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Clarinet Recommendations

Instrument Rental or Purchase

We are fortunate to have several excellent music vendors in our area, all of whom provide quality instruments and repair services.  It is important that students and their parents select instrument from the recommended list.  Beginning student level instruments vary widely in terms of quality.  We want all of our students to have every opportunity for their best success playing their instrument.  An instrument of poor quality can be frustrating and difficult to play.  Students have trouble playing well, and don’t realize that it’s not their fault, it’s because of the instrument!  

Recommended Clarinet Brands

A critical component to your child's success as a musician is the quality of his/her instrument.  Unfortunately, all brands are not created equal!  Below is a list of instrument brands we have found to be of consistently high quality.  We encourage you not to compromise your child's opportunity for success.

Yamaha, Buffet, Selmer, Bundy, Vito, Leblanc, Artley, Jupiter


No such list can be all-inclusive. The directors are happy to look at other instruments upon request.

Clarinet Features

When picking a student instrument, look for the following features:

  • Quality of material used in body of instrument, such as ABS resin

  • Barrel design that enhances response for the beginning student

  • Bell with resonance chamber that produces a focused tone and quick response

  • Sturdy pads that hold up to the demands that a beginning student place on the instrument. This aids in maintenance during the first year. In addition, the instrument will be more stable in varying conditions of temperature and humidity

  • Ergonomic key design

  • Adjustable key design on thumb rest

  • Sturdy material used for keys that stand up to daily use

  • Undercut tone holes

  • Tight fit on tenons and clamps that ensure air tightness and easy response

  • Sturdy case

Required music items include:

  • Folding music stand

  • Book (see Recommended Instruments for the appropriate grade level book)

  • Lyre and flip folders: used for marching band and/or All Island Band Night

Clarinet Accessories

  • Yamaha 4C or Van Doren mouthpiece (highly recommended):  These mouthpieces gives a great tone and easy response. Some mouthpieces that are included with rental instruments make the clarinet difficult to play. They are hard to blow, make it difficult to get a good tone and make the clarinet play out of tune. If the rental store does not include one with the instrument, parents could try requesting one. If the rental store will not provide one, parents may purchase this mouthpiece online for under $25

  • One box of #2 1/2 Bb clarinet reeds

  • Plastic reed keeper

  • Cleaning swab

  • Cork grease

  • Mouthpiece brush

  • Neo-Tech neck strap (optional), recommended if your child is small.

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