Is The Clarinet Hard To Play

Is the clarinet hard to play? The answer to this question is yes, and the same goes for several other musical instruments. This means most musical instruments are not easy to play in their own way, and each musical tool requires a certain level of innate musical sense, attention, and a perfect understanding of the demands that comes with playing that instrument. Once again, the clarinet is not a simple instrument to play for everyone.

However, you can find it a little bit easy to play the clarinet over time, but this means you have to practice airflow, breathing, embouchure, intonation, and articulation. Putting all of these that we have mentioned here will make playing the clarinet easy over time, and some people find playing the clarinet like patting their head with one hand while rubbing their stomach with the other hand.

Is The Clarinet Hard To Play

Is The Clarinet Hard To Play

The difference is the clarinet has six heads and you have to find a suitable way to pat all six heads while you are still rubbing your gut. Irrespective of intonation, there are about six core principles that you can practice when it comes to playing the clarinet. It is building a five tower edifice right on a solid foundation. The solid foundation of such a building makes it impossible for the building to collapse.

The same can be said about the six core principles you need to be aware of when playing the clarinet, because your playing style will collapse if you fail to master these six principles. I guess you must be itching to know what these six steps are, and we will take you to meet each of these steps so you can learn everything you need to know about them. Trust me when i say all of these steps will make learning how to play the clarinet very fast, easy, and simple.

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Six Principles Of Playing The Clarinet


This is referred to as the foundation for everything you do when learning how to play the clarinet, and one of the things you must know at this stage is properly cushioning the reed. The air inside the mouth must have a correctly shaped channel as it passes to the reed aperture, and the lower lip should be made to fit the channel shape. Avoid curling the lip too much, and ensure that only the fleshy part of your lip comes in contact with the reed.

Curling the lip in front of the teeth should be avoided as well, as it will only result in bunching of the chin. Bunching of the chin isn’t ideal when learning how to play the clarinet, and ensure the rear part of the tongue is positioned in an elevated arch. You might be wondering why you have to do all these when learning how to play the clarinet, but this is important if you want to obtain the right intonation and obtain the right clarinet tone.

Air And Breathing

In order to play the clarinet, you have to master how to properly wind it. This is because the clarinet is classified as a wind instrument. and learning how to breathe the proper way is one of the solid foundations you can build when learning how to play the clarinet. When people mention us to take deep breaths, expanding our chests and hunching shoulders is the first thought that comes to the mind, but this might be a backward thing to do.

Hunching doesn’t do much because there is no air inside of your lungs, so extending the diaphragm downwards and leaving the shoulders down is the right thing you should do. Directing air into the clarinet can be achieved by breathing deeply inside to form an embouchure, and it is okay for you to position the tip of your tongue on the reed which in turn closes off the clarinet.

Pushing the air by clenching the throat or chest is the wrong thing to do as it ends up constricting airflow, but opening up the throat will pave way for lots of air speed to make the right sound on the clarinet without pushing any of the keys.


A musical notation represents rhythm, and it will interest you to know that all symbols have their meanings. A note’s duration is dependent on time and tempo, and tempo explains the speed at which music should be played. Counting clap notes and beats is the best way to practice rhythm, and clapping once while counting to four is done when practicing a whole note. Clapping once per half note is the ideal thing to do if you are dealing with half notes.

The combination of notes represents the rhythm you play the clarinet, and separating notes can be done by using fingers to press keys and cover holes or striking the tongue against the reed. This could be done either by clapping or counting, and doing this also helps in creating different notes.


Separating notes from each other is what we refer to as articulation, and tonguing is also what we describe as using the tongue to touch the reed in various patterns. Different patterns of tonguing best explains what articulation means, and it will interest you to know that you can tongue any note. Slurring refers to the playing of notes in succession without moving the tongue at all, and slurring and tonguing can be combined when playing the clarinet.

Interestingly, articulation can either be separate or crisp, and staccato is the best way to define this type of articulation. It can also end up being well connected and smooth, but it isn’t quite slurring. Legato is the best way to describe this type of slurring.

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Notes are also considered as secret codes the same way we all think rhythmic symbols are a secret code as well, and every space or line represents a note on a scale. Learning note names and how to correlate them using finger positions that open or close holes, or open keys in various patterns is quite essential, and there are other symbols you have to learn regarding notes.

Smaller pitch changes are indicated by symbols like double flats, double sharps, flats, sharp, and other note bending symbols. Surprisingly, they are all part of a complex code in the music notion.


This refers to playing music in tune, and the vibration of something against another leads to the formation of musical notes. The reed tip vibrates against the mouthpiece tip to form a note when playing the clarinet, and this will lead to vibration of the air inside the clarinet as well. These vibrations that take place inside of the clarinet will travel by air to the listener’s ears, but notes that are out of tune will vibrate slowly or quickly.

There will be something referred to as beats of sounds when you are playing alongside a person who is playing the correct pitch, and this means sound waves failing to synchronize. Developing the ear to hear pitch so they can match the person they are playing with is one skill every clarinet player must learn, and this is one of the easiest ways to avoid the beats of sounds when learning how to play the clarinet.

Putting It All Together – Is The Clarinet Hard To Play

Concentrating on everything we have mentioned in this post is the easiest way anyone can learn how to play the clarinet, and you can also be a master at each and every one of them when you practice one after the other. Putting them all together will help in forming am embouchure till you get to play the most complicated pattern and rhythm of notes. and do not forget that developing the ear is also of utmost importance when playing the clarinet.

Finally, hiring a private teacher will make learning how to play the clarinet very easy. This is because people have proven to learn things faster when they have someone that offer constructive feedback and guide them on what needs to be done.

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