Clarinet for beginners

Finding A Clarinet For Beginners


Author: Makayla Moen Published on: August 28, 2020
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

Purchasing a clarinet for beginners is a very important process. A musician’s first clarinet sets the foundation for their clarinet experience and education. It is not necessary for a beginner clarinetist to be playing on an advanced to professional clarinet, but they should play on a high quality student clarinet that sells at a reasonable price. A beginner clarinetist’s first clarinet should be in good enough shape that it won’t hold them back from progressing their clarinet skills.

This article will feature a selection of high-quality beginner clarinets from reputable companies. This article features the buffet clarinet line, the clarinet Yamaha line, the Selmer clarinet line, as well as some other popular clarinet brands.

Yamaha YCL - 255

The Yamaha YCL - 255 is a great instrument for beginner clarinetists.

The body of this clarinet is made out of ABS plastic which is less vulnerable to temperature and humidity changes. It is also a safer material for young beginner clarinetists. The ABS is matted, giving it a professional look.

Even though this clarinet is not made out of the Grenadilla wood used in intermediate to professional models, this clarinet’s tone resembles a professional clarinet tone. It is warm and resonant.

This clarinet features an adjustable thumb rest that is perfect for beginner clarinetists, especially if they have small hands and fingers. The clarinetist can adjust the thumb rest to whichever position feels most comfortable.

Along with the adjustable thumb rest, this clarinet also features a ring to hold a neck strap. A neck strap is helpful for clarinetists who have muscle strains in their fingers or wrists. This happens more commonly in clarinetists who have smaller hands.

The bell of this clarinet is newly designed, so it offers better projection, intonation, and resonance. The pads are Valentino pads which are said to be more durable, easier to repair, and less sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. It comes with a 65mm barrel and a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece.

Beginner Favorite
The Yamaha-YCL 255 clarinet is a fantastic clarinet for beginners. This clarinet offers a warm, resonant tone and an improved resonance chamber that aids in projection and intonation in the lower register.

Buffet Crampon E12 F

The Buffet Crampon E12 F clarinet is a relatively new student clarinet. This beginner clarinet is made out of Grenadilla wood, a material that most intermediate to professional clarinets are made out of.

This buffet clarinet is based on Buffet’s most popular Bb clarinet, the Buffet R13. It has a slightly larger bore than the Buffet R13, allowing for easier blowing.

This clarinet comes with a Buffet Crampon mouthpiece made specifically for the E12 F clarinet.

The Prelude Selmer CL711 clarinet is designed for beginner clarinetists.

The body of this clarinet is made out of hard rubber, offering a warm, wood-like tone. Its bore is larger than the bores found in intermediate to advanced models, making it easier for beginners to make a sound right away.

Yamaha YCL - 221 Student Bass Clarinet

The Yamaha YCL - 221 Student bass clarinet is the perfect bass clarinet for beginner bass clarinetists.

This bass clarinet comes in two pieces. It is made out of a matted ABS plastic, providing durability and a lightweight feel for younger musicians. The leather pads and plastic resonators, the same pads used on saxophones, are long-lasting and project sound very well.

The neck angle of this bass clarinet is the same as professional models, providing a more comfortable and natural playing position.

There is a re-designed register tone hole to improve intonation accuracy. It also features rubber rings around the corks to prevent any air leaks and to help make assembly easier.

The range extends down to a low Eb.

Buffet Crampon 1180 Student Bass Clarinet

Buffet Crampon’s 1180 Student bass clarinet is retooled and redesigned to provide beginner students with a strong fundamental low sound. This bass clarinet is known for its impeccable quality, accurate intonation, beautiful timbre, and its comfortable feel.

This bass clarinet’s body is made out of Grenadilla wood, the wood used on advanced clarinets.

Buffet Crampon’s bass clarinet features a wide, homogeneous sound palette that provides an anchor for any ensemble. It also allows the student to be more flexible with their sound and acoustics.

Beautiful Sound
Buffet Crampon 1180 Student Bass Clarinet
The new Buffet Crampon 1180 stands out thanks to the quality of its manufacture, its remarkable intonation, timbre, and overall comfort. It sets itself as the global standard for student bass clarinets.

Giardinelli Bass Clarinet 2 Piece Body

The Giardinelli bass clarinet is designed specifically for a beginner to intermediate bass clarinetists. This bass clarinet provides students with the perfect foundation for learning bass clarinet and at an affordable price for beginning musicians.

This bass clarinet comes in two pieces. The body of this bass clarinet is made out of hard rubber to ensure durability. The keys, bell, and neck are made out of nickel-plated material.

Selmer 1430 LP Bb Bass Clarinet

The Selmer 1430L bass clarinet is the perfect bass clarinet for school music programs. It is a great bass clarinet for a reasonable price.

This bass clarinet is a one-piece resonite (plastic) body with nickel-plated keys and bell. Its neck is angled in a way that is comfortable for the player. This bass clarinet also comes with a floor peg, a hard rubber mouthpiece, and a wood shell case.

The range of this bass clarinet extends down to low Eb.

Purchasing your first clarinet as a beginning musician is an exciting and special endeavor.

Once you’ve purchased your first clarinet, you can start looking at higher quality mouthpieces. Vandoren mouthpieces have a wide variety of mouthpieces that will enrich your sound as a beginner.

Once you’ve found a mouthpiece, you can purchase your first box of clarinet reeds! Vandoren reeds and Rico reeds are two popular and reputable companies for high-quality reeds.

Enjoy and have fun with your new beginner clarinet and its clarinet accessories!

Photo by Hans Splinter | CC BY-ND

Makayla Moen

I am working on my Bachelor of Music Degree - Instrumental Music Education Major at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. My main instrument is the clarinet. For fun, I enjoy playing my guitar and piano!