Music Gear News

At Gear4music.com we update our news channel daily to ensure you always get the latest and most important music news.

A beginner's guide to the clarinet

What is a clarinet?

The clarinet is a reeded musical instrument and a member of the woodwind family. It is generally viewed as being the chief woodwind instrument and boasts one of the largest pitch ranges of its family. It is played by blowing into a mouthpiece containing a single reed, with different notes created through blowing technique and by pressing the keys that run along the upper and lower joints of the instrument.

As with most woodwind instruments it needs to be assembled before playing, with the clarinet made up of five separate pieces - the mouthpiece, barrel joint, upper joint, lower joint and the bell, from which the sound is emitted.

Types of clarinet

There are three main types of clarinet, Bb (or B-flat), alto and bass. The Bb is the most commonly played of the three and is perhaps the one that most quickly springs to mind when the word clarinet is mentioned. It is generally viewed as being a good place for people to start when learning the clarinet, with its size suitable for beginners. Once a person has mastered how to play one type of clarinet, it is generally relatively easy to learn how to play one of its sister instruments.

Clarinets on the market

Clarinets designed specifically for beginners, such as the Student Clarinet, are available to purchase from £85. This Bb model is capable of taking a would-be musician all the way up to grade six standard and boasts a fluid and clear tone up and down its pitch range, with easy blowing and balanced action. It is also relatively low-maintenance and is a durable and robust instrument that comes with a host of extras. These include cork grease to assist with assemblage, a cleaning cloth and a featherweight hard case complete with handles and straps.

For £129.95, beginners can purchase the Deluxe Clarinet, which is designed to take learners up to grade six and beyond. Its hard rubber body gives it superior projection and tone to resin-composite alternatives and it looks and feels as if it is made from wood.

Those looking to advance their playing further could try a Rosedale Custom Ebony Bb Clarinet for £399, which has a professional quality solid ebony body and can create rich and warm tones. Or for those seeking to play at an advanced level, there is the Yamaha YCLCX II Custom Pro for £1,564.95. This instrument is hand-crafted from specially selected granadilla and is acclaimed for its clarity of tone and full round sound.

For players looking to branch out and learn the other models of clarinet there is the 2009 model Bass Clarinet for £699 or the Alto Eb Clarinet for £799. Yamaha offers advanced versions of both in the form of the Yamaha YCLCX II Custom Pro Bb Clarinet and the Yamaha YCL221 II Bass Clarinet.

Other things to consider

A number of additional accessories are often purchased to aid with clarinet learning, many of which are available in the Student Clarinet Complete Beginner Pack for £99.95. As well as containing the same features as the standard Student Clarinet package, this set includes a black telescoping sheet music stand, a pack of ten 2.5-inch Rico Clarinet Reeds and the Ultimate Beginners DVD instructional video.

In addition, special maintenance kits are available, such as the Odyssey Clarinet Care Kit for £14.99. This set is designed to improve the clarinet's performance and extend its longevity and includes a polish cloth, deluxe thumb rest cushion, cotton brush swab, weighted pull-through swab, nylon mouthpiece brush, multi-purpose dust brush, cork grease stick, bore oil and a guide on how best to care for a clarinet

Posted on 20 Mar 2009 09:00 to category : Tips and advice

Related Music News

thumbnail

Update available to improve performance and fix bugs.

15 May 2015 07:00
thumbnail

Shure recently discussed how guitarists can achieve great results when recording at home or in a small project studio. We took a look and picked out our favourite points.

25 Jun 2014 14:15
thumbnail

Recreate the Brazilian carnival atmosphere at your World Cup party with our Samba instruments.

19 Jun 2014 09:46
thumbnail

Many parents want to encourage their child to take up an instrument early on in life. Music can be a fun and rewarding activity for children but knowing where to start can be tricky. Here are our top picks for ideal starter instruments for children under 7.

7 May 2014 11:16
thumbnail

We take a look at 11 apps you may want to try...

30 Sep 2013 14:34
thumbnail

You've spent ages perfecting your sound and now it's time to let others hear it too. Read our 8 Tips for Putting on a Great Live Show.

9 Sep 2013 15:09

Recent Music News

thumbnail

With various different entries, Ibanez unleash a spectacular array of signature models to their NAMM 2017 line up

20 Jan 2017 14:40
thumbnail

With extensive research conducted into how to make a kit that truly caters to the player and their specific needs, Pearl hit a home run with these one of a kind custom kits

20 Jan 2017 12:52
thumbnail

A revamp of one of Ludwig's most popular snares, the Ludwig Black Beauty 14x8 projects classic tone and looks as good as the original

20 Jan 2017 11:47
thumbnail

Mackie's Big Knob Studio Interface continues the legacy of its predecessors, championing various new features and exciting tech to reiterate its triumphant return.

20 Jan 2017 11:14
thumbnail

Line 6's first ever artist designed guitar, the Shuriken personifies the aggressive and technical playing styles of metal enthusiasts around the world.

20 Jan 2017 10:28
thumbnail

Building on the foundations of its predecessor the Prophet 08, the REV2 features a whole array of interesting and innovative additions to its format.

20 Jan 2017 08:37