What is the best clarinet, you ask?
It depends on who’s looking!
For a novice, intermediate and professional player, the criteria and price range will be completely different, which is exactly why we have included a mixture of all of them on our list below.
Find out more about the basic criteria you should have as you shop and help our suggestions below point you in the right direction to the clarinet you are looking for.
Things to Take into Consideration
Before you purchase a clarinet, here are a few things you should consider:
- New or Used, Buy or Rent. If you know what you’re looking for yet you don’t want to pay full price, then try finding a good used clarinet. Be careful, however, if you don’t know much about clarinets. It might be easy to overlook the flaws. If you’re nervous about buying a used one, go for a new one.
In general, it’s only a good idea to rent one if you need it for a short time. If your young student wants to give it a go, you rent until you know that they are ready for something more serious.
For everyone else, it’s more cost effective to buy one.
Top 6 Clarinets Comparison Chart
As we mentioned earlier, there are different types of clarinets based on skill level:
- Student. Perfect for beginners who haven’t used a clarinet before. The low-quality models are made of plastic and don’t last long, yet there are some high-end models that will help the novice to start out with a quality instrument. Number one on our list, for example!
- Intermediate. Next is the intermediate clarinet. For the better-than-average player who has outgrown the student clarinet, this will offer new challenges and keep them engaged. For anyone who plays occasionally and knows how to play already, this is a good choice.
- Professional. These are designed for the pros. Those with serious intentions who need a top-quality clarinet that will provide them with amazing sound quality. Definitely the most expensive.
There are several types of clarinets:
- Soprano. There are three types of soprano clarinets: Bb, A and Eb.
- Bass. Some of these have a high price tag. Very A top-of-the-line bass clarinet will run anywhere from $6000-$10,000, and if you’re interested in purchasing one of this caliber, then it’s best to consult a professional directly.
We do have one entry-level bass clarinet on our list, so check it out above (number four).
A few useful terms as you search:
- Bore. This hole runs from the tip of the mouthpiece to the bottom of the bell.
- Toneholes. These are the holes covered by the keys.
- Reed. This is fixed onto the mouthpiece and makes the air inside the instrument vibrate when you blow on it. Reeds must be replaced once they are worn down.
Top 3 Best Clarinets Reviews
For the serious student who wants a quality clarinet right from the beginning, the Buffet B12 is the best clarinet for beginners.
It is in the key of Bb with a .577” bore and 65mm barrel. It features 17 nickel-plated keys and an adjustable thumb rest equipped with clarinet clamps.
For students with a serious interest in playing the clarinet, this will help you reach higher notes and play louder than you would with a cheaper, lower quality model.
It is definitely worth the investment if you want to stand out from the crowd!
This is another student clarinet to check out. Whether you prefer to buy it new or used, the quality remains.
Made of tough ABS resin, it has a matte finish (for an antique look) and strong, well-designed keys.
This Bb soprano clarinet will help you in projection and intonation on lower notes and seems to be a favorite of high school marching band students!
Quality sound and a quality instrument, Yamaha is a favorite of many beginners and intermediate players!
The Legacy CL750 is an intermediate Bb soprano clarinet with an affordable price tag.
It offers a rich tone and helps you reach high notes with ease. This is a mix between student and intermediate clarinet.
First time clarinet users love the quality of this for the price, so if you’re not quite ready to make the plunge by purchasing one of the more expensive ones above, give the Legacy a try!