Is the clarinet hard to play?

Just like any orchestral instrument, playing the clarinet is not any easier or any harder. There are definitely some technicalities you have to understand and a learning curve you have to undergo before becoming an exemplary clarinet player.

Clarinet beginner players always have one question in common; “is it hard to play the clarinet?” This question is totally understandable since the clarinet is a woodwind instrument in its own class and has the largest pitch range. Being a proficient clarinet player is not any harder or simpler compared to other instruments. If you dedicate your effort and time to it, you will definitely become a master in it. Just like any other instrument, blowing and getting the right sound is also the hardest part of playing the clarinet. However, if you learn where to place your mouth on the mouthpiece and how hard or not you are required to blow the clarinet, the journey to getting the right sound gets easier. Furthermore, being patient with yourself is key when playing the clarinet, as you will learn one note at a time before getting on to another note, just like other orchestral instruments.

What is the most difficult part of playing the clarinet?

The most technical part of playing the clarinet is mastering the range. Among all the wooding instruments, the clarinet possesses the widest pitch range. To become a clarinet master, then you have to master all the pitch ranges. The instrument does not only have four octaves to itself, but the organization of keys on the clarinet can make playing the instrument a bit tricky.

To quickly break down the different ranges of the clarinet, any clarinet player should be aware of the three significant registers. This includes the lower register, the middle register, and the top register. These registers cover different ranges, as illustrated in the table;

Register Clarinet Ranges
Lower register Ranges from the low E, about the Middle C, to the B flat
Middle register Ranges from the B above the middle C to the C
Top register Covers notes higher than the C

Furthermore, the clarinet essentially has a cylindrical bore which is straight and the principle of playing it is the twelfths. This means that you will require a uniquely different fingering when playing each octave. Another technical part of playing the clarinet is that you have to use your fingers to cover all the holes on the instrument as it does not have keys that you can simply push like other instruments. Consequently, you will have to play the instrument with the edges of your fingers as it has side keys and not the top.

And though these technicalities might seem impossible when playing the clarinet, they can be easily overcome if you dedicate enough time to playing the instrument.

Tips for hacking the clarinet


Just like any other musical instrument, becoming a guru needs you to put a considerable amount of time and effort into learning the various tricks of playing the instrument. The more you practice, the faster and easier playing the clarinet becomes.

Blow harder

Despite the clarinet having a diminutive size, it requires a lot of air to produce the purest and cleanest tones. The best way of blowing the clarinet harder is by filling your lungs by inhaling deeply into your belly button and then exhaling the air out as strongly as possible using your abdominal muscles. Worry not if you are not used to breathing strongly; you can practice without your clarinet and build muscle memory to help you breathe strongly.

Experiment various tones with different reeds

When you become an advanced clarinet player, you will want to experiment with different reeds. Clarinet reeds are available in several materials and lengths. These different reeds come with distinct and unique tones and noises. You can try out several reeds to achieve the best tones and pick your favourite one. This is because different reeds can produce different tones even though you are playing the same note.

Utilize the “C” hand position

With the clarinet, your hands need to be loose enough to play but tight enough to grip the clarinet. The best approach to ensuring a comfortable grip is by using the “C” hand position. This is by ensuring the curve between your thumb and your index finger is in the shape of a broad “C.”

Maintain a 45-degree angle when playing your clarinet

Your clarinet should produce a clear, smooth tone rather than a noisy or harsh one. If you are having a hard time producing a perfect tone, then the angle of the instrument might be wrong. To get the right tone, you must maintain the right posture and hold the clarinet at 45 degrees from your body.


The belief that it is harder to play the clarinet is definitely a myth. Just like when trying to attain any mastery level on any other skill, you will also require considerable practice and energy to be a proficient clarinet player. No one was born with pro clarinet prowess or the ability to exceptionally play any other instrument; mastery comes with dedication and practice. So, if you want to become a master in playing the clarinet, just commit and in no time, you will be able to hit all clarinet tones and tunes.


How many keys does the Standard Bb clarinet have?

The standard Bb clarinet has 17 keys; some keys on this clarinet play more than one function, with the octave key enabling the player to achieve higher notes.

Can I teach my child how to play the clarinet?

Definitely, this only depends on the ability of the child to hold the clarinet and if their fingers can cover the keys. The C clarinet is the appropriate size for children as it is small.

Which type of music is appropriate for playing with the clarinet?

Clarinet allows you to play any type of music. However, the instrument is perfect for jazz, classical, modern music, and blues.

What are the best clarinet brands?

Jupiter, Buffett, and Yamaha are ranked as the best clarinet brands.


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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