When Have I Mastered the Clarinet?

I’m 14 and I’ve played the clarinet for five years. But only in
the last year have I seriously studied. I want to play the alto
saxophone, but my mom says she won’t by me one until I master the
clarinet. My question is: When will I know when I master the
clarinet?? Will the clarinet help me in mastering the saxophone?

Hi and thank you for your question about the saxophone and the
clarinet. I could give you a very long and confusing answer to the
question because it can be answered in several different ways, so
let us be brief in this case, for your question was indeed very
brief in itself, and after all, I do not know as much as even your

So, stay with the clarinet until you can play the clarinet well
and you have discovered whether or not the instrument holds true
interest for you. One never really masters an instrument, but
certainly one does determine after practise and the passage of
time if one has the interest and the commitment to continue.

That is what you need to determine. For your parent, that time
will come when you have demonstrated real progress on the
instrument; when your sound is mature, when you no longer make
ugly noises, and when you practise for several hours every day
with only yourself reminding you to practise.

That kind of interest is the beginning of mastery of an instrument
and it is you yourself who will determine at that time whether you
should also play the saxophone.

Finally, clarinet is the first instrument to play, fingerings and
embouchure being quite similar and as your clarinet playing
strengthens so will your ability to switch to the saxophone.

Good luck, and say hello to your parents for me. They sound really
interested in your musical progress.



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