Get Help Finding the Best Clarinet Today!

Choosing a new clarinet is an exciting and important decision! Our clarinet specialists are here to help you find the right fit for your needs. We stock a wide variety of clarinet brands appropriate for beginners through the most consummate professionals. Our highly trained clarinet specialists along with the clarinet selection guide below are here to help you through the selection process.

For more information on choosing the right clarinet, please provide us with your contact information and a short message so one of our clarinet specialists can get in touch with you. Or feel free to call us directly at 1-800-926-5587.

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1621 E. Hennepin Ave. Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55414

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9am-3pm Saturday

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Clarinet Selection Guide

There are many factors to consider during the process whether you are a professional, an aspiring professional, a student purchasing your first professional clarinet, or the parent of an aspiring clarinetist.  Remember each instrument is unique and there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice when it comes to selecting your instrument. If the clarinet feels good, sounds good and you feel comfortable playing it then gather your information and trust your own opinion; after all this is ultimately up to you!

 

Student Clarinets

Student level clarinets are typically made from plastic or resin material. These materials are durable and lightweight to allow the player to handle the instrument easily and are durable. These particular models are often used as rental instruments and if purchased new, will run from approximately $800-$1,500 depending on the make and model. Most young clarinetists will outgrow these instruments within 3-4 years.

 

Intermediate Clarinets

Intermediate clarinets are made for serious students or advancing players.  As one develops their sound concept on an instrument they will outgrow the capabilities of the student model instrument.  The intermediate clarinets are typically made from grenadilla wood, include better quality key material and ergonomic key placement for easier access. The grenadilla can provide a richer and darker tone which most advancing clarinetists desire.  New intermediate clarinets can range from $1,500-2,500 depending on the make and model. Used intermediate clarinets can be found within the $700-1,200 range.  Intermediate clarinets can serve the advancing player for several years unless they are performing in several ensembles or decide to pursue music in college–this is when a professional model clarinet should be considered.

Professional Clarinets

Professional clarinets are for those serious and dedicated students, amateur players and professionals performing in orchestras, chamber music and solo performances.  There are several makes and models to choose from in this category to suit any players need.  Professional instruments are made from top quality wood and key material (typically nickel or silver) and some include additional keywork.  Some brands and models are available in a composite material made by combining grenadilla powder with carbon fiber to produce a clarinet that is resistant to environmental change such as temperature and humidity.    These instruments are typically for players that perform in variable temperatures or whom are concerned about wood instruments and cracking.  Most professional models range in price between $3,000-10,000 depending on the make and model.

 

Wood or Plastic?

Clarinets are typically made from a variety of plastics or wood (grenadilla).  Plastic clarinets are more resistant to physical damage and change little in different seasons or climates.  All things being equal, plastic instruments will not produce as warm a sound as a wood clarinet.  Wood instruments sound better/warmer but need much more care than the plastic version to avoid cracks.  Grenadilla can change with the seasons; expanding or contracting throughout the life of the instrument, causing occasional key work fitting problems that need to be corrected by a technician.  Wood instruments require a break-in process which a clarinet specialist can assist you with recommendations to avoid cracking.

 

New vs. Used Clarinets

Purchasing a brand new clarinet may not always be an option, but there are a wide variety of used instruments that are just as good as a brand new one. We have a wide variety of used instruments ranging from student clarinets to professional clarinets in both plastic and wood. These instruments are professionally maintained and kept up to peak playing ability by our repair shop and can be ready for trials. When considering the purchase of a used clarinet, it’s generally best to speak with one of our clarinet specialists to help evaluate your needs.

Things to consider when purchasing a used clarinet:

Price of instrument compared to price of a brand new instrument of the same maker
The age of the instrument
What your playing needs are – Student? Amateur? Professional?
Frequency in which the instrument was played – Does it need a break-in period?
Quality of the instrument when it was new
Repair work – How much is/was needed on the instrument and the nature of the repairs

 

The Trial Period

Instrument trials are always recommended as it is never a good idea to purchase an instrument sight unseen (or unheard!).  MMI offers a trial period on our instruments, new or used, in which you’re able to try up to 3 clarinets at a time for one week.  This time allows you to play and compare the instruments and determine what best suit your needs.  At the time of the trial we HIGHLY recommend you collect as many opinions as you can about the instruments you’re trying.  Most importantly if you’re a student, or the parent of an aspiring clarinetist, consider meeting with a clarinet teacher during the trial to get their professional opinion on the instrument(s). While it is important to get opinions, also remember to trust yourself and your own opinion when playing the instrument(s) as it ultimately comes down to YOU!

We here at Midwest Musical Imports certainly understand that purchasing a new clarinet can be an overwhelming task but we would like you to know that our highly trained staff of clarinet specialists is here to help when questions or concerns arise. We’ll be happy to help you every step of the way toward the purchase of your new clarinet!

Looking for More Clarinet Services?

We back our selection of the best clarinet brands with other unique offerings that can’t be found elsewhere. Whether you are looking to rent or have us repair your clarinet, you can be confident our services will give you exactly what you need.

Who We Are

Our team of conservatory trained instrument specialists and highly skilled repair technicians offer the expertise our customers have come to rely on. As musicians ourselves, we take great pride in the services and care we offer other musicians.

Meet the Team

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