Mendini Black B Flat Clarinet
A high-grade plastic cast and nickel-plated keys make this clarinet both affordable and approachable for a wide range of musicians.
Find on Amazon
For one of the most competitively priced clarinets in its class, this model by Mendini boasts a pretty complete package. The hard plastic construction has a matte finish, while the nickel-plated keys provide an appealing contrast. Along with the instrument itself, your purchase includes a hardshell case, a stand, ten beginner reeds, cork grease, a pair of gloves, and a cleaning cloth — all the essentials for a budding clarinetist. And if the traditional black color doesn’t suit your style, feel free to experiment with Mendini’s wide range of colors.
- Ebonite body comes in a wide range of bright colors, perfect for young players
- All the essentials needed to start playing are included with your purchase
- Wide range of color choices to suit any budding musician
- Included reeds may not be up to par for more advanced players
Eastar Student B Flat Clarinet for Beginners
The non-toxic ABS and resin whistle ensure that this uncomplicated clarinet will last for plenty of lessons.
Find on Amazon
One of the hardest parts of learning how to play a reed instrument is controlling your mouth shape and airflow. To help beginners, Eastar’s clarinet comes with a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece that makes for easy blowing. After mastering the basics, musicians can enjoy the quick response of the nickel-plated keys for a smooth playing experience. To top it all off, Eastar includes a metal ligature, a swab for cleaning, cork grease, a plush-lined hard case, one resin reed, and two practice reeds with your purchase.
- Included 4C mouthpiece is made of durable plastic that makes the blowing process easier
- ABS body provides a bright sound and stable vibration
- Faux woodgrain finish on the instrument adds to the aesthetic
- Included reeds are both synthetic rather than wooden
Jean Paul USA Intermediate Clarinet CL-400
The matte finish of this ABS resin clarinet simulates the grain of actual wood to maximize both durability and sound quality.
Find on Amazon
Although some ABS resin clarinets are known for having inaccurate bores, Jean Paul USA’s model is a prime example of a high-quality cast instrument. The matte finish simulates the grain of a true wooden instrument, and the silver-plated keys create a softer, warmer sound than the nickel-plated competition. Jean Paul USA also includes a higher-end hard plastic Bari mouthpiece and a professional Rico reed with your purchase, among other things. To protect your investment, be sure to properly stow it away in the waterproof nylon-shelled case before transporting it.
- High-quality ABS resin cast body with a matte finish to simulate real wood
- Silver-plated keys offer a softer sound than nickel-plated keys
- Professional-level Bari mouthpiece and Rico reed included with purchase
- Travel case has a waterproof nylon shell for durability
- Paying a premium for a reliably cast ABS body and professional accessories
Hisonic Signature Series 2610 B Flat Orchestra Clarinet
This clarinet is an affordable step up from your basic beginner instrument.
Find on Amazon
Hard rubber — or “ebonite” — is one of the most popular materials for beginner and intermediate clarinets; it produces a warmer tone while also being incredibly durable and affordable. Hisonic’s Signature series model takes advantage of this by combining an ebonite body and nickel-silver keys for a clear step above most beginner instruments. The included case is plush-lined and comes packed with the basic essentials for care and cleaning, including a reed-protecting mouthpiece and a swab. Better materials mean a slight hike in price, but progressing musicians will likely appreciate the Signature’s quality.
- Ebonite body and mouthpiece provide warmer sound without being too expensive
- Purchase includes essentials for care and performance
- Other beginner-intermediate sets may include more accessories with your purchase
Yinfente Intermediate B Flat Rosewood Clarinet
If you can spare the extra cash, check out this clarinet made of rosewood for a powerful, rich sound.
Find on Amazon
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a true wooden clarinet in our roundup, especially since they’re preferred by most professional musicians. Yinfente’s model is made of rosewood, which isn’t as commonly used as grenadilla but still offers the rich, powerful tone that sets wooden instruments apart. It also features silver-plated keys to complement the warmer sound, and the included reed and mouthpiece are both up to par, as well. True aficionados will likely buy their own accessories, but it’s certainly helpful to have a place to start.
- Rosewood body offers a richer, more powerful sound than ABS or ebonite counterparts
- Silver-plated keys complement the warmer tone
- Very affordable when compared to professional-level wooden clarinets
- Advanced players may want to replace the included reed and mouthpiece
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best material for the clarinet mouthpiece?
While plastic is often the cheapest, ebonite mouthpieces offer a high level of durability and affordability, making them an industry favorite. Very rarely you may find crystal or wooden mouthpieces, but these specialty materials are costly and less forgiving, so we’d suggest opting for a solid (and generally recommended) middle-ground option instead.
Why would I choose a plastic or ebonite clarinet instead of wood?
Other than the obvious answer — more competitive pricing — you should consider what function your clarinet is going to serve. If you or the intended recipient is in a marching band, you’ll want a body that can withstand hefty use at high volume, often in outdoor conditions. Where wood may degrade and warp, ABS resin and ebonite will remain sturdy.
About the Author
Why Trust Us
Since 2010, Momtastic has provided millions of parents with a complete guide to raising a family in a healthy home by offering our expert advice on everything from car seats for kids to baking supplies for the kitchen. It takes a village to raise a family, and our experts are here to make sure every parent finds a little bit of that village in us.