What is it?
The clarinet is a german instrument designed in the 18th century by Johann Christoph when he improved on the chalumeau instrument.
Not to be confused with
You may hear about it with other names like clarinetto. Pronounced /ˌklærəˈnet/, from the Italian meaning “little trumpet” and called clarinete in Spanish & Portuguese and clarinette in French. A person that plays it’s called a clarinetist or clarinettist.
The instrument is from the Wind family meaning the sound comes by blowing air in a mouthpiece into a tube(resonator).
The types of clarinet are determined by key/range:
- Bb Clarinet: Most common.
- Bass Clarinet.
- A Clarinet.
- Eb Clarinet.
- Contrabass clarinet.
- Contra-alto Clarinet.
- Alto Clarinet.
In terms of materials, the options are usually wood (hardwood, mpingo, grenadilla, and rosewood) with pieces of metal (plated in nickel, silver, or gold)for the ligatures and keywords. It doesn’t affect the sound (our article here) but it does in price and durability.
Before you buy
Getting a clarinet for sale? as a gift? If you do, here’s all you need to know.
The price of the instrument is around $75 – $5,000 USD, the cheapest we found was a Mendini Bb green clarinet with the case, stand & reeds and the most expensive was a Buffet Crampon A clarinet with nickel-plated keys.
In the middle, we have something like the Jupiter Bb bass clarinet with Silver plated keys for $2,400 USD.
For brands Mendini, Jupiter & Buffet Crampon are a good start, but also Glory and Lazarro; just make sure they have a guarantee and shipping to your country, good reviews, there are also other options.
The size goes around 15 x 10 x 5 In (38 x 25 x 13 Cm) – 17 x 13 x 25 In (43 x 33 x 63 Cm) and has a weight from 3.75 Lbs (1.7 Kgs) to 12 Lbs (5.4 Kgs).
Now that you know, you can check on Ebay here.
There are a lot of accessories for example:
- Neck strap: especially useful if it’s adjustable for easy carrying.
- Thumb protector: if you hate getting bruising and blisters this is it.
Mouthpiece patches: to prevent teeth sliding on the mouthpiece.
How to learn the clarinet
We recommend learning to read sheet music, play notes and learn the tricks playing songs.
For learning to read sheets we try a lot of resources to help you choose.
The tips & tricks are all the details that combined make a big difference.
Here are some book and courses:
- Clarinet Lessons: free youtube playlist for theory.
- Beginner to Pro: paid Udemy course with a focus on speed.
- Cambridge companion: free book on google for history.
- Rubank Book: Paid book for intermediate-level solos.
Remember, the clarinet is not hard to learn and it’s fast to learn (1-2 years), it’s also similar to the saxophone, shakuhachi, recorder, and oboe in playstyle so you can combine those resources to help you learn, we hope this helps, we’ll keep working on this article.