*If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Best Student Clarinets In 2021: Buyer’s Guide

If you want to enjoy the tunes of various musical instruments, then you should also be willing to attend multiple musical events.

For instance, orchestras, jazz, and marching bands are famous for proudly displaying various reed instruments, one of them being the Clarinet.

The Clarinet is an easy-to-play device, and the fact that it’s fun-filled makes it favorable for schools to use it as the first means to introduce their students to the reed instruments family.

Some schools will advise parents to buy one for their kids or rent it out from specific/numerous suppliers.

But before you do that, it’s critical to know how to select the best student clarinet, according to their needs.

That’s what today’s article is all about. Keep reading to find out more.

Best Student Clarinets In 2021 Reviewed

1. Jean Paul USA Student Clarinet Plus CL-350

Jean Paul is currently ranked among the best students’ clarinet brands on the market. And the Jean Paul USA Student Clarinet Plus CL-350 doesn’t disappoint.

This Clarinet is made out of Ebonite (hard rubber), which makes it durable even with regular use.

Also, the keys of this instrument are nickel-plated, making it almost impossible for them to bend or get damaged as you assemble them for a performance.

And that’s not all.

This student plus Clarinet produces a clear, smooth sound thanks to the nickel-plated keys and the cylindrical bore.

The package also comes with an upgraded carrying case to ensure the instrument is well protected as the student moves from one place to another.

You will also love the extra accessories that are included in the package, including the one Rico reed 2.5, a ligature, a cleaning cloth, cork grease, and swab.

Pros
  • Durable and reliable
  • Comes with useful extra accessories
  • Produces a clear and smooth sound
  • Affordable
  • Fairly advanced
  • Great key action
Cons
  • Few complaints on a broken spring, but the warranty came handy.

Check today's price

2. Yamaha YCL-255 Standard Bb Clarinet

Like Jean Paul, the Yamaha brand also enjoys positive reviews on its wide range of musical instruments.

Its YCL-255 Standard Bb Clarinet is a beautifully designed plastic clarinet, which is suitable for regular student usage.

Although it’s made of plastic, you will love the high-quality warm tones that can easily be compared with that of various wooden counterparts.

Most individuals confess that it’s the gorgeous matte finishing of this instrument that caught their attention at first glance.

No products found.

The keys are silver nickel-plated for easy fingering, plus the adjustable thumb rest with a string ring grants an easy play.

The extra accessories that come with this Clarinet include a 4C mouthpiece and a carrying case.

However, the type of case might differ depending on the time of purchase. So expect either a hard case or a semi-hard case.

Pros
  • Great for both beginner and intermediate students
  • Made of durable with a beautiful matte finish
  • Value for money
  • Extra accessories
  • Beautiful sound
Cons
  • Expensive for on-budget students
  • Made of plastic, so it’s inevitable to feel the difference, especially if you’re used to wooden clarinets.

No products found.

3. Mendini by Cecilio B Flat Beginner Student Clarinet

If you’re a beginner and are searching for a clarinet that is not only easy to play but also affordable, then the Mendini by Cecilio B Flat Beginner Student Clarinet makes a perfect choice.

When you receive this package, you will find everything you need to begin your musical journey.

You will find extra accessories such as a 4C mouthpiece with ligature, a box of 10 reeds, 2 barrels, a foldable clarinet stand, cork grease, cleaning cloth, and a carrying case, among others.

One thing I love about the Mendini by Cecilio Company is the fact that they take quality assurance of their products seriously.

To showcase how confident they’re about their Clarinets, they offer a 1-year warranty on manufacturer defects.

And to ensure they cater to the preferences of various students, this particular instrument comes in multiple color options.

From Ebonite, blue, green, purple to pink, among others, you can never run out of choice, especially if your school isn’t restrictive to only color black.

This Cecilio Clarinet produces a great sound and is light-weighted, making it easy to transport.

Pros
  • Multiple extra accessories
  • 1-year Warranty
  • Comes in various color shades
  • Quality assured
  • Decent sound
Cons
  • Low-quality cork grease
  • Too light-weighted material to withstand frequent use

Check today's price

4. ROFFEE clarinet beginner student level 26N

The ROFFEE clarinet beginner student level 26N is an excellent choice for beginners.

It’s made up of high-quality Bakelite, which can comfortably withstand the test of time.

Also, the keys of this instrument are nickel-plated, making it easy to play and aiding in the production of clear decent sound.

