Clarinet Repair

Clarinet Repair - Lisas Clarinet Shop

When you purchase a clarinet from Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, we repad all the instruments we sell to ensure you know exactly what you are purchasing. Clarinets play dramatically differently once serviced which can lead to the realization you purchased an instrument you did not like as much as you thought unfortunately. We have seen this happen many times which is why we repad them first before you try them.

We usually recommend overhauling the instrument in the 2nd or 3rd year. While most professional players will have their clarinet overhauled within a few months of purchase, because the instrument was not properly set up, if you purchase from us, you won’t have to.

Having spring tensions and ring heights properly adjusted, along with good clarinet pads is essential. We offer 2 kinds of service package and also basic repairs at an hourly rate. If there are more than a few pads which need to be replaced, or if keys are bent or if spring tensions are off, it may be more cost-effective to have everything fixed at once with an overhaul.

About Our Services

  • Below each service entry is a link to self-schedule your repair date.
  • Schedule your overhaul at least 7 business days in advance to ensure it arrives before the date.
  • We only work on one instrument at a time so your instrument will be our sole focus on your scheduled appointment day.
  • To learn more about our technicians click here.
  • We accept all major credit cards, checks, paypal and ACH transfers.
  • We guarantee our overhauls and playing condition work for 90 days from completion.

Schedule Your Repair

Get your instrument serviced at our Santa Fe, New Mexico location.

Walk-in and Mail-order repairs both welcome.

Clarinet Overhauls

Student Bb, A or Eb Clarinet Overhaul- $450.00

Professional Bb, A or Eb Clarinet Overhaul- $750.00

Plastic Bass Clarinet Overhaul- $650.00 I Wood Bass Clarinet- $950.00

Straight Contra Clarinet- $1150 I Curved Contra $1450


Clarinet Playing Condition

Student Bb, A or Eb Clarinet Playing Condition- $90.00

Professional Bb, A or Eb Clarinet Playing Condition- $295.00

Plastic Bass Clarinet- $125.00 I Wood Bass Clarinet- $400.00

Straight or Curved Contra Clarinet- $500.00


Our overhaul includes:

*Complete cleaning of instrument
*Instrument will be swedged to maximum tolerances
*All pads replaced-Your choice of skin, cork or synthetic masters series pads
*Corks and bumpers replaced as needed
*All rods and screws will be tested to ensure free movement
*Joint corks replaced as needed
*Tone holes chips repaired
*Student instruments 6 month warranty I Professional Instruments 1 year warranty

A play condition includes:

(fixing 3-4 issues which might include)
*Replacing up to 6 pads
*Replace corks and bumpers if needed
*Address frozen rods and screws as needed
*Fix broken springs
*Joint corks replaced as needed
*Tone holes chips repaired
*30 day warranty
However, if all of these were issues this will be a full overhaul.


Individual Services for Clarinet:

Tenon corks (First) $20.00 Tenon corks (Additional or with Playing Condition) $15.00
Loose body rings tightened $25.00 Pads Replaced-Bladder $4.00 each
Pads Replaced-Cork $4.00 each Pads Replaced-Leather $10.00 each
Polish $25.00 Straighten bent tone holes (Contra Clarinet) $20.00 each
Wash plastic body $20.00 Adjust tenon/bridge keys (Contra Clarinet) $60.00
Refit bass clarinet neck $25.00 Key Transfers (per joint +pads) $75.00
Solder (silver) per joint $25.00 Oil body and bore $20.00
Remount thumb rest (+parts) $25.00 Crack pinning $20.00 each
Shimming Contra-bass pads $10.00 each Ribbon wrap crack repair $50.00
Flush body $45.00 Undercut Tone Holes $50.00
Key buffing Bores polished
Soprano $45.00 Soprano & Alto $12.00
Alto-Bass $65.00 Bass $14.00
Contra-Bass $80.00 Contra-Bass $16.00

