Clarinet

I'm thinking of taking up the clarinet again - more than thirty years since I last played. I was in a band and an orchestra as a teenager, but haven't played in many years. I can still read music, although I'm a little rusty.

I've just spoken to my sister, who is supportive (I thought she might laugh). I'm not expecting to reach orchestral level again - I want to paly purely for pleasure. An added bonus would be to play for Rainbows and Brownies. When teaching them new songs, I am aware that my voice isn't exactly great and I do go out of tune at times. I enjoy it, though, and the girls love singing.

So, any tips? I'm looking at buying a new clarinet and accessories, but not spending a fortune. I remember using almond oil on my reeds, but couldn't do that now as I have developed a devere allergy to almonds (I have Epipens). I can use olive oil instead though.
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Replies

  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
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    I've just googled this ........ they can be expensive can't they.
    When i bought my Ukulele, i bought it here and they often send emails when they have clearance stuff. Don't know how they compare with what you're looking for.
    https://www.normans.co.uk/search?searchterm=clarinet
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • Thanks Sam. Yes, some are a very high price. I've found a clarinet on Amazon that is enough for my needs, and it has two barrels (you can use one or two for different keys). It's a reasonable price (£70). Several used clarinets on Ebay sell for a higher price then this.

    If we ever have a North West meet up, you'll have to bring your ukelele along. It's years since I've heard someone play.
  • googlergoogler Forumite
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    Is the £70 one the Gear4music one? I had one, could review it for you if you wish.

    General recommendation for the classic starter clarinet is the Buffet B12.
  • Hi, it's the Glory B flat clarinet. The Buffet is out of my price range at the moment. Thanks for the offer to review though.
  • edited 16 November 2016 at 7:29PM
    Rosemary7391Rosemary7391 Forumite
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    edited 16 November 2016 at 7:29PM
    I've seen cheaply built clarinets - they tend to be very poorly made to the point that they're unplayable and/or unrepairable when they break (quickly). Whereabouts in the country are you? I'd be happy to play test one for you if you're near me or near anywhere I'm going soon (I get around a bit!). Also, you'll want to find a repair technician, it'd be worth just asking if they'd be prepared to work on whatever clarinet you buy. A buffet B12, even secondhand, will last you (mine is still going strong, being played by Dad now, after 15 years).

    Your amazon "Glory" clarinet looks dodgy to me, I'll be honest. You don't need half the stuff they're offering! Especially a 2nd barrel (you don't use them for changing key, just to adjust the tuning very slightly).

    I really like these guys as clarinet makers (I have a T6 from them):
    www.hansonclarinets.com

    Also, keep an eye on the second hand pages at www.dawkes.co.uk and www.howarth.uk.com - both places have very good repair technicians so you can be sure you'll get an instrument in good working order from them. If you buy secondhand or cheap it's really helpful to get someone to play test it for you - I know you're not a complete beginner, but you might not know what is you being rusty and what is the instrument if that makes sense?

    Clarinets and other woodwinds are expensive because they're actually complicated bits of machinery. It costs a certain amount to get that all in the right place, moving smoothly and to stand up to being played. Something like a ukulele is just easier to build, so cheaper ones can be okay. Not so with clarinets I'm afraid. I actually spend upwards of £100 a year getting my clarinet serviced just to keep it all in good working order - and it does make a difference! (Don't panic if that sounds a lot - mine gets a lot of use and was expensive to start with so worth the investment. You could have it serviced much less often than yearly if you don't play much and it's plastic rather than wood.)
  • Definitely worth paying out for a decent one. Also, if you have a chance to try before you buy...try soft and hard reeds, while getting the feel for it. Rosemary 7391 knows her stuff! x
  • Thank you for your responses. Rosemary, I'm nowhere near Scotland I'm afraid - I'm in Merseyside. I'll keep an eye on the sites you suggested - thank you.

    I'll delay buying for a bit longer. I can't afford a really decent instrument and am unlikely to be able to afford one for a long time. I'm my disabled son's carer, so I don't have paid employment. I was going to use birthday money, but maybe I need to save up for longer.

    Thank you everyone for your help.
  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
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    If we ever have a North West meet up, you'll have to bring your ukelele along. It's years since I've heard someone play.

    I'd like to be able to play something like a Clarinet, but my fingers don't work.
    The time i was stabbed in the Cab he cut the tendons and all these years later i can still only type with one finger. And i have to use my left hand for the mouse.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • googlergoogler Forumite
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    Ignore that Glory one on Amazon, and get a used Buffet B12 from eBay. There's a host of them that have sold between £49 and £70 recently, there's sure to be a decent one out there for you.

    Better to get a used good make than a new no-name.
  • googler wrote: »
    Ignore that Glory one on Amazon, and get a used Buffet B12 from eBay. There's a host of them that have sold between £49 and £70 recently, there's sure to be a decent one out there for you.

    Better to get a used good make than a new no-name.

    I agree. Get a decent second hand one! They'll keep their price, even if you don't like it. x
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