The ROFFEE clarinet is a Bb tone, and it contains a German style 17-keys system, which provides ease of play to beginners.

To save you some bucks, the package comes with a high-quality backpack, which is easy to carry around.

You will also receive multiple accessories with the package, which include 10 reeds, 8 mouthpiece cushions, a swab cleaning cloth, glove, among others.

Students get to enjoy a 1-year warranty on this incredibly affordable musical instrument.

Pros
  • Produces great sounds
  • Affordable
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • A 1-year warranty
  • Various useful extra accessories
  • Tailor-made for beginners
Cons
  • Not favorable for advanced players

Check today's price

5. Selmer CL211 Intermediate Bb Clarinet

The Selmer CL211 Intermediate Clarinet might be made in the US, but it does come with a potent granadilla WOOD CONSTRUCTION.

The sleek musical instrument also comes with striking silver-plated keys in the French key stem.

Its bore is a bit smaller, but that doesn’t affect its top-notch sound quality.

A closer look at this instrument will reveal the undercut tone holes and the blue steel springs.

And to ensure students’ comfort as they play, the package comes with an adjustable thumb rest.

You will also love the internal construction of this musical instrument, as it’s comparable to any professional hand-made Clarinet.

So, if you’re serious about pursuing music professionally, then this piece is a worth-while investment.

Pros
  • Strategically placed tapers for a smooth, consistent sound
  • Value for money
  • Great for intermediate students
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Pretty expensive
  • Requires frequent maintenance procedures.

Check today's price

6. Buffet B12 Student Clarinet

If an excellent combination of style and exceptional quality is what you’re searching for, then the Buffet B12 Student Clarinet makes an ideal choice.

This instrument has so far received numerous positive student reviews: the reason as to why it ranks highly in the student category.

Its excellent design is evidence enough that the manufactures designed with the student performer need in mind.

The staggered trill keys instrument presents an amazing tonal projection.

This places it in the same category as other top-notch clarinets globally.

It’s also light-weighted, therefore making it easy to play. And comes with a carrying case for easy transportation.

Pros
  • High-quality
  • Beautiful sound
  • Nice keys
Cons
  • Difficult to assemble

Check today's price

7. Cecilio 3Series CT-380

If you have heard several positive reviews about the wooden Clarinets, but your bank balance can’t allow you to purchase one at the moment, then the Cecilio 3Series CT-380 is the best option.

This student clarinet proudly displays a premium quality rosewood body, complete with silver-plated keys, to give it a gorgeous outlook.

And that’s not all. You will enjoy the comfortability the Italian pads on the silver-plated keys offer.

Many students love the convenience of the adjustable thumb rest that comes with the package.

You will also find all the useful accessories you need to start playing in the package, which include a cleaning cloth, mouthpiece, reeds, cork grease, gloves, and a hard-shell case for portability.

There is also a 1-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

Pros
  • An excellent inexpensive replica of wooden clarinets
  • Rich sound
  • 1-year warranty
  • Hard-shell carrying case
  • Comfortable to play
Cons
  • A lot of maintenance

Check today's price

8. Jean Paul USA CL-300 Student Clarinet

This is another Jean Paul student instrument, which undoubtedly displays class and quality.

However, the Jean Paul USA CL-300 Student Clarinet comes at an affordable price, which is a good deal even for on-budget students.

Also, the fact that this instrument is made of Ebonite, makes it sound much better than thin plastic.

Plus, it guarantees reliability and durability.

The CL-300 clarinet is versatile, having featured a Boehm 17-key system.

Pros
  • Durable and reliable
  • Various extra accessories
  • Excellent choice even for beginner students
  • Standard B flat to accommodate any school band range
Cons
  • Key bending reports

Check today's price

9. Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet

A multi-colored clarinet is not only attractive to the eyes but also makes a perfect pick for outgoing students.

That’s precisely what you will get when you choose the Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet.

The musical instrument proudly displays a professional outlook, complete with a consistent tone and precise intonation when played.

It features a granadilla wood body, which promises durability, and the silver-plated keys are easy to play.

Students enjoy practicing with this piece, as its cylindrical bore makes it easy to blow.

Pros
  • Beautiful natural finishing
  • Clear, smooth sound
  • Comes with Yamaha care accessories, a mouthpiece, and a carrying case
Cons
  • You might have to make some key adjustments
  • Few reports on missing serial numbers.

