Choosing the right clarinet for young beginners is an important and hard task. There are many music schools where starting with the recorder is mandatory. This new development of Buffet Crampon enabled young children to start with a clarinet-like instrument, have a real Bb clarinet mouthpiece and a nice clarinet sound, without having to worry about the weight or complexity of a Bb clarinet.

 

What is a Pocket Clarinet?

 

"The Pocket Clarinet is the latest addition to the Prodige student instrument range. This surprising instrument is the product of 3 years of research and development by the experts at Buffet Crampon France and Germany in partnership with the LIAMFI joint laboratory in Marseille (France). It will enable even the youngest student musician to learn to play on a real, single-reed musical instrument, where the sound is produced by a Bb clarinet mouthpiece and resonates in a body made of Mozambique grenadilla wood (Dalbergia melanoxylon)." - Buffet Crampon

 

Pocket Clarinet

Key Advantages

The Pocket Clarinet has many advantages. But why is it better than a recorder? Here are the most important points.

 

 
Easy Assembling

The Pocket Clarinet has only 3 parts, the mouthpiece which is a normal Bb clarinet mouthpiece (comes with the instrument), the body and the bell. Instead of cork, the body has O-Rings making it even easier to replace.

 
Comfort

The instrument is lightweight, has adjustable thumb rest and a rubberized bell in to have a better grip while assemlying and also to provide extra protection.

 
Sound

The Instrument is in the key of D, made of high quality grenadilla wood (Dalbergia melanoxylon). It produces a nice warm clarinet sound although the range is only about one octave.

 

 

What are the Disadvantages?

Big Tone Holes?

As I noticed, the tone holes are slighlty larger compared to a soprano recorder. It is definitely easier for children than playing on a Bb or even Eb clarinet but with little fingers it can be still problematic.

High Price?

If you want to calculate the price to pay in order to start your musical journey, Pocket Clarinet can cost clearly much more than a beginner recorder. If you have the money, you should definetely consider investing in this high quality beginner instrument. However starting with the recorder before the clarinet is still a great and cheap idea.

 

Accessories

The Prodige Pocket Clarinet comes with everything a youth beginner would need:

  • Soft case with compartments. Black Cordura nylon and blue cotton inside.
  • Mouthpiece, reed, ligature, mouthpiece cap, swab, cork grease, fingering chart, pencil

 

Who is it for?

Buffet Crampon made two great innovations recently. The first one was the ClariMate, the second one is the Prodige Pocket Clarinet. Both of these are niche but amazing tools.

I think that the Pocket Clarinet has great potential firstly for the music institutions and teachers. I don't think that for young students it worth investing that much money for this instrument, but it definitely worth it for the teachers or music schools.

These wonderful instruments can provide an effective way to start learning the clarinet while getting used to a real Bb clarinet mouthpiece, reed placement, ligature - without the worry of the mechanic and complexity of a real clarinet.

 

Did you already try the Pocket Clarinet? Let me know in the comments.

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