What Are Student Clarinets Made of

What Are Student Clarinets Made Of: Materials Used in Manufacturing for Beginners

Student clarinets are a popular choice for beginners who are just starting to learn how to play the instrument. These clarinets are designed to be affordable and easy to play, making them ideal for students who are just starting to learn the basics. When it comes to purchasing a student clarinet, one of the most important factors to consider is the materials that the instrument is made of.

Student clarinets are typically made of plastic or synthetic materials, which are more durable and less expensive than the wooden materials used in professional clarinets.

While plastic clarinets may not produce the same rich tone as wooden clarinets, they are still capable of producing a clear and pleasant sound.

In addition to the materials used to make the clarinet, it is also important to consider the care and maintenance required to keep the instrument in good condition.

When shopping for a student clarinet, it is important to do your research and consider all of your options. There are many different brands and models of student clarinets on the market, each with their own unique features and specifications.

By taking the time to learn about the materials, care, and market options available, you can make an informed decision and choose a student clarinet that is right for you.

Materials Used in Student Clarinets

Wooden Clarinets

Traditionally, clarinets have been made from hardwoods, primarily from Africa. The most popular wood used for clarinets is grenadilla wood, also known as African blackwood. This wood is known for its excellent acoustic properties and is used in professional-level clarinets. However, student instruments are usually made of plastic due to their affordability and durability.

Wooden clarinets require proper maintenance and care to prevent damage and maintain their intonation. They are also more fragile than plastic clarinets and can be easily damaged if not handled properly.

Plastic Clarinets

Student clarinets are usually made of plastic, and the materials from which the instrument is made are of a synthetic nature. Plastic clarinets are more durable and less expensive than wooden clarinets, making them an ideal choice for beginners. They are also easier to maintain and require less upkeep than wooden clarinets.

Plastic clarinets are available in different models that vary in quality and price. The materials used in the construction of the instrument can affect the sound quality and playability. For example, hard rubber is a popular material used in higher-end plastic clarinets, while lower-end models may have a plastic body with nickel silver keys.

Mouthpiece and Keys

The mouthpiece of a clarinet is a crucial component that affects the sound quality and playability of the instrument. Student clarinets usually come with a basic mouthpiece made of plastic and cast from a mold. Higher-end models may have mouthpieces made of hard rubber or metal.

The keys of a clarinet are usually made of nickel silver or silver-plated. Nickel silver is durable and doesn’t tarnish as easily as silver. It is often used on student and intermediate clarinets.

Overall, student clarinets are made of materials that are affordable, durable, and easy to maintain. While wooden clarinets may produce a richer, more mellow sound, plastic clarinets are a practical choice for beginners who are just starting to learn the instrument.

Key Features of Student Clarinets

Key Work

Student clarinets are designed to be easy to play and learn on, which is why they often have a simplified key work system. The key work on a student clarinet is typically made of nickel-plated brass or silver-plated nickel, which makes it durable and resistant to wear and tear. The keys are designed to be ergonomic and easy to reach, which allows beginners to play smoothly and comfortably.


The bell of a student clarinet is usually made of a hard rubber or plastic material, which is less expensive than the African blackwood used in professional clarinets. While the material is different, the shape and design of the bell is still important for the sound and intonation of the instrument. The bell is flared to help project the sound and create a smooth, consistent tone.

Undercut Tone Holes

Student clarinets often have undercut tone holes, which are designed to improve the intonation and response of the instrument. The undercutting creates a larger surface area for the air to pass through, which helps to create a smoother and more consistent sound. This feature is especially important for beginners who are still developing their embouchure and air support.

Overall, student clarinets are designed to be easy to play and learn on, while still producing a smooth and consistent sound. The key work, bell, and tone holes are all important features that contribute to the overall quality of the instrument.

Choosing the Right Student Clarinet

Price and Budget

When choosing a student clarinet, price and budget are important factors to consider. Student clarinets can range from under $100 to over $1000. While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, it’s important to remember that quality can heavily impact the sound and playability of the instrument. It’s recommended to set a budget and look for a clarinet that falls within that range while still prioritizing quality.

Brand and Model

The brand and model of a student clarinet can also greatly affect its quality. Some popular clarinet brands for students include Yamaha, Selmer, and Jean Paul USA CL-300. It’s important to do research on the different models and brands available to find the best fit for the player’s needs and preferences.

Durability and Care

Durability and care are crucial considerations when purchasing a student clarinet. Look for clarinets made from durable materials such as hard rubber or plastic resin. Additionally, clarinets with Valentino pads can be beneficial as they are known for their longevity and resistance to wear and tear. It’s also important to properly care for the instrument by regularly cleaning and oiling it and storing it in a safe, dry place. Overall, when choosing a student clarinet, it’s important to prioritize quality, durability, and care while also considering factors such as price and brand. By doing research and taking the time to find the right fit, students can ensure they have an instrument that will serve them well throughout their musical journey.

Intermediate and Professional Clarinets

Intermediate and professional clarinets are made from higher quality materials compared to student clarinets. These materials are chosen for their ability to produce a richer, darker, and more consistent sound.

Intermediate Clarinets

Intermediate clarinets are often made from African blackwood, also known as Grenadilla wood. This type of wood is a premium material that is known for its density and resonance, making it an ideal material for intermediate clarinets. The keys and other metal parts of intermediate clarinets are usually made from nickel silver, which is a combination of copper, zinc, and nickel. This material is durable and resistant to corrosion, making it an excellent choice for intermediate clarinets.

Professional Clarinets

Professional clarinets are made from the highest quality materials to produce the richest and most consistent sound possible. The body of a professional clarinet is usually made from African blackwood, while the keys and other metal parts are made from a combination of brass, iron, and silver. The silver keys are not only visually appealing, but also produce a brighter and more focused sound compared to nickel silver keys.

Gold is also a popular material for professional clarinets, as it produces a warm and rich sound. However, gold is a very expensive material and is only used in the most premium models.

Overall, intermediate and professional clarinets are made from high-quality materials that are chosen for their ability to produce a rich and consistent sound. These materials, combined with expert craftsmanship, result in instruments that are capable of producing a wide range of tones and dynamics.


When it comes to student clarinets, there are a variety of materials that they can be made of. While some may argue that wooden clarinets produce a better sound, plastic clarinets are often recommended for beginners due to their durability and affordability.

The Yamaha YCL-255, Mendini by Cecilio MCT, Jupiter JCL700N, and Selmer CL211 are all popular student clarinet options. The Yamaha YCL-255 is praised for its easy playability and high-quality sound. The Mendini by Cecilio MCT is a more affordable option that still produces a decent sound. The Jupiter JCL700N is known for its smooth key action and solid construction. The Selmer CL211 is a bit pricier, but is often considered a reliable and high-quality option.

It’s important to note that technology has also played a role in the development of student clarinets. Some models, such as the Jupiter JCL-700N student clarinet, feature undercut tone holes and adjustable thumb rests for a more comfortable and enjoyable playing experience.

Overall, choosing the right student clarinet will depend on personal preference and budget. It’s important to do your research and read clarinet reviews before making a purchase. With the right instrument, beginners can develop their skills and enjoy the beauty of playing the clarinet.

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