Tips & Advice Before You Buy a Clarinet

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Get guidance and advice for buying a clarinet, playing and maintaining a clarinet with expert music training tips in this free online instrument instruction video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play the Clarinet
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Video Transcript

Hi! My name is Leslie Burnick. Today I’m going to talk about getting started on playing the clarinet. The type of clarinet that you would be getting typically would be a B flat clarinet. So just be careful if you are for instance going on E-Bay or something to look for clarinet, you want to make sure to B flat clarinet and that would be very specific in the description of the instrument. I would tend to be little bit hesitant buying something from E-Bay because unless you really know what you are doing you could be making mistake and getting the wrong instrument. Another thing that you want to be wary of is purchasing an instrument in like K-Mart or some of the wholesale stores because the quality tends to be very poor and they are very difficulty to repair. So the best thing to do is to go to your local music store and as a beginner you may want to just go ahead and rent an instrument. You do not have to purchase them. The instrument rental is very reasonable. I really hate to give an amount because every store is different but it may be for instance, I am just throwing this down around $50 for may be a three month period to rent the instrument and then you do pay per month after that. Again every store does vary on how they handle that. But all the money that you put in the rental does go towards purchase if you decide to do that, so a beginning clarinet can range anywhere from around $200-$500. You may be able to get one less expensive but that is just a kind of a ballpark figure for you. You do not need to buy wooden clarinet to start with, a plastic one is perfectly fine so, again the one that you see here, this is a wood clarinet but starting with a plastic one is fine, then you will step up to a wooden one, you know, really after a few years. Some of the other things that you will need when you go the music store, you are going to need to get some kind of a method book. If you are a student, you will get the method book that your teacher has recommended. Make sure that you get book I of B flat clarinet part and the music store will certainly be able to help you out with that. So you will need some kind of a method book, because in the method book is also a fingering chart, which will help you in learning what the notes are and again it is a lot more fun to have the method book, because then you could be playing songs. You will also need reeds. There are many, many different manufacturers of reeds. This is just one particular kind, it does not really matter what brand you get. You do not need to go with anything fancy at the beginning. I recommend that my students start out with a number two and a half reed. It just seems to be the best. You will get the best sound with the two and a half sized reed. Again the music stores will be able to help you. Most clarinets that you are renting or buying do come with a little cork grease so generally you do not have buy that, it does come with it. You may find it handy to have a small reed case. Again this one holds four reeds but some of them hold two, it just makes it a little bit more convenient than having the little pieces of the little plastic holders that would be kind of just getting all over the place. So this just keeps it little bit neater and then you should also get a folding music stand, which will make practicing much easier at your home.

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