Music Gear 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 clarinetPosted on 20 Mar 2009 09:00 to category : Tips and advice
Related Music News
Update available to improve performance and fix bugs.
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.
Recreate the Brazilian carnival atmosphere at your World Cup party with our Samba instruments.
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.
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.
When you're shopping for a loudspeaker, often the specifications can seem a bit confusing! Use this guide to help you demystify common terms and find the right speaker for your needs.
Recent Music News
The Roland SPD: ONE ELECTRO Trigger Pad is a next level sound solution developed to enhance and diversify your performances, giving your playing extra depth.
The Roland SPD: ONE Percussion Trigger Pad offers percussion players a versatile and eclectic tonal palette for all of their percussion based needs.
The Roland SPD: ONE KICK Trigger Pad gives the solo musician a convenient means to spice up their live performances and introduce a new percussive dynamic.
Ideal for those looking to spice up their live performances, Roland's SPD:: ONE WAV Trigger Pad can take samples extending up to the length of an entire song.
Ideal for fitting in places which other mics can't, the Hummingbird Small Diaphragm Mic is part of a two for one offer that runs until 30th of November.
The TC Electronic Unitune Tuner is the latest tuning accessory developed by the Denmark based innovators. Modern, and wildly practical, the Unitune has it all.