How to Get the Barrel off a Clarinet

Removing the barrel from a clarinet can be difficult if moisture has gathered on the tenons of the clarinet. The tenons are the cork portions of the clarinet that attach the body to the barrel. The cork tenons of a clarinet can easily expand due to moisture, making it difficult to remove the barrel from the clarinet body due to the buildup of pressure. When this happens, you have to be extremely careful to avoid damaging the clarinet. Most clarinetists eventually have to deal with this problem, which can cause anxiety, especially if you need to travel and you can't get your clarinet back in its case.

Place the clarinet in a cool, dark place for a few hours to let the cork return to its normal position. Twist the barrel gently to the left and right with one hand, while holding the other side of the barrel with the other hand.

Pull the barrel off the clarinet body when it becomes loose. Once you separate the barrel from the joint, it will become easier to remove the barrel from the clarinet. When a barrel becomes stuck, more often than not, it is the result of moisture gathering on the cork tenons and causing the wood to expand. This puts extra pressure on the clarinet barrel, making it difficult to remove.

Consider purchasing a rubber barrel to prevent having to deal with a stuck barrel.

Thoroughly dry the clarinet cork before putting the barrel on the clarinet. Apply cork grease to ensure the cork is well lubricated.


Don't force removal of the clarinet barrel. If you can't remove it, take it to a music store. For a small fee, they can remove the barrel without ruining the tenons of the clarinet.


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