The clarinet is very popular with children because of its weight and size, it is also portable and offers vast opportunities of playing in school bands and other ensembles. The clarinet is also well-liked by many adults and once you've learned it you can cross over to other instruments like the saxophone. Here are some tips when buying your first clarinet.
What's Your Budget?
There it is again, the "b" word which must always be the first thing you should determine before purchasing anything - "budget." Prices of good quality clarinets may vary from $400 to $1,000 upwards. It is wise to plan your budget first before hitting the stores as your decision will be greatly influenced on how much you can actually spend.
New, Used or Rent?
When buying a musical instrument, there are always three options to consider; new, used or rent. Of course, each of these choices has it's own pros and cons. Buying new is safe but costly, buying used may be less expensive but you must exercise caution. There is also the option of renting - trying it out first before you commit to buying it. Weigh your options.
Plastic or Wood Clarinets?
Plastic clarinets are cheaper than wood clarinets, it is also less prone to damage. Wood clarinets, on the other hand, sound more appealing but may be prone to damage especially when exposed to extreme temperatures. For children who are just starting out, a plastic clarinet would be advisable but for adults, a wood clarinet is a good choice.
What Accessories Will you Need?
Among the other things you need to purchase when buying a clarinet are the following: cleaning supplies such as cork grease and cleaning swabs, clarinet reeds which is the tone-generator of the clarinet, method books to aid in your learning and a music stand to make your playing more comfortable. Some of these items are already included in your purchase when you buy a new clarinet
Where to Buy?There are several places you can go to when buying a musical instrument; music stores in your area, online shops and flea markets or other bargain places. It is very important to do your research well before you buy your instrument. If possible, bring along someone who knows a lot about the item you want to purchase, in this case, a clarinet player who's been playing for a long time.
Warranties and Guarantees?This does not only apply to new clarinets, some stores also offer guarantees on refurbished musical instruments. When buying your clarinet, don't forget to ask if it comes with a certain warranty or guarantee or where you should go in case you have a problem with your clarinet.
Name Brands or Not?While there are both disadvantages and advantages of buying a name brand and an off-brand clarinet, name brand clarinets are generally a better bet. They may be slightly expensive but you are assured of the quality of the instrument.