If you’re here just to find the best clarinets and really can’t afford to take the time to read the excellent reviews and buying advice prepared by our researchers, this short paragraph will highlight all the vital information. We have gathered a lot of information about the best quality clarinets on the market by looking at owner feedback, expert review sites, sales figures, value for money and price. Out of the products we have looked at, the Yamaha YCL-255 is the best because it is suitable for both beginners and upper level students, it is made with a material that produces a clear and balanced sound and it is a standard Bb clarinet, adapted to any music genre. However, if this product is unavailable, you can rely on the Jean Paul USA CL-300 to provide you with similar qualities, though you must keep in mind that this is an instrument designed for entry level students.
If you’re a beginner instrumentalist and you want to buy a clarinet that you can practice on, but you don’t have an expert that can advise you on what instrument you should choose, the following buying guide should give you some basic ideas of how a clarinet functions and what you should look for when you’re trying to find a good one.
Material matters a great deal when it comes to all musical instruments as this can largely influence the sound produced by them, and clarinets are no exception. This instrument comes in a variety of materials: plastic, ebonite, greenline, rosewood and grenadilla, also known as African Blackwood. If you’re looking for the most appreciated material by professionals, this is grenadilla. From an expert point of view, this material produces the clearest sound, so it is wildly popular and expensive. However, greenline is supposed to be a good synthetic replacement for African Blackwood. Nevertheless, if you are a beginner, you don’t have to go for the most expensive, as plastic is largely used for fabricating beginners products and needs less maintenance than more pretentious materials. If you do continue your practice, a more capable instrument will be required. When it comes to the keys, they can be plated with nickel, silver and, rarely, with gold. Nickel is generally seen as durable and also an aesthetic choice and it is also, probably, the most encountered plating material.
Type of clarinet
Clarinets can be classified from two perspectives: the sound and your study level. In terms of experience you can have beginner’s instruments, intermediary, professional and artisan. Their value, complexity and, implicitly, price increases as you gather experience and versatility in playing the instrument.
Regarding the sound they produce, you may find a larger palette of instruments, each of them with their own sound quality and used for different music genres. The Bb clarinet is the most popular type, and it can be used for various music genres from jazz to classical. However, interpreters in an orchestra will most probably prefer an A clarinet for classical music pieces, which is another well-known variety of this instrument. Other types include the Eb clarinet, usually preferred by skilled professionals, because it produces higher notes, but beginners can have problems with using them, because they require a lot of experience. One category of clarinets less widely used is bass clarinets, typically larger and harder to carry than the Soprano clarinets (in which category are included all the other mentioned categories).
The price can be a challenging problem you need to deal with when it comes to clarinets. Though basic products, intended for beginners are less expensive, as you pass the basic levels and become more and more skilled, these instruments tend to become much more expensive as well. In addition, prices can vary depending on the brand you choose.
Top Rated Clarinets in 2017
As you can see, searching for the proper instrument is no easy job and searching for the best clarinet for beginners is an even more challenging one. The characteristics mentioned here are numerous and hard to find in a single instrument. Thus, to give you some additional ideas on how a good product should look, we have created a three product list that includes the best clarinets we have found online.
If you’re looking for the best professional clarinets, this is a perfect choice, as it can be used for most study levels, including the upper ones. This is a standard Bb clarinet, with a 65 mm bore dimension which means it can be adapted for playing various musical pieces and genres. The body of the instrument is made with resin, a material that aims at reproducing the natural texture of wood, and the sound produced by wooden instruments as well. The matte finish of the clarinet makes it look even more similar to natural wood and it offers protection. In addition, this material needs less maintenance than others, which makes it a great choice for less experienced students that are not yet familiarized with the maintenance techniques and the way the instrument behaves in certain weather conditions. The keys are made with silver and nickel-plated, an advantageous and resistant option, widely used for most such instruments. The product includes an adjustable thumb rest so that you can adapt the instrument for the size of your hands. In addition, a strap ring is included so that you can add a neck strap to the clarinet.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($619.99)
Jean Paul USA CL-300
The Jean Paul student instrument is a great choice for those looking for the best beginners’ clarinets at a good price and that also comes accompanied by all the needed accessories. The product comes with its own transport case, mouthpiece, ligature, cap, a set of professional reeds, includes a neck strap and also cork grease, a cleaning cloth and gloves for maintenance. This thoroughly thought out pack will ease your task if you’re new to the instruments universe. As the previous product, this is a Bb clarinet, used for interpreting various musical genres due to the balanced quality of its sound. The body is made with Ebonite, a hard rubber that is resistant, durable and less prone to cracks. It is wood finished, and the keys are nickel plated, the combination conferring an elegant look to the product. It features the Boehm 17 key system that makes it easy to play, which is especially necessary for inexperienced students.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($179.95)
This is one of the best instruments available on the market for intermediate players at an affordable price. The clarinet is made with especially engineered plastic and it has a wood grain brushed finish that prevents your fingers from leaving spots on its surface while conferring it protection. The keys are made with silver and are nickel plated, which offers them durability, while Italian made pads are engineered with quality materials to ensure a clear sound. The CL750 is a Bb clarinet and, due to this, you can approach pieces from various genres including classical music and jazz. In addition, the instrument comes with its own transport case that will keep it safe and protected against scratches and cracks. The case is padded with a soft fabric to keep the instrument in optimal preservation conditions.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)