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The clarinet is a musical instrument that is commonly picked up by aspiring musicians for its ease of use. A member of the woodwind family, a new clarinet will usually require a financial investment, so a buyer should make sure that this is something that will be used for the long term. To select a new clarinet, the best tips are to play different models at a local music store and to select the appropriate material for your experience level.
Prospective clarinet players should purchase their equipment from a reputable brand. There are a number of brands that offer clarinets, with some brands including extra equipment like reeds and clarinet parts. Music instructors are good sources of information, as these professionals will typically have hands-on experience with various clarinet vendors. Second-hand clarinets are also a viable option for those that do not want to pay the large ticket stub typical of a new clarinet. A used clarinet, however, may have scuffs and sound discrepancies that can dampen a person's learning experience.
The best advice when trying new clarinet brands is to simply play with the equipment at a local music store. Prospective clarinet players should go in and ask for more information about the equipment that are displayed. The sales associate will be able to lead you to beginner-friendly instruments. To test out a new instrument, always ask for a new, sterile mouthpiece. The new clarinet should be shifted around gently — it should feel light, yet durable.
The type of material used will also have to be considered. Wooden clarinets tend to be a bit on the heavier side, as well as have a more expensive price, though the sound tends to be richer. Due to the nature of the finish, most wooden clarinets are susceptible to the wear and tear of normal use. Wooden clarinets should be left for those who have had prior experience with clarinets and are only buying a new clarinet to replace a lost or broken one.
Clarinets that are made from plastic can have a light, cheap feel to them. Some are made from hard rubber to improve their maneuverability when in use. Even though they are easy to maneuver, plastic clarinets tend to produce a shrill sound. Due to their durability, they tend to be recommended for those who are new to the instrument.