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How Do I Choose the Best Beginner's Clarinet?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 23 June 2014
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The clarinet is a type of woodwind instrument that is commonly heard in jazz and classical music. For musicians just starting out, choosing a beginner's clarinet isn't always easy. With numerous options and possibilities, making a selection can sometimes seem overwhelming. Taking four primary factors into consideration should make it possible for most musicians to pick the right instrument, however. These factors include whether the clarinet is new or used, is plastic or wooden, has airtight keypads and has keys that move easily.

One of the first factors that most musicians will want to consider is whether to buy a new or used beginner's clarinet. Since a beginner isn't likely to understand what qualities make for a good clarinet, it's usually better to buy a new product. That way, he won't have to worry about issues like structural damage or leaking keypads. On the other hand, if the beginner knows an experienced clarinet teacher willing to assist him in the search, then buying a used product with the teacher's approval can be justified.

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The next thing to consider when looking for a beginner's clarinet is whether to buy a plastic or wooden instrument. In most cases, it's best to first go with a plastic clarinet because they cost substantially less than wooden ones. Along with this, there are many plastic instruments that are both high quality and capable of producing a great sound. This allows the musician to get a feel for the instrument, without spending a fortune in the process. If he has success with this clarinet, he can always purchase a wooden instrument later on.

Airtight keypads are something to look for on a beginner's clarinet. Whether new or used, if there is any sign of leakage occurring on the keypads, it should be a red flag that there is a problem with the instrument. This can usually be determined by checking the seal around each keypad. If there are any noticeable gaps, then the pads are likely to leak. Although keypads on every clarinet require occasional changing, it's almost never a good idea to buy an instrument that already has leaks.

In addition, it's also important to look for an instrument with keys that move easily. When examining a beginner's clarinet, the individual should pay close attention to the movement of the keys. A quality product will have keys that move easily when pressed, while a problem instrument will often have keys that stick.

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