By Quote Only:

Case repair Chimney repairs Chip filling (body & toneholes) Cut Out Stuck Hinge Rods
Damaged/Worn Tone Holes Dent work-Neck/Bell Bass Clarinet Free Binding Keys Key fitting
Make New Hinge Rods Redressing Tone Holes Regulate Removal of stuck swab
Replace Cork Replace or Repair Tenons Sticky Pads & Tone Holes Straighten Bent Hinge Rods
Straighten Bent Keys Straighten body or bell- Contra Tenon/Socket Replacement Wood sanding or refinishing work
Professional quality pads

When to Overhaul or Repair Your Clarinet.

Regardless of if you just purchased a brand new instrument or it has been quite some time since you took it to the shop, all instruments deteriorate over time, and gradual changes in feel, tuning, spring tension, etc. If you service your instrument once a year, you will avoid the ‘gradual’ decline that occurs and keep your instrument in optimal playing condition to enjoy for many years. Here is a list of some of the things that dramatically affect how your instrument will perform that routine maintenance and care will address.


Dust and sludge can usually be found most everywhere on your instrument.
Dirt on pads and in tone holes can alter your sound quality and pitch dramatically.
Dirt can also affect your breathing capabilities, making it harder to breath and reducing your ability to play with  proper air support, which will reduce your musical abilities.


If you are observing increased noise when playing, a bumper cork may have fallen off, a key might be bent or the left hand levers for low E and low F#- which have a layer of skin on the pins which connect them to the right hand keys- may have worn away or fallen out. Noise when playing is less efficient mechanically and annoying to the musician. 

Clarinet Pads

Clarinet pads come in many shapes and sizes. Common pads we use are cork, synthetic, leather and bladder pads.

The first way to recognize if a pad needs to be replaced is through visual inspection. If a pad looks old, tattered, bloated, or discolored it should be replaced because it is probably leaking. I recommend replacing the trill-key pads which collect the most water with cork pads because cork is less affected by water. Ideally, all of the pads on the top joint (except middle ring pad) should be cork for a number of reasons. They project the sound better than skin pads by creating a tighter seal, and the harder material of the cork pads is better than skin pads at reflecting sound rather than absorbing it. Also, a cork pad will last much longer than a skin pad.

Bent Keys

It is easy to bend keys and not even realize that you have. If you find yourself having to press really hard to have a note speak, it is usually an indication that a key is bent. When this happens, and you don’t fix it, it can spread tension to other fingers and starts to erode your playing technique. When this happens, it’s a slippery slope because it will also begin to affect your enjoyment and performing abilities.

Spring Tension

Clarinet spring tension

Spring tension can greatly affect the way an instrument plays and feels. If the springs are often too heavy, it will make it harder to press down the keys. If they are too light you may find that the instrument does not respond well consistently. The proper spring tension is soft enough to not have to push too hard, but stiff enough to return the pad to its seat quickly and maintain adequate pressure on the pad.

Tenon Rings

Tenon rings are the circular pieces of metal that surround the wood at the barrel, lower joint, and bell sections of the clarinet. Their function is to prevent cracks in the wood. If any of the rings are loose enough that they can be removed, the clarinet is in danger of cracking. The solution is to place a paper shim between the ring and the wood to keep the rings tight. However, if your bell ring is loose you need to take it in to be fixed. Don’t ever use glue to re-attach any ring.

Binding Tenons

Binding Clarinet Tenons

Tenons or joints of the clarinet are cut to certain dimensions at the factory, but over time the wood can absorb moisture and expand. This expansion will cause the tenons to bind, making them excessively difficult to assemble or disassemble. The excess pressure places undue stress at the joints which can lead to cracking, especially if the tenon rings are loose. Barrels with no tenon rings are more susceptible to cracking because there is nothing besides the wood to absorb the pressure. Binding tenons also can affect the resonance and therefore the tone of the instrument by limiting vibration.