Clarinet Buying Guide


Buying a clarinet is not something you do every day and it’s an expensive purchase, so it’s worth doing some research and doing it right. Buying a new clarinet, whether it’s your first instrument or an additional instrument, is an important decision that must take into account many factors. Read on to learn more about the critical features and components to consider that will help you choose the right clarinet for you.

Nobody’s going to buy a clarinet-like that. And to decide which clarinet to buy, there is no “good” or “bad” or perfect instrument that suits everyone – even if everyone was rich. Your choice may depend on many factors: how much do you want to play seriously, how much time do you want to repeat, how much money can you spend, what styles do you want to play? All these factors must be taken into account for your choice because you will spend a lot of time with the clarinet.

Clarinet Categories

Also known as level models, clarinets are classified into three levels: student, intermediate and professional. It is important to know these levels in order to purchase the type of clarinet that best suits your child’s skill level. Student clarinets are generally reserved for those whose commitment to the instrument is unknown. if your child is just beginning, we recommend this type of clarinet.

Made of ABS resin, these clarinets are very durable and can easily withstand a whole season of fanfare. Ideal for those who played clarinet in recent years, intermediate clarinets are made for those who want something a little more advanced than a beginner model, while professional models are reserved for those who are fully engaged in the field. ‘instrument.

Clarinet anatomy

The clarinet is composed of five main parts that constitute the instrument: the mouthpiece (A), the barrel (B), the upper seal (C), the lower seal (D) and the horn (E), in this order.

Plastic or Wood?

Clarinets are mainly made of plastic or wood. Student clarinets are typically made from a composite plastic/rubber material formulated to produce wood-like qualities while providing greater durability. Students and mid-level players generally opt for plastic clarinets because they are stronger and can easily withstand the trauma of the fanfare. Although wooden clarinets produce better sound, they are also more expensive, more fragile and easily damaged by the weather.

Clarinet Keys

Key works on a clarinet will be plated with nickel or silver (and on rare occasions, gold). The nickel plate is durable, does not tarnish as easily as silver and has a slightly shiny appearance. Silverplate is very attractive with a warm and shiny appearance, has a pleasant feeling to the touch, but is easily tarnished compared to the nickel plate. With proper care, silver-plated keys can remain free from tarnishing and retain their beauty throughout the life of the instrument.

Bore Design

The size of the bore of a clarinet affects the general sense of the instrument being used. The larger the bore, the more difficult the clarinet is to play. If you buy a clarinet for a beginner or intermediate student, most experts recommend looking for a clarinet with small bores. In general, students are much easier to play and stay tuned.

Medium bores are the most common because they offer a balance between concentration and flexibility, while larger bores are more flexible in height and used by professionals. In addition to size, the shape of the bore is also an important factor to consider.

Take your time – take the instrument home for a try

Selecting an instrument requires time. That’s why many dealerships I know allow you to bring new instruments to your home for a day. When I bought a used instrument, I agreed on the same thing with the seller. In stores, there is usually not much space, there are a lot of customers, it will take some time for the instrument to warm up, mouths and reeds may not fit, etc. , the lighting may not be optimal. Before you go to the store, ask if you can take an instrument home to try it. They will not like you for that, but you still have the money in your hands and that’s what they’re looking for.

Used vs. New

In many cases, the purchase of a lightly used clarinet is acceptable. When buying a refurbished clarinet or as new, make sure you do not have to pay for expensive repairs in addition to the clarinet price. Although sites like eBay are full of used clarinets, you should proceed with caution, because you can not see the instrument and you do not know the seller personally, buy it only from eBay.

In most cases, buying a new clarinet is your best choice. If you are unsure of your child’s commitment to the instrument, renting a clarinet is a viable option. In some cases, you may even participate in a lease option program where each monthly rent payment is used to cover the cost of the instrument and, once the instrument is “paid back”, it is yours.

How to Break In a Clarinet

Before your child can play a wooden clarinet or grenadilla for a long time, he or she must spend some time to break the instrument. During the first week, your child should not play more than fifteen minutes a day and should then rub the bore after each use to remove moisture. During the second and third week, they should increase their playing time by 15 minutes and continue to clean the bore. During the fourth week of play, they should increase playing time to one hour and stamp the bore. Once they have followed this program closely, their clarinet must be integrated and ready to be used continuously.

Note: It’s only for wooden clarinets; Plastic clarinets can be played immediately for long periods of time, without undergoing this break-in process.

Clarinet care

A new clarinet or other stored for some time must be acclimated to avoid cracks. There are two general rules for taking care of your grenadilla clarinet.

Rule no. 1 – Do not keep your wooden instrument in places where you would not keep a baby. You would not leave a baby out in the cold or in your car on a hot day;

Rule no. 2 – When you’re not playing, always put your instrument in its case.