I guess calling myself a clarinetist is an overstatement, but the clarinet is definitely something that I want to get better at and more comfortable with. Truth be told, I hadn't always taken the clarinet, or music in general seriously, and as a result I missed a lot of opportunities when it came to having a better understanding of it. This is something I definitely regret, and I want to make it right. However, with no real guide or tutor, I'm not sure where to start, and I constantly feel out of my depth. I know this is a somewhat broad topic, at least when it comes to music, but I generally want to get better at understanding written music, and developing a better sense of rhythm. So I guess any resources would be helpful, hopefully this request doesn't come across as too vague.

Thanks in advance,


I would recommend two things, in order of priority. Neither are clarinet specific.

  1. If at all possible, get a teacher. Even if you just take a couple of lessons. It'll help to get you on the right track when it comes to basic technique. Wind instruments can be a little harder to start out on than keyboard or guitar.

  2. Join a band. It's important for a few reasons. You'll get motivation to practice, the opportunity to observe other more experienced players up close, and exposure to music. In my opinion, the best way to learn and understand music is to play a lot of it. Sure, you'll be out of your depth at the start. Give it a go. You might surprise yourself.

    I'm part of a program that involves multiple concert/wind/marching/big bands. That includes one for kids who have been playing for two hours, and one at the other end of the scale. We did have a program for adult beginners at one stage, although it's not currently active. See if you can find something similar.

  • Both, obvious, sound reasons. Once in a band, he'll find friends with whom he can play separately, who will show new things, etc. etc.+1 – Tim Dec 28 '16 at 9:27

You need to get a teacher, who'll probably stress the following items.

1) Be obsessive about maintaining good posture. if you dont', you can't ...

2) be obsessive about proper breathing and diaphragm control. Make long tones part of every practice session.

3) You start playing a note with a release, not a build-up of control. That is, you need to have inhaled, set your abdomen up, put your tongue onto the reed, and have air pressure applied. The note starts when you take your tongue off the reed.

There's lots more, of course, but I always viewed those as critical to producing proper tone and pitch support.


I know this was said already, but DEFINETLY try to get a teacher. It's not always possible- I'm trying to find a flute teacher myself, but there aren't any in my area. Or, if that's impossible, try to play in a group or a band. Other people can help keep you motivated.

Get a few different music books. I recommend Essential Elements for complete beginners. If you're past that stage, I can't really give you a name,(since I suck so far :) Go to your local music shop and skim through different books. Try to have more than one, as they will offer a broader spectrum of material.

You can watch video lessons on YouTube. I know there are teachers who post flute lesson videos, there must be something like that for clarinet too. Video lessons are, of course, a poor sibstitute for a real human being, but they're better than nothing.

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