A Clarinet for you

What is it?

The clarinet is a german instrument designed in the 18th century by Johann Christoph when he improved on the chalumeau instrument. 

Here’s how it looks and sounds

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 it’s called a clarinetist or clarinettist.


The instrument it’s from the Wind family meaning the sounds 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 lignatures and keyworks. It doesn’t affect 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 i found was a Mendini Bb green clarinet with 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’s 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).


There are a lot of accessories for example:

  • Neck strap: specially 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.

To learn to play all notes you need a finger chart (also known as position chart) and you can search for music sheets in places like musicnotes & 8notes

The tips & tricks are all the details that combined make a big difference.

They way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions and techniques.

Here are some book and courses:

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.

Luis Gerardo

Musician as a hobby for +6 years, documenting every instrument in simple words for this website.

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