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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000077.txt from 2005/07

From: "Clark W Fobes" <>
Subj: [kl] Buzzing (Clarinet repair question)
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 18:32:44 -0400

Buzzing sounds are always sympathetic vibrations from either skin pads or
some metal to metal surfaces. These can usually be isolated by having a
friend press on various keys while you are playing and the sound is present.

A very common origin of these mysterious vibrations is from the side trill
keys. The ends of the keys closest to the hand (opposite end from the pad
cup) can become so close that they vibrate against eachother. If you think
this might be the case, take a test feeler or narrow piece of cigarette
paper and try to slip it between the keys. If it goes through with no
resistance then the problem is somewhere else. But, if the paper stops
between the keys this is where the vibration may be originating. Gently pry
apart the keys or take it to a good repair person and have them do it.

You may also be able to isolate a pad with a loose skin by pressing on
the various closed key cups. Generally these vibrations occur on the
smaller pads.

I recommend cork pads on all of the upper joint pads that remain closed
when the instrument is at rest.

Sometimes buzzing sounds can come from loose rods, but that is usually
only in older instruments. If you put a little cork grease on the threads of
any rods you will eliminate the possibility of this problem. Also, check the
screws on your ligature. Again, a little cork grease here does wonders. I
have also found that putting cork grease on ligature screws improves


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