Updated 13th September 2018

Shopping for your first clarinet, whether it’s for you or someone in your family is not easy if you have no prior experience. Not everyone is familiar with the ‘in’ brands or the terminology. Here is a guide to 5 of the best clarinets currently on the market which are aimed at beginners. Carry on reading for clarinets for beginners.

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Nuvo Clarineo C Clarinet – Best for Younger Players

A more recent addition to the clarinet family, the C Clarinet has become extremely popular in schools as it allows children to learn from a younger age. With a lightweight, scaled down design featuring smaller holes it enables children as young as 5 or 6 to get to grips with the clarinet. The tone is pretty good and the modern design complimented by a funky case in different colour schemes should appeal to both boys and girls.

It is worth remembering that this clarinet is pitched in C while ‘standard’ clarinets are pitched in Bb so if you have an older sibling learning they won’t be able to play the same music at the same time unless you transpose one of the parts.

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Sonata Clarinet – Best for on a Budget

With significant price rises in Yamaha and Buffet’s student range over the last few years, other brands have entered the mix allowing schools and parents to purchase good quality instruments that don’t break the bank. The Sonata clarinet is made in the UK by the Hanson Clarinet Company who also produce high-end models. ABS body, durable and lightweight as well as offering a warm and responsive tone – this model ticks a lot of boxes. Practical backpack style gig bag completes the outfit.

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Buffet Prodige Bb Clarinet – Best for Quality with Style

Modelled on the Buffet B12, the new Prodige is one of the best student instruments on the market. Designed with the performer in mind, it offers a historical high level of design and tonal projection that is synonymous with quality clarinets around the world. This renowned student clarinet offers a rich, focused tone and ease of play for beginners and aspiring musicians thanks to the light weight feel and resilience. Comes with a semi-rigid back pack gig bag, making transportation easy and light weight, a mouthpiece, ligature and reed.

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Yamaha YCL255S– Best for Premium Brand Model

The YCL255 from Yamaha is the predecessor of the YCL250. Made from durable ABS resin and featuring adjustable thumb-rest, there’s not much to choose between this and the Buffet B12 in terms of quality and what is does. It is also priced in the same ballpark, so it really comes down to which brand speaks to you! Again, a good quality student model designed to take the player up to around the grade 5 mark – quality components and outfit with stylish case.

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Jupiter JCL700Q-S – Best all Rounder

When you start learning, choosing a good quality instrument is extremely important as it can either motivate you to pursue the clarinet or give up completely. The Jupiter JCL-700S-Q is the perfect entry-level model that offers both great quality features and value for money and it is one of the most popular student clarinets among our customers.

About the author

Kerry is primarily involved with all aspects of e-commerce at Normans Musical Instruments. A Music Graduate from the University of Durham, Kerry has a wide musical knowledge with particular expertise in woodwind and keyboard instruments.

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Comments

  • Vanessa Crichton 07/10/2015 at 11:16 am

    Dear Kerry
    I am an adult beginner and have hired a Buffet B12. I am thinking of buying but not sure which make. I find the thumb rest on the Buffet very uncomfortable. Which make might be best?

    Reply
    • Diana Stone 09/10/2015 at 8:32 am

      Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I have spoke with our brass and woodwind specialist Jonty and he said the best thing to do is give him a call on 01283 535333 option 1 or email him on jonty@normans.co.uk and he will be happy to advise on the best instrument for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

      Diana

      Reply
  • no name 26/09/2018 at 11:14 pm

    what clarinet is good for a 5th grader?

    Reply
    • Shona Callow 28/09/2018 at 7:43 am

      Thanks for your comment.

      The Buffet Prodige Bb Clarinet is the most renowned student clarinet. The quality and tonal projection is incredible.

      I hope this helps,

      Shona

      Reply