Where do I start with learning the clarinet?
Clarinet has always been a popular instrument for youngsters to learn! Why? There are a few things which make the clarinet suitable for children, for example, it is not an expensive instrument when compared to its counterparts. It is also easy to transport and it is a versatile instrument which can serve as a prelude to other instruments, including the saxophone. Of course many adults also want to learn the clarinet and it is generally easy to find a teacher.
Whilst weekly hour lessons with a tutor are a great way to learn an instrument, you will also be expected to put in a lot of practice yourself. This can be particularly difficult at the beginning, especially if you don’t know what you should be rehearsing. We’ve put together a number of reviews for websites that help you learn the Clarinet, such as Clarinet Mentors and Clarinet Companion which contains videos to help you get started. Take a look at all our reviews of websites specialising in the teaching of the Clarinet – click here.
As with learning all instruments, the devil is in the detail. Before you start to actually play the clarinet, you need to master the breathing and actually holding the clarinet. You will also need the correct embouchure, this refers to how to hold the clarinet correctly in your mouth and how to blow the instrument. We have provided six easy tips for getting this just right.
- Place your two top front teeth onto the flat surface opposite of the reed, about 1 centimetre to 1.5 centimetres from the tip.
- Place your bottom lip so it goes over your bottom teeth, don’t put too much of your lip into your mouth and put your lip onto your reed.
- Wrap your lips around the mouthpiece in a “closing the drawstring” fashion to make sure the air is locked, but don’t squeeze the reed too hard, or you’ll squeak.
- Position the mouthpiece so it points down.
- Sit up straight and don’t let your back slouch and touch the chair.
- Starting softly, blow into the instrument. If you have positioned your mouth
correctly then it should make a nice sound and not squeak or make a weak noise.
When people are looking to learn the clarinet it is quite common to buy an instrument and then look for a tutor. However, perhaps this should be the other way around as a good tutor will be able to advise their pupil on the best instrument to purchase. Clarinets made from wood can run into thousands of pounds so it is perhaps worth considering a resin alternative. These are also more durable than wood clarinets and so are preferred for younger students. Take a trip down to your local music shop as they can advise you on the best Clarinet for a beginner, plus you get to try them out first! If time/distance is an issue we have a range of Clarinets in our store – click here.
Daily practice will enable you to progress more quickly. You should be spending time on building your skills including tone production and scales. At the very beginning you should ensure you are always “setting up” properly, this means ensuring your are holding the instrument correctly in your mouth and also think about breathing from your diaphragm.
Wishing you all the best 🙂