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Clarinet for 12 year old GD

(18 Posts)
Kateykrunch Fri 14-Dec-18 22:21:03

Lovely GD plays the Clarinet and has to rent it through school (quite expensive), she would really like one for Christmas, so I wondered if you can give me any tips on buying one second hand or where to get a bargain but good quality new one, thanks in ant.......x

jacq10 Fri 14-Dec-18 22:53:45

If you have a small local music shop they will advise you and may well have second hand instruments for sale or will point you in the right direction. Our DD started playing clarinet at 11 year old and a second hand one got her into a jazz band - it's a lovely instrument. I was always glad she didn't take up violin!!

phoenix Fri 14-Dec-18 23:09:06

Perhaps her clarinet teacher might know of someone who has given up, or upgraded?

Jalima1108 Fri 14-Dec-18 23:41:25

Music shops may have second hand ones (I don't know where you are Kateykrunch.

If she is 12 and still enjoys playing then she will probably carry on - is she in a schools orchestra? Would her music teacher have any ideas where you may be able to find one, perhaps from someone who has given up?

We bought DD one at about that age, she is still playing it all these years later. Well worth the outlay!

Bagatelle Sat 15-Dec-18 01:04:12

What is your GD playing on at the moment? Definitely talk to her teacher. If she is having lessons in a state school you may be able to buy through the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme. Also, ask the teacher about getting it 'set up', i.e. checked for leaks and ease of playing.

I was a music teacher in a secondary school for 10 years until 2007, latterly including woodwind and piano, and taught privately until five years ago. Cheap clarinets are more trouble than they're worth - the keywork bends easily and then they don't work. The Buffet B12 was the student benchmark at that time, and next door's 12-year-old (she's just taken her Grade 3 exam) is getting its successor, the Buffet Protege, for Christmas. That's on the recommendation of her teacher, a clarinet specialist. There is a similarly priced Yamaha which is probably good as well, or a Buffet B12 (or Yamaha) might be a good bet for second hand, but be guided by your GD's teacher.

agnurse Sat 15-Dec-18 04:04:13

I'd suggest going to the teacher as well. I can't speak for woodwinds, but I know for string instruments, for example, they come in different sizes. You absolutely cannot buy big and expect they'll grow into it - a too-large instrument requires them to develop bad habits that can take months to train out. The teacher can advise you on brands and also size if it is a concern.

SpringyChicken Sat 15-Dec-18 08:25:25

Why not look on eBay? There are numerous pre owned models for sale

Jalima1108 Sat 15-Dec-18 11:01:09

I can't remember what make DD's is - certainly, she had it when she was about 12 and it's a full-size one which she is still playing now. It was one recommended by her clarinet teacher.

Jalima1108 Sat 15-Dec-18 11:02:22

ps it is a wooden one, not resin.

Izabella Sat 15-Dec-18 17:29:49

I would steer away from eBay. It is easy to buy one that has bent keys (and not realise until later) As others have suggested get advice from a clarinet teacher, and also make sure the case is robust (but light) to protect the instrument. And good quality reeds too. Mine was stolen years ago and I was only able to replace with a cheaper resin model so I guess insurance should be an issue too?

Bagatelle Sat 15-Dec-18 18:35:43

Yes, like Izabella I wouldn't buy a clarinet on eBay unless it was local, I knew what I was doing and I could give it a good run-through first. Also, when buying second hand, have a good look at the case because rough-handling may be more obvious there.

For a beginner I'd recommend a modern, resin clarinet. They're lighter than wood and it is no longer true that any wood clarinet is better than any resin one.

If the player is of grade three standard or above, then she might find that she prefers one model over another, i.e. similarly priced Buffet or Yamaha. A player of grade five standard or above would benefit from an 'intermediate' rather than a 'beginner' model - funds permitting.

It is a Bb (B-flat) clarinet that you're looking for. Dawkes is a respected supplier; if it isn't on their list it probably isn't worth having. Windcraft is their own make, made to a budget so unlikely to be as good as the Buffet but probably better than anything else at less than £389. But I'm not up-to-date on it, so I don't know.

Dawkes clarinets

Definitely talk to the teacher.

Kateykrunch Sat 15-Dec-18 19:24:45

Thanks everyone, I was trying to do it as a surprise, but perhaps need to take on board all your suggestions. In the meantime, I had looked at ebay, bit ropey there at the moment and GD in general chat had said about the bent keys etc. I did look on Argos online and believe it or not they have one for £99!, would any of you experts have a quick look on their web site and let me know what you think about that one, but I suppose it is too cheap?? Thanks all though x

Bagatelle Sat 15-Dec-18 23:41:07

Kateykrunch I've looked at the Argos one and I wouldn't touch it. Good keywork comes at a price. How long has your GD been playing, and what make is her rented clarinet? It sounds as though she is not a beginner, and if she is to have one of her own, it has to be at least as good as that one.

All clarinets, from the best to the worst, look much the same when they are new. However, flimsy keywork soon shows, and the slightest deviation from true will cause a leak that will make it difficult if not impossible to play. I've seen too many like that.

Kateykrunch Sun 16-Dec-18 10:13:35

Thank you Bagatelle, that confirms it, I will just start a little fund for a new one and look again in a few months.

Jalima1108 Sun 16-Dec-18 11:25:08

I would put that £99 towards a better one too - or even a very good second hand one from a reputable music shop. Some may be hardly used - bought then the student got fed up with learning.

Bagatelle Sun 16-Dec-18 11:37:21

I think that's best. When is her birthday? But talk it over with her teacher. If others get upgrades for Christmas there might well be some good reconditioned ones in the shops or known to the teacher early next year.

Fennel Sun 16-Dec-18 12:43:48

I agree with those who say talk to the teacher.
Our younger son took to the clarinet when he was about 13, learnt at school. and eventually wanted to buy one. He was keen at the time so we bought him one via school.
He didn't keep it up, much later went onto guitar, but I don't think that experience was wasted.
He learned to read music, experienced playing in an orchestra etc.

Luckygirl Sun 16-Dec-18 13:14:48

I would take advice from the teacher - a poor clarinet can be hard work to play, so she needs the right one.