Check today's price

10. Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet

As a student, getting a Clarinet that you can comfortably use until you’re ready to upgrade isn’t easy but doable.

It so happens that the Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet makes an ideal pick.

It produces a great sound and can easily fit into all students’ performances, such as jazz bands, orchestra, and much more.

And like most Yamaha range of clarinets, it’s made of Ebonite to guarantee students’ durability and reliability.

Its smooth black body together with the nickel-plated keys ooze of professionalism

Besides, it’s pretty affordable even for on-budget parents.

Pros
  • Comes with useful extra accessories
  • Long-lasting ebonite body
  • Amazing sound quality
  • 1 year limited warranty
Cons
  • Easy-to-break case handles

Check today's price

What Is the Difference Between a Student Clarinet and a Professional Clarinet?

Most of us know that a student clarinet is much cheaper than a professional clarinet, mainly due to its simplicity.

But apart from price, what other differences are there between a student and a professional clarinet? Let’s find out, together:

Materials

The first difference you will notice between these two types of clarinets is how different their material construction is.

You see, most manufacturers will readily use top-notch materials to build professional instruments and medium to lower-end for student/beginner musical instruments.

Why?

Because most students are still learning, so, they really don’t need a high-end clarinet for that. You will realize that they practice pretty well with any decent instrument and can only upgrade once they’re confident with their skills.

As for professionals, they are already out there in the world, trying to compete for the audience with other performers, so they have to use the best instruments. And this refers to the general outlook and the internal construction, as it mostly affects the quality of sound produced.

Therefore, it’s normal for companies to preserve the best materials they can have for a professional clarinet, as opposed to a student one.

Sound Quality

If you have been in the musical scenes for long or simply have sharp ears, then it’s pretty easy to differentiate tones made by professional and student clarinets.

When you use a professional instrument, it’s easy to project your best sound as opposed to when using a student clarinet.

Most of the time, this is as a result of the high-end construction materials used to make the expert instruments. And of course, the full-range intonation features that most student clarinets don’t have.

Most student instruments produce brighter/thinner sounds. But this can change with the use of a quality clarinet mouthpiece, which students rarely give attention to.

Keyworks

Most pro horns have Keyworks that play really smooth, and are amazingly quiet. And although student instrument tends to mimic this feature, they really can’t match up.

If you’ve been using a student instrument and have the chance to use a professional one even for a minute, you will immediately realize what you’ve been missing.

Manufacturing Process

Professional instruments require a lot of work than student clarinets. And this is evident in the manufacturing process.

The student instruments are labeled as “good enough” pretty early, and some essential procedures meant to make them the best that there are skipped. And then comes the cheaper accessories and much more.

On the other hand, professional clarinets are labeled “good enough” at the final steps of manufacturing, after all the necessary steps have been followed. Plus, the accompanying accessories are also expensive and of top-notch quality.

But this isn’t to mean that student clarinets’ sounds are worse than professional instruments. The best way to describe them is that they aren’t well refined. They are projected prematurely from the conveyor belt and end-up sounding so.

Types of Clarinets

Unlike most assumptions that the term Clarinet only refers to the Bb Clarinets, the musical scenes are actually filled with several types of clarinets.  And they are used to play various kinds of music.

The most common include:

  1. Bb Clarinet

This is the most popular type of Clarinet. And this could be because it can be comfortably used for several kinds of music.

The Bb Clarinet is prominently used in jazz bands, marching bands, and swing, among others.

There is a wide range of music being written for the Bb Clarinet, and this is why most students aspire to learn it first.

Also, if you would like to try out playing other wind instruments such as the flute and the saxophone, then you might want to consider starting with the Bb clarinets as they are easy to learn.

  1. Eb Clarinets

The Eb Clarinet is famously referred to as the soprano instrument.

And you can easily spot it being used in various concert bands and orchestras to produce high melodies.

Also, because of the high tones produced by this Clarinet, it requires a few advanced skills to plus, therefore making it beginner unfriendly.

So, if you are an experienced clarinet player and would like to try a more challenging instrument, then the EB clarinet makes a perfect choice.

  1. Bass Clarinets

The bass clarinet might not be as famous as the Eb clarinet, but it also has a good number of performers.

If you want to see it in action, you can always visit the jazz bands, pop music concerts or the classical performances, for a glimpse at how good it can get.

The primary identifying feature of this Clarinet, apart from its fuller tone, is its enormous size, which is bigger than all other types of clarinets.

