Range of Clarinets

I’m a Sophomore in high school and have been playing the clarinet for almost ayear. Thankfully, I’m at a the level of a lot of the people in my band program.

But, I have been thinking about playing another type (like the Eb or Alto) of clarinet besides the Bb clarinet that I have and I was wondering what other ones are out there, the difficulty of them, and which ones you suggest. It would be a big help.


Yes there are many other clarinets out there and they are not terribly difficult, at least initially.

The most popular, the one with the most repertoire written for it and probably the easiest to obtain from your band is the Bass Clarinet.

I must tell you that this is what I actually did when a sophomore in high school and went on to play it, with the clarinet professionally.

It has a wonderful sound, requires only a slightly different type of technic and reed to play well and its only drawback is that it is heavy and, if you ever buy one, more expensive than the regular Bb. The nice thing about it is that your band usually has one they will give you to use, so there is no cost, at least initially.

There are also less frequently used clarinets, but intriguing to play if you have access to them. There is a tiny clarinet pitched in Ab, called the sopronino, used mostly in the larger concert bands in Europe.

Then, there are the alto clarinet and its neighbor the Basset horn, similar but differing completely inthe variance of repertoire. Alto clarinet parts exist in
concert bands and are used in place of violas in the orchestra. Basset Horns are somehwat similar sounding but have a rich history especially in the Music of Mozart, in his famous Requiem Mass.

There is a contra bass clarinet really a low instrument, existng most frequently in and for concert bands, though sometimes for special-purpose utilization as well. So, all in all quite a a selection.

Good luck to you.

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