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Clarinets Beginner / student clarinet


Sax-Mad fiend!
Café Supporter
The Malverns, Worcs
My 15 yo daughter has been having clarinet lessons with my saxophone teacher for a few months. So far she has borrowed a clarinet, but would now like to have one for Christmas.
Her Dad has offered to buy her a student model, with a view to being able to trade it up as she improves.
He lives in Holland and sent her this link:
as a possible model.
Now, as I don't play clarinet, I wondered if anyone could comment - the text reads- "plastic ABS body, silvered keys, outstanding student / starter BOHM system clarinet, includes luxury case and mouthpiece"
What is the BOHM system? Is it just the key layout? She is currently borrowing and Elkhart, is that likely to use the BOHM system, so she can just migrate from one to the other.
I don't know about the clarinet you've mentioned, but I understand that Hanson do excellent student instruments. Might be worth a look on their website ( I think)-they are very helpful and would tell you the difference between the different systems. There are also a couple of their student models on ebay.
What you are looking at there is an entry level clarinet. We call it the Boehm system, 17 keys and six rings. ABS is the type of plastic used for the body and is used by lots of makers. The Elkhart is compatible. If you are buying that one make sure that it is a 17 key six ring clarinet, and not a model that has been modified for younger players. It looks OK in the photo.

The Yamaha 250 and the Schreiber 6010 are good options as well, but they are more expensive.

I don't know about the clarinet you've mentioned, but I understand that Hanson do excellent student instruments. Might be worth a look on their website ( I think)-they are very helpful and would tell you the difference between the different systems. There are also a couple of their student models on ebay.

I can vouch for Hanson. I've been there, seen the clarinet set up and was impressed. This was the core business before saxes.

Serious hat on again.

"Böhm" is the correct spelling as young Theo was a German. Sorted out a good, loud, parallel bore, flute fingering system. This was modified to replace the Albert system on clarinets and good old Adolphe chose a similar system for his new saxophone invention. A couple of times last century, Germans weren't too popular, despite our Royal Family being Saxe-Coburg-Gothas, so the French "Boehm" spelling was preferred. Strange, as the English have had more disputes with the French than the Germans.

Presume that Sax was bilingual as a Belgian and so would have known both spellings.
On the key system, Böhm is standard, except in Germany, where Deutsches, aka Öhler are also common. There are others as well, all derived from teh Albert mentioned by OG. A lot of older jazz players preferred Albert, cos it's faster.... There are also slight bore differences between the Böhm and other systems. Differences extend to mouthpieces and reeds as well. Yamaha make/made a Böhm system clarinet with german bore, to allow orchestral players brought up on Böhm to play in a german orchestra without sounding out of place...

Easy way to recognise the Böhm clarinette is that it has a group of 4 keys for the right little finger, instead of the Eb/C with rollers found on the sax and German system clarinettes. However I doubt that you'll see a non-Böhm student instrument in the UK. Stick with Böhm...

Also important to watch the pitch. Standard clarinet is in Bb, but there are many other keys available. C is very common here, as it's slightly smaller and suits younger players with smaller hands.

On the offered instrument, given the price, it's probably not a good way to go. Nothing wrong with plastic bodies, but at that price, the keywork is likely to be poor quality and the pads won't last long. It may be an OK buy for someone to try out on, as chucking it away after 6 months is going to be cheaper than the amount you'd lose selling a new instrument after 6 months, but otherwise you'll be forced to upgrade pretty quickly.... (Been there, we had to beg the instrument builder to do some basic fixes cos the instrument was so bad he wouldn't be able to guarantee his work).

May be difficult, but I'd stick to a big brand like the ones mentioned above, where you also have a good resale prospect if she gives up or wants to upgrade. A good way of doing this is to get a recognised brand, second hand. Do it through a good dealer, or a music teacher who knows the instrument and you should be OK. Think about bufgetting for a new mouthpiece as well, Yamaha are good and fairly priced. Might also be worth pm'ing Griff, he often has instruments for sale and you'd get a good instrument at a fair price.
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We've just picked up a Yamaha 26ii for a trial run. It's available, serviced, for £160 ish.
Any thoughts?
Is it a good model, both for playing now and trading up later?
Is the price reasonable? Looking at it it's obvioulsy has some new cork bits here & there. The cork around the barrel ends is all intact and OK looking, I can see no obvious damage at all.
Assuming my daughter can play it, is it a good choice?

Thanks all.
Does this help? The 250 is the later model and there are a lot of back refernces to the 26 in the review.

On value, it's going to depend on condition and whether any work needs doing - or is likely to be needed in the immediate/near future. What, exactly, does 'serviced' mean? Depending on who says it, it could mean anything from 'It plays, but...' to 'In good playing condition and no repairs liekly in the next year or so'

Best to have a music teacher look over it if you can.
You won't go far wrong with the 26II, it's an excellent student clarinet. The price seems fair given that it's had a recent service - and it'll both play well and hold its price.

Go for it, but check that it has a Yamaha mouthpiece.

Thanks both, most helpful.
It has a Yamaha 4c mouthpiece. I'm sure I've read somewhere that this is good.
And the person selling it services Clarinets and Saxophones and was recommended by my sax teacher (who is also my daughter's clarinet teacher) He serviced it before passing it on to her for us to try out. She had already played it before she brought it to us.
So, all in all, I'm happy with this sourcing.
I just need to gt my daughter to try it now :)))

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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