With so many different clarinet brands on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. I know it can be overwhelming to choose the right brand for you, especially as a student.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular clarinet brands and explore what makes them special. That way, you can narrow your search for the best clarinet brand and model for you.
Most Popular Clarinet Type
The most popular clarinet used by musicians today is the B flat clarinet. It is a single-reed woodwind instrument, typically made of grenadilla wood, that produces a bright, distinctive sound in a variety of musical genres.
This is the clarinet you’ll most likely start out on. It’s standard for concert bands, orchestras, and other groups. Plus, it’s one of two instruments (the other being euphonium) where the parts are doubled in a small wind ensemble.
The size makes it relatively easy for beginners to learn. Once you get the basics down, you can incorporate other clarinets into your practice sessions. However, playing the Bb clarinet will give you the most performance opportunities.
Best Clarinet Brand Reviews
The best clarinet brands offer superior sound quality, playability, and durability. Some of these brands make clarinets from the student level to the professional level. Others specialize in one level.
You can find reviews of the best clarinet brands often to learn about factors such as price range, quality of construction, and the type of materials used. Many reviews also take into account the reputation of the brand, customer service, and warranty policies.
Among the top clarinet brands are Yamaha, Buffet, Selmer, and LeBlanc.
- Yamaha is known for its high-quality, handmade instruments, and its exceptional tone. There’s the YCL-255, which is popular among students. Intermediate players can check out the YCL-450 series. I’d recommend the YCL-650 to professionals
- Buffet is considered the premiere clarinet maker, and is popular for its attention to detail and superior craftsmanship. They make professional models, such as the R13. Meanwhile, there’s the Buffet Prestige for students.
- Selmer is known for its modern designs. The brand makes intermediate and professional models, from the Prologue to the Muse. They also produce E flat clarinets, bass clarinets, and other members of the clarinet family.
- A sub-brand of Conn-Selmer, LeBlanc is known for its classic sound. You can choose from a variety of professional clarinets, including a contrabass clarinet.
Ultimately, the best clarinet brand is the one that best meets your needs and preferences. Reviews can provide great insight into a brand’s quality, but you should think about them in combination with your personal experience and goals.
Student Clarinet Price Guide
When it comes to buying a clarinet as a student, it is important to consider your budget and find the best value for your money. A good rule of thumb is to look for a clarinet that is within your price range while still providing quality sound and playing experience.
When looking for a student clarinet, the price range can vary greatly. The most basic student clarinets can cost anywhere from $50 to $250, while more advanced models can cost up to $1,500. However, it is important to keep in mind that the quality of the sound produced by the clarinet is just as important as the price.
There are some super cheap clarinets out there. But I’ve heard that they’ll break within months, and most repair technicians won’t work on them. Even if a tech does repairs, the work will probably cost more than the instrument itself, so it’s not worth it.
It’s better to spend a bit more money and buy a clarinet from a reputable brand. That way, you can get good use out of it as you learn the instrument.
Best Clarinet Brand for Students
Yamaha, Buffet, and Selmer are some of the most popular brands for student clarinets.
- Yamaha offers a range of instruments, from basic student models to intermediate and professional models. They are known for their quality construction and sound. As a beginner, you can’t go wrong with a YCL-255.
- Buffet is another popular brand, and their entry-level clarinets are well-crafted and suitable for all skill levels. The Prestige model is well worth checking out to see if you like how it sounds.
- Selmer has a range of instruments, from student models to professional-level instruments. It’s on the more expensive side, but the CL301 offers some intermediate features while being suitable for beginners.
- For those on a budget, there are many other brands that offer good-quality student clarinets such as Etude, Jean Paul, and Emerson. These brands often provide good value for money and are suitable for beginning and intermediate players.
Best Buffet Clarinet Model
When looking for the best Buffet clarinet model, it’s important to consider the type of clarinet and its features. Buffet offers various clarinets, ranging from student-level instruments to professional-grade models.
The most popular models are the RC, R13, and E11. Each of these models has its own unique features, so it’s important to consider what you need from your instrument before making a purchase.
