If you are looking for a clarinet but are on a tight budget, then this review is for you. Clarinets don’t have to be expensive for them to produce the sound you desire. The market has some decent cheap clarinets for students and beginners.
When starting out your musical journey you may not be sure whether you are going to stick with it for the long term or not. Buying a cheap clarinet allows you to test the waters as you make a decision. When we say the clarinets are cheap we are not inferring that they are of a lower quality, just that they are pocket friendly. It can be hard finding the right model with so many imitations in the market. This is the reason we have done the research for you to present the best cheap clarinets in 2022
Best cheap clarinets in 2022 – Comparison Table
|Jean Paul USA CL 300||Ebonite||B Flat||Check Price|
|Mendini by Cecillio Bb Clarinet||ABS plastic||B Flat||Check Price|
|Lazarro B Flat Bb Clarinet||Hard rubber||B Flat||Check Price|
|Kaizer B Flat Clarinet||ABS, wood, metal||B Flat||Check Price|
|Eastar B Flat Clarinet||Ebonite||B Flat||Check Price|
Reviews of Best cheap clarinets in 2022
The Jean Paul CL 3000 is by far one of the most popular budget friendly clarinets for students in the market. The clarinet is made from cost effective materials and this ensures the price does not go beyond the reach of most students. It is made by a reputable brand – Jean Paul – and this ensures you are getting a quality product.
The CL 300 is made from durable ebonite material. For those who have not encountered the material it is a form of hard rubber and this makes it both good looking and wear resistant. The quality of the clarinet is in fact better than plastic.
The Jean Paul CL 300 is a B flat clarinet with a 17 key Boehm system. The keys are nickel-plated and this gives them a shiny polish. Nickel also comes with the benefit of being tarnish resistant. However, you need to prepare the nickel plate properly so that it is not too thin otherwise it is susceptible to bending.
The clarinet is prepared to standard with decent bore size that allows for excellent sound projection. The Jean Paul comes with a good quality carrying case, one Rico reed 2.5, cleaning cloth, and cork grease.
What we liked:
- Good looking clarinet
- Affordable instrument for students and beginners
- Made from durable ebonite material
- Nickel plated keys
What we did not like:
- If not taken care of well the keys are susceptible to bending
This affordable clarinet is suitable for students and beginners. The Mendini comes in an elegant sleek design with shiny nickel-plated keys. The clarinet is made from ABS which is some sort of thermoplastic polymer plastic. The material makes the clarinet to be wear resistant and durable.
The Mendini is a B Flat clarinet, which means you can use it for general musical plays and orchestras. It features an adjustable thumb rest and trill keys for the inline. This makes the instrument comfortable to play even during long periods. With the included inline keys you are able to allow the note to be flattened than raised to the intended note rapidly.
During purchase you will be provided with a zipper case, mouthpiece cap, box of reeds size 2.5”, cleaning cloth, a pair of gloves, and mouthpiece. To keep your parts well-oiled you will be provided with a cork grease.
What we liked:
- Made from durable ABS plastic
- In trill keys
- Wide list of accessories
What we did not like:
- One color
The Lazarro is the perfect clarinet for someone who is just getting started with clarinets. It is suitable for a variety of occasions like concerts, lessons, orchestras and bands. The brand is USA based so you are assured of its quality. The clarinet is not only stylish but also durable.
To assure you of superior sound quality the clarinets have been hand checked by team of professionals. The keys and other accessories have being made with international standards in mind and this means you are assured of its quality. During purchase you will find included mouthpiece with reed, second barrel, cap and ligature, reeds holder, soft cleaning cloth, 10 Lazarro reeds, cork grease, screwdriver and white gloves. The clarinet is offered in five color options.
What we liked:
- Made to international standards
- Highly recommended for students by teachers
- Great array of accessories
- Multiple color options
What we did not like:
- Complaints that the mouthpiece does not fit
The Kaizer is affordable while still producing some excellent sounds. It comes with a leatherette pads for better control of intonation and steel springs to support responsive action. The clarinet offers a lot of features that you would normally find in high-end pieces like undercut holes, and an adjustable thumb rest.
The Kaizer is offered in lime green color but you can also opt for a classic black color. The instrument stands out in that it offers buyers a free 45 day trial in which case if you do not like the instrument you can return it. They also offer a lifetime no hassle warranty.
During purchase you will find accessories like complete mouthpiece and ligature, molded case, screw driver, cork joint lubricator, and clarinet stand.
What we liked:
- Comes with adjustable thumb rest, undercut holes and nickel-plated keys
- Leatherette pads for optimized intonation control
- 45-day free trial
- Lifetime no hassle warranty
What we did not like:
- Questions about the quality
The Eastar is the perfect clarinet for any student due to its ease of playing. It comes with 2 mouthpieces so that you can find the right adjusting and tuning. With the 17 Boehm key system you are assured of smooth playability and fast key response. This helps you produce a variety of tones.
The Eastar is not only good looking but it also has a beautiful appearance. It is made from bake lite body with nickel plated keys. This gives the clarinet elegance and beauty. To add to this is a ring-wrapped bell mouth.
The clarinet is made from high quality ABS bakelite and this gives it the right vibration and sound. it also has double sheep casings that are made from bladder pads. This allows for good airtightness, elasticity and durability. Included in the purchase is everything you will need with your clarinet like metal ligature, 4C mouthpieces, thumb sheath, occlusion rim, protective cap, and swaps for easy playing. The clarinet is supported by a fast and efficient customer care team who are always at hand to sort buyers issues.
