Best B Flat Clarinet

The clarinet is an instrument that belongs to the woodwinds family. It resembles a flute and produces sounds by blowing air into it. The Bb clarinet is regarded as one of the most popular clarinets and is ideal for use by students. The clarinet is versatile, easy to use and play. Most of the Bb clarinets are made from hard plastic or rubber and this adds to their durability and ease of maintenance.

A man named Johann Chistoph Denner from Germany is the inverter of the clarinet as we know it today. He took what was called a chalumeau then and improved it by adding two keys and redesigning the bell shape. This led to improvements in the musical octave by up to two octaves. Further improvements to its playability and sound led to increased popularity for the instrument.

As a student or beginner you do not need to start out your musical career with something that is too expensive. But, this does not mean that what you are going for has to be cheap. In this review, we show you some decent Bb clarinets in the market that you can consider for purchase for a student or young clarinet player.

Best B Flat Clarinet – Comparison Table

ModelBody Material Key workAvailability
Jean Paul CL 300EboniteNickelCheck Price
Selmer USA CL211GranadillaFrench systemCheck Price
Mendini By Cecilio B FlatPlasticNickel platedCheck Price
Jean Paul YCL 255ABSNickel platedCheck Price
Buffet Crampon E11GranadillaNickel PlatedCheck Price
Yamaha YCL 650GranadillaSilver platedCheck Price

Reviews of the Best B Flat Clarinet

Jean Paul CL 300 – Best Bb clarinet for beginners/students

The Jean Paul CL 300 is arguably one of the most popular clarinets for beginners in the market. The clarinet comes at an affordable price and it is quite versatile for a variety of sounds. The Jean Paul CL 300 is made from hard ebonite body, which makes it durable while reducing the rate for maintenance. It also comes with nickel keys, which do not tarnish that easily while retaining that shiny look.

The Jean Paul CL 300 is B Flat clarinet with a 17 Boehm key system. The instrument comes with a great bore for superior sound projection. While the instrument is affordable it does come with some extras like the thumb rest which you often find in more pricy clarinets.

During purchase you will find a 2.5 Rico reed, cleaning cloth, carrying case and cork grease. If you are looking for something to buy for your young musical student then the Jean Paul CL 300 is perfect.

What we liked:

  • Affordable
  • Decent sound
  • Easy to play and maintain
  • Attractive design and finish

What we did not like:

  • The keys are susceptible to bending


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Selmer USA CL211 – Best for intermediate players

The Selmer is a B Flat clarinet that offers you a warm, focused and well-controlled tone. The clarinet features undercut notes that give it a smooth sound. It is made from granadilla wood which has being aged and is unstained. This helps give the clarinet its classy looks.

Selmer was originally a French company established in the 1885 in Paris before it moved to the US. It is well known for producing some high quality instruments for different musical levels. Today, it is owned by Steinway. The Selma CL211 comes with a traditional French Boehm key system. The bore slightly smaller than what you would have in the market and also comes with additional steel springs and undercut holes. You also have an adjustable thumb rest.

The Selmer is perfect for intermediate students. It does require some extra maintenance due to the granadilla construction. However, on the upside you do get some warm and rich tones that you would not normally find in a plastic or hard rubber clarinet.

What we liked:

  • Warm, rich tones
  • Great aesthetics due to the granadilla wood construction
  • Adjustable thumb rest
  • High quality instrument

What we did not like:

  • A bit expensive


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Mendini By Cecilio B Flat – Best for full instrument starter kit

The Mendini by Cecilio is a Bb clarinet that is ideal for beginners and hobbyists. The clarinet is lightweight hence making it perfect for transportation. It is made from durable plastic meaning you do not have to worry much about maintaining it.

Cecilio is a well-known brand that is well-known for producing high quality instruments for students. The clarinets have a stylish design and are quite easy to play. This particular model is made from ABS which some sort of thermoplastic polymer which is also known to be hard wearing. The clarinet also features a standard 17 key system that is also nickel plated. This makes the keys shiny, tarnish resistant and long-lasting.

The B Flat clarinet is ideal for use by orchestras and various musical groups. In addition, the Mendini comes with inline thrill keys and adjustable thumb rest. The thrill keys have the advantage of allowing you to quickly transition from semi to full tones.

