bass clarinet info

History and Information

The bass clarinet is a member of the clarinet family, most of which were invented by Johann Christoph Denner towards the beginning of the 18th century. The modern bass clarinet has existed almost as long as the more common soprano (b-flat) version of the instrument. The bass clarinet is used extensively in orchestral pieces, as well as in jazz and popular music.

When to Start

Students can start bass clarinet lessons as young as age 8, depending on hand size and lung capacity. Most students begin on the soprano clarinet, and then later switch over or add the bass clarinet to their music instruction. The bass clarinet also requires a certain amount of care, as it must be reassembled every time it is taken out of the case, and disassembled every time it is put away.

Getting a Clarinet

There are many brands and models of bass clarinet available for rent and purchase. For very young students, it is recommended to rent instruments for two reasons: 1) they will most likely grow out of instruments quickly and 2) they may lose interest (although we hope they don’t!). When you rent a clarinet or buy a used one, we strongly advise that you buy a new mouthpiece. Most places that rent instruments will also provide repair services for their instruments. We can give you recommendations for places near you to buy or rent your clarinet. Please contact us, and be sure to include your location!

Books and Supplies

Most rented bass clarinets will come with items such as a case and cleaning implements. Your instructor can tell you which books and other supplies are appropriate, especially which type of reeds you should purchase. Most books and many supplies, including reeds, are available online. We can recommend stores near you where you can purchase supplies and music, if you prefer to do so in person. Please contact us, and again, remember to tell us where you live!

**Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We can help provide you with additional resources.**

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