Skip To Content

    23 Struggles All Clarinet Players Know Too Well


    1. When you tell people you play clarinet and they say, "Oh, like Squidward?"

    2. When you develop a close and personal friendship with a particularly good reed.

    3. And then when you take your favorite reed out right before a concert and it's CHIPPED!!

    4. When your sheet music looks like the deranged scribblings of a maniac.

    5. When you suck on a reed you haven't used for a while and immediately realize that something is very wrong.

    6. And then when you get it all screwed in, and try to play, and it's STILL way too dry.

    7. When the sight of one of these books makes you want to scream.

    8. When you've been practicing so long for your All-State audition that you just want to set it all on fire.

    9. When you take apart your clarinet and the spit ... gets ... EVERYWHERE.

    10. When you have to carry your case around school and everyone's like, "Haha is that a briefcase or something, you loser?"

    11. When you finally nail the fast part of the Mozart clarinet concerto.

    12. When you realize you've developed the ability to assess vast differences between seemingly identical three-inch slivers of wood.

    13. When your reed makes a horrible noise in the middle of a recital and non-woodwind players feel sorry for you.

    14. When some fourth-chair in your band thinks he's Benny Goodman.

    15. When you mix up your chapstick and your cork grease.

    16. When you're worried you've been practicing so long that the teeth marks in your bottom lip are permanent.

    17. When your marching band has to play on a cold day and this happens.

    18. When the flute players walk into band like ...

    19. When you find out you have to play the E-flat part on a piece.

    20. When your non-band friends don't understand why you spend two hours with your instrument after school every day.

    21. When you play the bass clarinet, NOT THE SAX.

    22. When you try to double-tongue.

    23. When you pack your baby up for the day and every piece is nestled carefully in its velvet enclosure and you just look at it and smile.