During purchase you will find included in the package a zipper case, mouthpiece cap, box of reeds of the size of 2.5” and mouthpiece. You are also supplied with a pair of gloves, cork grease, and cleaning cloth for maintenance.

What we liked:

  • Affordable clarinet
  • Full instrument starter kit
  • Elegant design
  • Made from high quality and durable plastic

What we did not like:

  • Limited color choice


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Jean Paul YCL 255 – Best Impressive design

The Jean Paul YCL 255 features a 65mm barrel for a more focused tone, Yamaha 4C mouthpiece and adjustable thumb rest with strap ring. The instrument is a top seller for many music professionals as it is backed by Yamaha long service of producing high-quality instruments. The YCL 255 plays on the B Flat note and is made from a sturdy and low maintenance ABS construction.

The YCL 255 design has been adapted from the more expensive Yamaha pieces and this means you are acquiring a top notch piece of equipment. It is also fitted with nickel keys and silver plated rods with adjustable thumb rest.

The clarinet produces some warm and nice tones which are quite similar to what you get in a wooden instrument. This makes it quite an impressive piece of instrument for students. During purchase you will find an accompanying case (hard or semi hard) and mouthpiece.

What we liked:

  • Impressive design inspired by more pricier Yamaha models
  • Durable ABS construction
  • Shiny Nickel plated keys
  • Great sound and easy to play

What we did not like:

  • A bit too expensive for student clarinet


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Buffet Crampon E11 – Best granadilla B Flat clarinet

Buffet Crampon is a well-known brand when it comes to the manufacturer of woodwind instruments. The company was established in 1825 in France and up to today, still has their headquarters in Mantes-La-Ville, Paris. The company produces their products under the highest of standards and this means you are guaranteed of their quality. The E11 is one such instrument that is made from granadilla wood. Being made of wood the instrument produces a rich and warm tone.

The E11 levers and keys are silver plated with stainless steel springs. With great intonation you are sure to enjoy playing this instrument. You also have a felt bladder pad with 17 keys. However, the fixed thumb rest is not adjustable. The E11 offers a traditional design made from hand. This particular model is made from Germany after Buffet Crampon acquired the Schreiber company. On the downside the clarinet is a bit pricier.

What we liked:

  • Durable construction from granadilla wood
  • Rich warm tone
  • Comes with hard shell case
  • Nickel plated keys

What we did not like:

  • This is an expensive piece of instrument for a student and that requires great care


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Yamaha YCL 650 – Best responsive keys

The YCL 650 is a great piece of equipment from Yamaha that is suitable for intermediate and professional musicians. The bell design is innovative and this allows it to project a sound that is quite astonishing. This is supported by a bore that is the perfect size.

The Yamaha YCL 650 is made from granadilla and this gives it its perfect looks. It comes with silver plated keys and lever. The keys are responsive and easy to play. Due to its high quality build you should be able to play this instrument for quite some time. However, you should note that this instrument is made from wood which requires more maintenance than the ebonite ones.

The clarinet comes with a 4C Yamaha mouthpiece with Yamaha case and accessories. The piece is priced a bit higher which makes it not so suitable for students and beginners.

What we liked:

  • Great bell design
  • Astonishing sounds
  • Allows you to play hard notes
  • Silver plated keys that are not susceptible to bending

What we did not like:

  • A bit expensive


View price here


Buying Guide for Best B Flat Clarinet

B Flat clarinets are mostly designed for people who are just starting out on their musical career. The instruments are mainly made from plastic or hard rubber and this makes durable and easy to maintain. This is unlike a wooden clarinet that while producing great sounds is requires lots of care to prevent warping or shrinking. The B Flat clarinets require less tuning and since they are made from affordable materials are easy to mass produces hence their availability and popularity. Here are some important factors you may want to consider when purchasing a clarinet:


When you are starting out playing the clarinet you may not need a very pricy and complicated instrument as you are yet to make a decision on whether to play short term or long term. As such it may not make sense for you to purchase a very expensive wooden clarinet for a young player. For one it is hard to play the instrument and two it does requires lots of care to maintain it. ABS resin or hard rubber is the most used material for the construction of B Flat clarinets. The materials used are resilient and allow the instrument to withstand harsh climatic conditions. They also last longer hence giving a student time to learn how to play the instrument.

