Is Clarinet Hard to Learn? (9 Things To Consider)

A clarinet is a complex instrument to learn in the beginning. It takes months, even years, to master it. As a result, aspiring clarinetists must overcome numerous technical difficulties and challenges to make the instrument their own. 

However, even though it might take time to master, you will sound great once you work at it. So let this be your guide in learning the basics of a clarinet instrument.

Is Clarinet Hard to Learn? 

The clarinet is an easy instrument to learn. It’s tube-shaped and has the same pitch as a trumpet or flute, so you can identify what you’re playing. Additionally, you’ll need good embouchure skills if you want to play well. Finally, having a suitable Bb clarinet will make playing easier because you don’t have any valves or keys to worry about while playing the instrument!

Let’s find out if the clarinet is the right instrument for you to master! Let’s begin!

1. Tube-Shaped Musical Instrument

The clarinet is a musical instrument composed of a long, black tube that players blow into to play while pressing the keys.

It is a woodwind instrument. In addition, clarinetist is the term that describes clarinet performers.

There are three primary categories for clarinets:

  •  Octave clarinets- very few
  •  Soprano clarinet – the most popular model
  •  Basset clarinet – a soprano clarinet with a range extension to low C

In learning this skill, several young talents can master it after practicing it for about a year. At the same time, adults can quickly increase their skills since they may exhibit more self-control in their training routines.

2. Easy to Master

A clarinet is more straightforward to master than any other orchestral instrument a beginner might acquire.

You can get a good sound and begin the process after establishing where to place your mouth on the mouthpiece and how hard or soft to blow.

However, some students can find it more challenging to pick up the clarinet. You’ll need to acquire each fingering since the fingerings are less evident.

Additionally, studying the correct tone and range is one of the more demanding aspects of learning the clarinet.

Overall, it is more accessible to students since it provides a sound adaptable to various genres and is relatively inexpensive. 

3. Transposing Musical Instrument

Christoph Denner, who lived in 1690, is known for creating the clarinet. 

A clarinet is also considered a musical transposing instrument, so when you play a C note on it, it sounds like a Bb, which is an entirely different tone.

A thick reed is also necessary to achieve sound resistance when playing this instrument since it has a resonance equivalent to wood in terms of the sounds it creates.

You can find clarinet featured in orchestra ensembles that typically play solo parts in the middle octave of the woodwind section.

4. Embouchure Skill

You must focus on the clarinet’s tone, tempo, and, of necessity, precise tuning if you desire to develop into a professional player.

To hold your lips, mouth, and face muscles appropriately while playing, you must establish the correct embouchure skill.

Other characteristics and skills to establish:

  • Reading Music
  • Breath Support
  • Posture

There are three central registers you also need to be knowledgeable of:

  • The Lower Register
  • The Middle Register
  • The Top Register

Keep in mind: The clarinet’s playing technique is based on the twelfths and has a smooth circular bore. This indicates that each octave will require a particular fingering distinctive from the rest.

5. The Right Bb Clarinet

The Right Bb Clarinet

As a beginner, finding a quality clarinet is your first task. Next, you have to select the right BB clarinet suitable for you.

For around $200-$1000, you may get a new, high-quality beginner’s clarinet. 

  • Professional clarinets at $2000 
  • Intermediate clarinets at $1,300-$2800

The top clarinet brands include:

  • Yamaha
  • Jupiter
  • Selmer
  • Jacques Paul
  • Cecilio

You can purchase the instrument through the following:

  • Local music retailer
  • Online marketplaces
  • Second-hand clarinets

Remember that the bell, lower joint, upper joint, barrel, and mouthpiece are the five main components you will immediately see when you open the clarinet box. Double-check to see if it’s all complete in a set.

6. Musical Community

It is a good idea to become familiar with the clarinet’s components and how to put them together before you begin to play.

Students should become familiar with the 17 keys in a standard clarinet. As well as the following concepts:

  • Assembly
  • Tonguing
  • Scales

Playing this instrument allows some students to build confidence and create their identity in the musical world. At the same time, others desire to be a part of a musical community for social connections.

Learning to play the clarinet will help them better appreciate many musical styles in their diversity and help them progress musically and professionally.

7. Essential Gears and Equipment

Three essential gears that every clarinet player needs are

  • Reeds, 
  • Ligatures, and 
  • Mouthpieces 

You can purchase these extra tools as mentioned above. Keep in mind to invest between $1000 and $2000.

Recommended equipment also includes: 

  • Neck strap
  • Tuner
  • Metronome
  • Clarinet peg/stand
  • Mouthpiece patch

Regarding reliable sources for practicing, you can switch between technique and sheet music if you find it suitable.

Also, check out these additional practice suggestions:

  • Artistworks
  • Online Clarinet Lessons on Udemy
  • YouTube’s how-to videos
  • Online digital instruction manuals
  • Individualized online tutoring

As you can see, you can teach yourself and learn clarinet by using a textbook, internet platforms, classes, and applications. 

8. Academic Opportunities

Even 10-year-olds can learn to play the clarinet, and anybody of any age can acquire it. Seniors and children might also necessitate additional time to develop their air supply.

Young clarinetists have a variety of opportunities, mainly in school music activities. These include marching and concert groups, orchestral, jazz bands, clarinet choirs, and solo woodwind with piano.

You may master the pitch of the clarinet by practicing the clarinet. But you will have to devote some of your valuable time and effort.

Try your best to practice each day. A daily practice that is condensed and focused is substantially more effective than two one-hour lessons per week.

9. One Key at a Time

In learning clarinet, a good starting point is 15 to 20 minutes, and you should only do it continuously for 45 minutes or so.

As a general rule, pause as soon as your attention dwindles. Embrace that you are currently in your practice session, and don’t be terrified of how long you practice.

Next, try setting up a strict routine rather than performing randomly.

Remember that it’s optional to play this piece perfectly; instead, concentrate on getting through it as rhythmically as possible.

Above all, making the learning process comprehensible involves learning one key at a time and at a suitable pace.

To learn more, you can also see our posts on Trumpet, Mandolin, and Harmonica.


Ultimately, the clarinet is one instrument that welcomes everyone with a positive attitude.

Anyone thinking about picking up this instrument should be prepared to spend time working on the instrument to achieve success. 

As recommended, research different styles of music and teachers near you, or ask a friend for help to join a youth orchestra.  

After all, give the clarinet a try. You won’t regret it!