Choosing a Clarinet

The clarinet is one of the most popular instruments to learn the basics of music. The student level clarinet is a very reasonable priced instrument and provides the opportunity for your player to enjoy all the social contacts in band and orchestra. The skills you learn playing the clarinet can be used to play the saxophone and the flute as well.


Student level clarinets are made from a specially formulated plastic material called ABS. Intermediate and professional clarinets are made of grenadilla, rosewood or African blackwood. Any student level clarinet that is purchased at Summerhays Music can later be upgraded to an intermediate or professional instrument.


You will want to make sure your clarinet has been looked over by an instrument repair technician. They will check the condition of all the pads and insure that all the pads seal tightly. Any air leakage will adversely affect the clarity of the tone production. Low and high registers of the instrument will be checked for accuracy of pitch. All keys will be checked to make sure they move with ease. Spring tension is also checked to insure proper resistance and key closure when pressing these keys.


A word of caution: inexpensive clarinets made overseas are finding their way into the market through the internet, big box stores, and other discount centers. While the lower price is tempting, you should consider that poorly constructed instruments play poorly, hindering the student’s ability to learn. They are also difficult if not impossible to regulate and adjust. Many repair shops won’t even touch them, or charge a premium to do so. Most teachers will agree that a poor instrument defeats the student even before he/she has begun.


© 2020 by Summerhays Music Center

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