Learning to play the clarinet is a rewarding experience that can open up a world of musical possibilities. But as a beginner, finding the right clarinet can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market, it's hard to know where to begin. To help you on your quest, we've put together a comprehensive guide to the best clarinets for beginners. Whether you're a student just starting out, or an adult looking to take up a new hobby, this guide will provide you with expert recommendations and reviews of the top clarinets on the market.


Why Choosing the Right Clarinet Matters

The right instrument can make a significant difference in the sound you produce, your playing style, and your overall experience of learning and playing the instrument. While there are many clarinet brands and models available in the market, not all of them are suitable for beginners. A beginner clarinet should have certain features that make it easy to play, comfortable to hold, and produce a good sound. A poorly made or low-quality instrument can be frustrating to play and hinder your progress. On the other hand, a good-quality beginner clarinet can inspire you to play more and improve your skills faster.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Beginner Clarinet

Choosing the right beginner clarinet can be overwhelming, especially if you're new to the world of music. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a beginner clarinet:


The first factor to consider is your budget. Student clarinets can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. While a higher price tag doesn't always mean better quality, it's important to invest in a good-quality instrument that will last you for years to come. The mouthpiece plays one of the biggest role in the sound of the clarinet. A good mouthpiece could cost almost as much as a cheaper clarinet. If you cannot decide which model you should choose, go with the one, which has the better mouthpiece. 

Here you can check the best Clarinet Mouthpieces

Brand and Model

The brand and model of the clarinet are also important factors to consider. Established brands like Yamaha, Buffet Crampon, and Selmer are known for producing high-quality instruments that are reliable and durable. However, there are also lesser-known brands that offer good-quality instruments at an affordable price. It is better to stay away from the unknown brands.

Why You should Stay Away from Clarinets under 300$?

  • Quality: Clarinets under $300 are typically made with low-quality materials and craftsmanship, which can lead to several issues, including:

    • Poor intonation: The clarinet will not produce the correct pitches, which can make it difficult to play in tune and learn proper technique.
    • Uneven tone quality: The clarinet will not produce a balanced and pleasing tone, which can make it difficult to produce a good sound and learn to play expressively.
    • Poor durability: The clarinet will not be able to withstand the rigors of regular use, and it may be prone to breaking or malfunctioning.
  • Lack of resale value: Clarinets under $300 are not likely to retain much of their value if you decide to sell them later on. This means that you will not get much money back for your investment.



    Best Beginner Clarinets To Buy


    • Yamaha YCL-255 (our recommendation)


    The Yamaha YCL-255 is one of the most popular clarinets for beginners, and for good reason. This instrument is designed to be easy to play and control, making it perfect for students who are just starting out on their musical journey.

    One of the standout features of the Yamaha YCL-255 is its ABS resin body, which is both lightweight and durable. This makes it easier for students to handle and transport their instrument, without having to worry about it getting damaged easily. The resin body also helps to produce a warm and resonant sound, similar to that of a wooden clarinet.

    The Yamaha YCL-255 also has a Boehm 17-key system, which is easy to use and provides a smooth and responsive feel. This allows students to focus on their playing, without having to worry about the technical aspects of their instrument.

    In addition to its high-quality body and mechanism, the Yamaha YCL-255 also comes with a range of accessories that make it a great value for the price. These include a case, a CL-4C mouthpiece, ligature, swab, and cork grease, which are essential for every beginner clarinet player. From 2023, every Yamaha clarinet comes with 3 free months of TomPlay subscribtion. It can be activated on the Yamaha website, by registering your instrument.

    Overall, the Yamaha YCL-255 is an excellent choice for beginners who are looking for a reliable and high-quality clarinet. Its lightweight and durable design, combined with its easy-to-play mechanism and range of accessories, make it one of the best options on the market for novice players.


    • Buffet Crampon Prodige

    The Buffet Crampon Prodige features a high-quality, Co-polymeric ABS, Poly-cylindrical bore inspired by the E13 model that's designed to produce a warm, focused sound.

    It has adjustable thumb rest, which can be easily adjusted to fit the individual needs of the player. This is particularly beneficial for players with larger or smaller hands, as it allows them to find the most comfortable and ergonomic position for their hand on the clarinet.

