Five Tips for Beginner Clarinet Players

When you’re learning to play an instrument, there is nothing more disheartening than being unable to produce a good sound. And while the clarinet makes an excellent choice for any young would-be musician, being lightweight, portable, and relatively easy to play, it can still take a little time to master the basics.

So, if you’re renting a clarinet for your son or daughter and you’ve started to notice a waning of interest, try talking through these tips with them. It might give them the encouragement they need to keep going. And it could remove the stumbling locks they’ve been struggling with.

Five Beginners Tips for New Clarinet Players

1. Hold your clarinet correctly

If you want to produce a good sound with your clarinet, you need to hold it properly. Don’t squeeze it, so that your fingers feel stiff and uncomfortable to move. But don’t let it hang too loosely either. Keep it in a firm, comfortable grip. Holding your hands in a C shape should help you to get the tension just right.

Holding your instrument at approximately 45 degrees from your body, will also allow you to play more comfortably.

2. Embouchure

Embouchure – the way that you use the mouthpiece of your clarinet – is probably one of the most difficult things to master for new clarinet players. Perhaps especially if you have previously played the recorder and are used to only placing a small amount of the instrument between your lips. With the clarinet, most players need to place at least the first half-inch of the mouthpiece between their teeth. Which can feel strange, but is what will help you to produce the best sound.

Watching YouTube clips can give you a good idea of mouth position.

3. Blow harder

The perception with clarinets is that they’re relatively small, delicate instruments. Therefore, you only need to gently puff to make a sound. This is completely inaccurate! It takes a lot of air to produce a clean note. So, take a deep breath, and really blow into your instrument. You’ll notice an immediate difference.

4. Work on your posture

One of the reasons that clarinet players might struggle to produce enough pressure when playing their instrument is poor posture. If you slouch, you can’t possibly hope to take in enough air to play well. Because when you’re slouching, you’re essentially crushing your diaphragm and lungs. Sitting straight allows you to maximise your intake of air.

5. Practice

OK, we know, it’s probably not what you want to hear right now if you’re finding clarinet playing hard going. But seriously, practicing is the very best thing you can do if you want to become a great clarinet player. Or even just a passable one! Even tagging 15 minutes a day on to the end of your schoolwork will make a difference. And the more you practice, the easier it will become. We absolutely promise you that!

Learning to play the clarinet – or any other instrument – is such a great thing to do it. It improves focus. It improves health – both mental and physical. And it can be really good fun. But like everything worth learning, it does take a little bit of time and effort to get started. Hopefully, these tips will help make those first few weeks easier.

If you’re looking to rent a clarinet for your son or daughter, or even for yourself, contact Rent From Home today.