Here it is! You decided to learn how to play the clarinet. Now, let’s see how to get the perfect clarinet for you!
For a child under age 9, it may be necessary to begin on a smaller clarinet, called C clarinet. In case of a doubt, don’t hesitate to meet a clarinet teacher in person who will be able to determine which size is best for your kid!
For bigger kids and grown ups, a B flat clarinet is what you need.
Here are the clarinets I advise my students to buy. There are 3 main level of quality. Prices are in euros because I live in France and it gives the order of magnitude of the budget, but I’m sure you’ll find easily the prices in your currency.
– Yamaha 255 : from 500€ to 650€ depending on offers and options. Made out of resin. Good enough for the first two or three years of practice, but the sound isn’t very good and be prepared to face some mechanical problems pretty quickly.
– Yamaha 450 : from 900 to 1200€, this clarinet has an excellent value for its price. It will last at least a decade without any major issue.
– Buffet Crampon E13 : from 1500 to 1800€, it’s the best student clarinet, period.
Don’t forget to buy :
– a Vandoren M30 mouthpiece (around 100€),
– Vandoren traditionnal reeds 2 1/2 (environ 25€),
– a ligature (basic model around 15€),
– cork grease (around 3€).
It is a good idea to try a clarinet before buying it, especially for expensive models. All clarinets are different, even if it’s the same model. Be sure to have the one which matches with your playing style and personnality!
Buying a second hand instrument could be a good idea, but in this cas, trying it is mandatory to avoid bad surprises. It’s even better if you can have it tried by a clarinet teacher or repairman.