And because of this, performers usually strategically place it on the floor. In fact, when in setting, you can easily confuse it with a saxophone at first glance.

  1. A Clarinets

The A clarinets come 2nd in the ranking of the most famous instruments in the clarinet family.

It’s mainly used by classical music performers. And most of the time, it’s used together with the Bb clarinet.

This is because it’s pretty hard to successfully transpose parts meant to be played on the A clarinet for the Bb instrument.  And even if you do is right, it won’t sound good.

  1. Harmony Clarinets

As its name suggests, this type of Clarinet is meant to produce harmonies, instead of the typical melodies.

You will, however, have to make a particular order for this kind at your local/ online music store as they aren’t so popular and readily available as the Bb clarinets.

There are also other kinds of clarinets, though not common and they include:

  • Octo-Contrabass
  • Basset Horn
  • C Clarinet
  • Basset Clarinet
  • Piccolo Clarinet
  • D Clarinet, among others.

How Do I Choose A Student Clarinet the Right Way?

Choosing the correct Clarinet is an essential step in playing right. But for that, you’ve to consider the following:

Examine the Material

Clarinet’s body material matter a lot. As a beginner, you would want to avoid handmade-wood instruments, because they will literally cost you an arm and a leg.

Instead, go for the Ebonite or Bakelite, which are substantially durable enough to withstand a student player’s constant wear and tear.

The good thing is that they don’t cost much, which is a plus.

And as I had already mentioned earlier, your instrument’s material construction mostly impacts the quality of sound produced.

And although the instruments made of hard rubber and plastic materials won’t be as rich as a wooden clarinet, they are decent and good enough for a student.

Identify the Key

For a student, the most basic Clarinet you will need is one with a B-flat key. It will, in the right way, prepare for most band performances and will get you comfortable around any kind of music.

And this makes an excellent starting point. You can narrow down as you progress.

Besides, the other keys are most popular among professionals are a bit difficult to learn, but easy to transition to once you learn the standard key B.

Check Out the Key System

You have to choose a clarinet with the correct fingering position. This should be easy for a student instrument as they’re usually around 17.

So, you really don’t have to apply a lot of mechanisms around the keys.

Any Extras?

Most manufacturers, including the brands reviewed in this article, include some extras in their packages.

If you’re an on-budget student, you might want to check what they include to cut-off extra costs.

At the minimum, ensure the package includes reeds, cleaning cloth, cork grease, mouthpiece cleaning brush, and a weighted cloth for the insides.

Is the Pricing Within Budget? What About A Warranty?

A student clarinet should be affordable. Most of them will cost you around $100-$170. So, if you’re a parent and your kid’s school is suggesting that you decide between purchasing and renting one, it’s better to buy.

You can upgrade to a good one once your child is sure about their musical journey.

And while at it, check any warranty information and know what to expect.

FAQs About The Best Student Clarinets

What Brand of Clarinet Is Best for A Student?

There are various top clarinet brands in the current market. And the most famous of them all include Jean Paul, Yamaha, Buffet, and Selmer.

Therefore, you can freely choose from them depending on your budget and preference.

How Much Does A Decent Clarinet Cost?

A decent quality brand-new student Clarinet should cost you from around $400. You can also find plastic Clarinets, which are much cheaper and equally good.

Are Wooden Clarinets Better Than Plastic?

The main difference between the plastic and wooden clarinets is that the wooden ones have an excellent keywork and offer a smooth play. The tone between the two rarely changes.

The wooden ones tend to last longer with higher maintenance costs while the plastic instruments are low maintenance, thus favorable for students.

How Long Do Wooden Clarinets Last?

If it doesn’t crack and with regular maintenance and proper adjustments, a good wooden clarinet can last as long as your lifetime.

So, I would say it depends on you (the player), the environment you store it in, and the general climate within your area.

Are All Clarinets B Flat?

No, they aren’t. There are various types of clarinets: the A clarinet, the Bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, and harmony clarinets, among others.

Conclusion

As a clarinet student, you need the correct type of instrument to make your training sessions easy.

The list of the best student clarinets we have provided in this article isn’t exhaustive, but it compiles all the top brands that you should consider.

We, therefore, hope it will make your work easier so that you get to enjoy playing within no time.

Happy shopping, and all the best in your musical journey!

Lee Cardwell
Owner and Chief Editor of Music Tech Hub. I play banjo, mandolin and I am currently learning how to play the harmonica.

Leave a Comment