet, carefully remove it from the instrument. Be sure to let your swab dry completely before putting away. A wet swab can grow mold and be harmful to your health and the instrument.

  5. If the swab gets stuck or won't come out, don't panic! It's important NOT to try to force it out yourself, as this can cause damage to the inside of your clarinet. Instead, seek the help of a professional band instrument repair technician.

By following these steps and swabbing your clarinet every 15-20 minutes while playing, you'll be able to keep your instrument in great condition and play with optimal sound quality. Happy playing!

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