    Another great feature of the Buffet Crampon Prodige is its silver-plated keys (there are also Nickel-plated models available). These keys not only look beautiful and add to the overall aesthetic of the instrument, but they also help to improve the quality of sound produced by the clarinet. Silver-plated keys are known for their increased durability and resistance to wear and tear, which means that they can help the instrument to last longer and maintain its quality over time.

    It also comes with every accessories, mouthpiece is also included.

    Overall, the Buffet Crampon Prodige is an exceptional clarinet that's ideal for beginner and intermediate players. For its high-quality construction, ergonomic design, and impressive sound,  Prodige is definitely worth considering.


    • Jean Paul USA CL-300

    The Jean Paul USA CL-300 is a budget-friendly option that is perfect for beginners who are just starting out. Despite its affordable price, this clarinet is made with high-quality materials and has a responsive and easy-to-play mechanism. It also comes with a case, reed, cleaning cloth, and cork grease, making it a great value for the price. However if you are looking for a more quality pick, we recommend going to other brands.

    • Backun Alpha (our 2nd recommendation)

    The Alpha Bb Clarinet can be the perfect instrument for beginner clarinetists looking to advance their passion for music. Crafted with precision from a blend of synthetic materials, this clarinet offers unparalleled resonance and durability. Whether you're practicing in the classroom, performing on stage, or marching in a band, the Alpha clarinet excels in any environment. Its stable and lightweight synthetic body, coupled with water-resistant black Valentino pads, ensures a comfortable playing experience. The durable and ergonomic key work, along with an adjustable thumb rest and neck strap ring, allows for hours of enjoyable practice and performance. With a poly-cylindrical bore and standard tone holes, this clarinet produces a beautiful and rich sound. The Alpha Bb Clarinet comes with additional accessories, including a barrel, cleaning swab, cork grease, and a choice between a backpack case or hardshell case. Optional features such as silver key work and a removable left-hand Eb lever are also available. Backed by the Backun Warranty, the Alpha clarinet is a reliable and exceptional choice for beginner players.


    Material - Synthetic or Wood?

    The material of the clarinet can affect the sound it produces and its durability. Ebonite, ABS resin, and grenadilla wood are some of the most common materials used in clarinets. Ebonite and ABS resin are more durable and affordable, while grenadilla wood produces a warmer and richer sound but is more expensive and requires more maintenance. 

    Comfort and Playability

    The comfort and playability of the clarinet are crucial for a beginner player. A comfortable and ergonomic design can make it easier to hold and play the instrument for extended periods. The size and weight of the clarinet should also be considered, especially if you have small hands or are a child. Synthetic clarinets are lighter and much easier to hold. If you plan to use neck strap, don't forget to check if the thumb rest has a hook for that.


    Maintenance and Care of a Beginner Clarinet

    Proper maintenance and care of your beginner clarinet can help to prolong its lifespan and ensure that it produces a good sound. Here are some tips for maintaining and caring for your first clarinet:

    1. Clean your clarinet regularly:
      Cleaning your clarinet regularly can help to remove dirt, debris, and moisture that can accumulate inside the instrument. Use a soft cloth or swab to clean the inside of the clarinet after every use. It is also a good idea to clean the keys to prolong the lifespan of the plating.
    2. Store your clarinet properly:
      Proper storage of your clarinet can prevent it from getting damaged or scratched. Use a sturdy carrying case to store your clarinet when not in use.
    3. Oil the screws:
      Oiling the tube screws of your clarinet can help to keep them lubricated and prevent them from getting stuck and getting rusty. Use a small amount of instrument oil if neccessary.
    4. Check for cracks:
      Regularly check your clarinet for cracks or chips in the body or the barrel. If you notice any damage, take your clarinet to a professional repair technician to get it fixed. Many clarinets also come with a warranty. Check if it applies to the cracks as well!



    When it comes to finding the perfect clarinet for a beginner, there are many options to choose from. However, the Yamaha YCL-255, Buffet Crampon Prodige, Jean Paul USA CL-300, Backun Alpha are all excellent choices that offer good materials, responsive mechanisms, and great value for the price. No matter which one you choose, you can't go wrong with any of these top clarinets for beginners.

    What is your recommendation or experience with beginner clarinets? Let us know in the comments below!



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