Types of clarinets

Like other musical instruments the clarinet has different classes each suitable for a particular musical tone and play. The Bb clarinet is by far the most popular clarinet in the market. It is ideal for students and beginners due to its ease of play. You can play all manner of music types with the instrument like Mozart or marching tunes. Most music is played with the Bb clarinet. If you are playing classical music you will need both the A clarinet and Bb clarinet. Most classical music plays easily switch in between the two instruments. The E clarinet is not suitable for beginner players but is ideal for those who have played the clarinet for some time. It produces high notes which require expert fingers to play. The Bass clarinet is quite versatile as it is used in jazz, orchestra, classical and pop music. One distinguishable characteristic of the instrument is how large it is. This necessitates the use of thorn or strap during plays. The bell is also different from the other clarinets as in it is upward facing. The bass clarinet can be available with a low EB or low C.

Parts of a clarinet

It is equally important that you know the different parts of a clarinet before making your purchase. The first part of the clarinet is the main body (the elongated part of the instrument). Most of the clarinets are made from plastic or ebonite. These tend to be preferred by students due to their ease of use and affordability. You also have pricier models made from granadilla which is some sort of African blackwood. These has an unmistakable sound that is preferred by professional students. The only downside to the wood clarinet is you need to take extra care of it to prevent the wood from warping and shrinking. You also have a hybrid kind of clarinet that is made from a mixture of 95% granadilla and 5% carbon fiber and epoxy resin. The latter has the advantage of being able to withstand harsh climatic weather conditions while remaining easy to maintain.

The next part are the keys. Most of the clarinet keys are made from either nickel, silver and occasionally gold. Nickel is the most common material used as it is durable and does not tarnish easily. It also gives your clarinet a shiny appearance. You then have silver which has a nice touch, is warm and attractive. However, it does tarnish more easily than silver. Lastly you have gold which is rarely used but you can find it in pricier clarinets.

The bore comes in different styles and shapes with each determining the kind of tone produces. Smaller bore clarinets tend to be easier to play and are common with students. The larger bore clarinets are more versatile and this makes them ideal for play with jazz players.

The ligature connects the reed to the mouthpiece and has a great influence on the tone and playability of the instrument. It’s main function is to control how the reed vibrates. When your clarinet is able to vibrate freely than it will produce a rich and full sound. Ligatures can be replaced so you can look for one that meets your needs. A well placed ligature will prevent premature wear and tear of your reed.

It is also equally important to know the key reed brands in the market. Going with an established brand means you are guaranteed of the quality as the company has taken years to establish itself. Some of the best brands in the market include Selmer, Rigotti, Vandoren, and Rico. The brands tend to stock a variety of reeds and this makes it quite easy to find something that meets your unique tastes and preferences.


What are the most preferred materials for Bb clarinets?

Most of these clarinets are made from plastic or ebonite with some pricier ones being made from granadilla. The clarinets are perfect for students because they are easy to maintain, tune and play.

Does the bore size influence sound for the clarinet?

Generally, smaller bore clarinets are easier to play than the larger ones. However, the larger ones tend to more flexible hence their use in jazz music.


The Bb clarinet is generally considered the beginner’s clarinet due to its ease of use, affordability and availability. The instrument is versatile enough to be used by students, marching bands and occasional classical music plays. Most of the Bb clarinets are made from plastic or ebonite which makes them quite durable and easy to maintain. You will find some granadilla Bb clarinets that are a bit pricier and do require some maintenance work. If you are new to the world of clarinets then the Bb clarinet is a perfect choice to get your musical career started.

Charlotte Moore is a Clarinetist by profession and has over time offered lessons on how to play the clarinet among other musical instruments. And while a majority of clarinet players are well versed with the process of settling with a good clarinet among other accompanying features. There is little information about clarinets. The reason why Charlotte prepared comprehensive experts touching on the various facets of the clarinet. The consolidated information will offer more insight on everything clarinets including the best stand to use, and the best plastic clarinet that you can invest in, among other information. Charlotte Moore is a devoted mother of two and a professional clarinet player.

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