For better or worse, the best Buffet clarinet for you depends on your needs. You could also find that the brand isn’t a good fit for you at all. Be sure to check out some reviews but also try a few Buffet models for yourself to decide if the brand will work for you.
The Buffet Premium Student BB Clarinet Standard
If you’re in search of a new clarinet, a good option is the Buffet Premium Student Bb Clarinet. It is perfect for students who are looking to enhance their musical skills and take their playing to the next level. With a full range of features, this clarinet is an excellent choice for any musician.
I love how it uses ABS resin, which is a common material at the student level. The silver-plated keys also keep it from being too expensive.
Jean Paul Clarinet: Good Brand?
Jean Paul Clarinet is a musical instrument company that produces quality instruments for student musicians. The owners ran a musical instrument shop reselling instruments in Latin America starting in 1994.
However, after seeing people struggle with spending a ton of money on a student instrument, they decided to take matters into their own hands. They started making Jean Paul clarinets and other wind instruments in 2012.
A decade later, they still only sell their instruments online, direct to consumers. That helps keep the final price lower than other brands.
The Jean Paul USA CL-300 Student Clarinet
The Jean Paul USA CL-300 Student Clarinet is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable, high-quality clarinet for their musical journey. It features an ebonite body, which is a type of composite material, so you can play the clarinet inside and outside.
I appreciate how this clarinet comes with a mouthpiece, ligature, case, and even a reed. That way, you can start playing it right out of the box. When it comes to cheaper brands, Jean Paul is much better than some of its competitors.
Best Clarinet for Students: Buying Guide
When choosing the best clarinet for a student, there are several key factors to consider:
- Quality of Materials – The clarinet should be made from quality materials that are durable and provide a good sound. I’d recommend looking for some sort of plastic, such as ABS resin.
- Playability – The clarinet should have a comfortable feel and be easy to play. If you’re a complete beginner, ask a clarinet teacher to test the instrument for you.
- Price – The clarinet should fit your budget. I’d suggest saving around $500 to $1,000 so that you can choose from a few models.
- Brand – Different brands have different features and levels of quality, so research and shop around. If possible, stick to reputable brands, such as Yamaha, Buffet, and Selmer.
- Accessories – Consider what accessories you may need, such as a case, reeds, and cleaning supplies. Many student clarinets come with these things, but not all, especially if you buy a used clarinet.
Student vs. Professional Clarinet Differences
Student and professional clarinets are two distinct instruments, both of which are used to produce beautiful sounds and music. The main difference between the two is the quality and craftsmanship. Professional clarinets are handmade with higher-quality materials and are designed to be more durable and produce better sound quality than student clarinets.
Student clarinets are typically made of plastic and are less expensive than professional clarinets. They are also easier to maintain and less prone to damage. The use of plastic helps you not have to worry about cracks in the instrument.
Professional clarinets are usually made of wood and are more expensive than student clarinets. Professional clarinets are designed to produce a full, rich sound, but they can also be more delicate. You need to be careful about how you handle and store a pro clarinet to avoid cracks.
Student clarinets are a great option for those just starting out with the instrument and for those who want to explore the fundamentals of playing the clarinet. Eventually, though, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a pro clarinet for more tone colors and an overall better sound.
Professional Clarinet Choices
Professional clarinet choices typically refer to the higher-end models of clarinets that offer superior sound quality and durability. These instruments are typically made with higher-quality materials, such as grenadilla wood, and are often handcrafted to ensure greater accuracy and consistency in sound production.
Professional clarinets are typically more expensive than student instruments, but the increased cost generally results in a better quality instrument that will last longer and better suit the player’s needs.
Popular professional clarinet brands include Yamaha, Selmer, Buffet, and Leblanc.
With so many different brands of clarinets available, it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. Thankfully, there are multiple popular brands of clarinets on the market that are well-known for their sound quality and craftsmanship.
When it comes to choosing a clarinet, it’s important to consider your budget, playing style, and personal preferences. You might find that Yamaha suits you best, while your clarinet friends all prefer Buffet or Selmer, and that’s okay.
Choose the brand and model that gives you the sound and response you want!