Is the Clarinet Hard to Play?

When it comes to the question of whether or not the clarinet is hard to play, the answer is yes.

All musical instruments are difficult to play in their own way.

Each requires exacting attention to detail, innate musical sense, and a thorough understanding of the accompanying physical demands.

Is the Clarinet Hard to Play? Consistently practicing a proper embouchure, breathing, airflow, rhythm, articulation, and intonation, makes playing the clarinet easier over time.

Playing the clarinet is like playing the old game of patting your head while rotating your hand on your belly. The only real difference is that you have six heads, and you have to pat each head in a different way while still rubbing your gut.

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How often should a clarinet be serviced?

When Johann Denner first invented the “improved chalumeau” in 1689 or 1690, he took the earlier instrument and added a register key while improving the location of the tone holes.

About 100 years later, the clarinet Mozart had when he composed the Clarinet Quintet, K. 581, and the Concerto, K. 622, for Anton Stadler, the instrument had only six keys on it.

That included the register key. The modern clarinet has 20 or more keys.

It requires lots more attention and repair than Stadler’s model.

How often should a clarinet be serviced? Key’s need to be adjusted yearly. A complete re-pad is recommended every 2-3 years.  The Bore and body require oil once every 8-10 years. In general, pads, keys, springs, and tenon corks are replaced or adjusted as needed.

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