Selecting a Clarinet
Part of the Clarinet For Dummies Cheat Sheet
When you’re ready to purchase a clarinet, you have a lot to think about and many choices. You have to think about what materials you prefer, whether to buy new versus new, and much more. So when shopping for a clarinet, take the following factors into consideration:
Type of clarinet: Clarinets don’t all sound alike. You can find them in A, B-flat (most common), C, E-flat, and other keys.
Quality: When shopping for a quality instrument, the choice usually falls into one of the following three ranges: starter upper (for beginners), step up (for intermediate players), and money is no object (for professionals).
Material: A major factor to consider is the material out of which the clarinet is made. The choices boil down to three: plastic, wood, or greenline (resin). All three are good choices, depending on where you’re playing, how gentle you are in handling the instrument, and the sound you’re looking for.
Buying versus renting: The question of buying or renting a clarinet involves several factors, including budget, the likelihood that the person who’s going to be playing it will stick with it, and the actual condition of the instrument.
New versus used: A new clarinet is like a new car — as soon as you drive it off the lot, it loses some value — so you can often find good used clarinets at affordable prices.
Accessories: You can purchase custom parts for your clarinet separately to improve its sound and how well it responds.