My son has been playing clarinet for 4 years on a Bel Canto student plastic clarinet.
We would like to get him a wooden one (something to encourage him along) and he is turning 14 soon. We donít have a lot of money but would like to get him something that would last a while and not cost lots to maintain. Could you advice on what we could get him and whether a second hand one is ok? If so how old? Etc.
I understand your problem and that attempting to manage funds for a musical education.
You may solve the problem of costs and maintenance very easily, at least this has been experience by consideration of the puchase of a clarinet designed by the foremost clarinet designer in the US, William Ridenour.
Conscious of the prohibitive cost of the clarinet that is made in France, he has designed an instrument which is capable of attaining the highest standards: excellent tuning, voicing and stability. This is the instrument manufactured from hard rubber which is actually much more stable than grenadilla wood, especially regarding pitch and the everyday tribulations through which a clarinet is placed by students in things like band rehearsals, parades, pep rallies etc.
I have played an instrument of his, The Arioso, which has all of the aforesaid qualities of excellence, and I am shortlyto receive a Lyrique Custom, which is a continuation.
Because I play this instrument,I can do no more than to present it for your consideration for a clarinet for your son.
Get in touch with Mr Ridenour through his website. You will find him most cordial and knowledgeable.
This is the best advice which I can give you.
If you turn to something lesser or used, the variety available is mond boggling . A clarinet doesn’t have to made from wood in order to be a good instrument.
Good luck to you.