What we liked:
- Made from high-quality ABS bakelit material
- Beautiful appearance with nickel-plated keys
- Produces a pure and rich sound
- Easy to play instrument
- Multiple accessories to get you started
What we did not like:
- Some players prefer shorter barrel for clarinet
Buying Guide for Best cheap clarinets in 2022
When purchasing a clarinet many factors come into play it is not always the case that the cheapest option also tends to be inferior one. Most of the budget friendly clarinets are made from materials like plastic and this makes enables them to be mass produced. It also brings the costs down hence making them suitable for students and beginners. Some of top brands in the market have budget friendly clarinets that offer both affordability and quality. Here are some key factors to be on the lookout for when choosing a cheap clarinet.
Clarinets are mainly built from plastic, ebonite or wood. Plastic tend to be the most common and affordable. Ebonite is some of type of hard rubber that is very common in clarinets. If you are in search of a student clarinet most likely it is made from plastic or ebonite. These clarinets tend to be easy to maintain and play unlike the wooden clarinets that warp easily when not moisturized. On the downside cheap clarinets suffer from intonation problems and you may encounter some quality issues. They are ideal when you are starting out and have not found something comfortable to play in. However, as you increase in skill level you may want to upgrade to the wooden clarinets which are popular with professionals.
For wood the most commonly used material is granadilla also known as Mpingo wood or African blackwood. The wood produces a distinctive sound that makes it popular with professionals.
The other alternative material for clarinets is the hybrid mix of 95% granadilla wood and 5% carbon fiber and epoxy resin. One of the top clarinet manufacturer’s Buffet Crampon has made clarinets using this material. There are several benefits of getting a hybrid clarinet like it is capable of withstanding humidity changes and requires less maintenance. With the material you do not need to worry much about cracks.
Types of clarinets
Clarinets are not all the same. They are designed with the level of skill in mind. You will find student, intermediate and professional clarinets. For the most part the kind of materials used will determine the skill level for the clarinet. Wooden clarinets tend to mostly popular with intermediate or professional players.
The Bb clarinet is the most widely used type of clarinet. It is the first instrument you will encounter as a student. The clarinet is used to produce a variety of music plays like Mozart, swing, jazz and Dixieland. You will also notice that a large repertoire is written with the Bb clarinet. The Bb is also a perfect crossover instrument and allows players to easily shift from the flute to the saxophone.
Next to the Bb clarinet the A clarinet is the most popular clarinet. You will find it in use during classical plays with most players switching in between the A and Bb clarinet.
The Eb clarinet is a piece for players who have outgrown the student zone and want to go higher in their musical career. It is mainly used for orchestras and concert bands as it allows for the production of higher melodies that one would find difficult to perform with the Bb and A clarinet. The high notes from the Eb can be quite complicated for beginners hence their suitability for people with advanced fingerings.
Bass clarinets stand out in that they are one of the largest in the clarinet family. You can use it for producing a variety of music categories like jazz, orchestral, classical, and even pop music. Due to its size you will notice that the Bass clarinet is mainly positioned on the floor and is accompanied with its own thorn. You can also attach a strap to it for easy movements. The bass clarinet has an unusual appearance in that it bell shaped facing upwards. This gives it a saxophone kind of appearance. You can have the bass clarinets in two versions – low Eb which happens to offer the lowest key and the low C. The bass clarinet produces a deep sweet tone that resembles a solo or ensemble.
Lastly, if you need a clarinet with more tunings you can check out the harmony clarinets, which are offered on order from different musical stores.
Keys and plating
You will find a wide variety of materials being used in the keys like nickel, silver or gold. Nickel plated keys are the most popular as they do not tarnish that easily. They are also wear resistant. The silver keys give you a shiny polish with a warm appearance but come with the downside of tarnishing easily. However, if well taken care of the silver keys have the potential of lasting a long time. The gold keys are rare due to the extra costs they add to the instrument. You will find some professional players using gold plated clarinets.
Clarinets tend to come in a variety of bore styles with the smaller bores being suitable for student players as they are easier to play. You will find the large bore clarinets among jazz players as they offer a more flexible pitch. The players are better able to bend notes hence producing larger sounds for certain musical projects.
The ligature is an important piece of equipment as it holds the mouthpiece in place to the reed. Most standard clarinets will come with their own ligature which you can change to get the right sound. This is because the ligature will greatly influence the tone and playability of the instrument as it controls the vibrations of the reed. In order to get that distinctive sound the ligature should be allowed to vibrate freely. It should also protect the reed from premature wear and tear. Most of the ligatures in the market are made from metal with some leather.
If you want a long lasting clarinet then you will need to go with one from a reputable brand. Some of the popular brands in the market like Yamaha, Jean Paul and Buffet Crampon are known to carry out regular standards to ensure there products are of the highest quality. This does not necessarily mean the instruments are beyond the reach of most students. You will find some decent pieces at an affordable price.
When you are starting out on your musical playing journey it makes sense to get a budget friendly clarinet then as you progress you can move to the more complicated wooden clarinet. Most of the cheap clarinets are made from plastic and ebonite and this ensures that they are easy to play while providing you with some high quality sounds. The fact that a clarinet is made from plastic or ebonite does not necessarily mean it is of poor quality. There are some established brands out there like Jean Paul that have released some nice clarinets suitable for beginner and student players.
Which clarinet is used for classical plays?
For most classical plays you will find the A and Bb clarinet being used interchangeably. The clarinets are easy to play and they produce some nice tunes.
Which is the heaviest clarinet?
The bass clarinet is considered quite large and unique due to its bell shaped design that is turned upwards. The clarinet has the appearance of a saxophone and is usually supported with a thorn. Some players will use a strap for easy movement and to support the weight.
Is ebonite a good material for a clarinet?
Yes, it is. Ebonite or hard rubber is an excellent choice for various student clarinets. Unlike wood it is easy to maintain and is wear resistant. Due to the ease of getting the material costs are relatively low and this has allowed the instrument to be mass produced.