All Things Clarinet

From this page you can shop our range of Clarinets including B♭, A, E♭, Alto and Bass Clarinets. We stock Clarinets from all the best brands including Buffet, Yamaha, Selmer, Backun, Uebel, Windcraft and more.


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Not only does the clarinet have a fascinating history, but it also continues to play a key role in a wide range of musical settings. This is largely due to this woodwind instrument’s astounding flexibility, as has been demonstrated in the likes of concert, military and marching bands, as well as classical, jazz and klezmer music. However, the right choice of clarinet instrument for you will naturally depend on a number of factors. Here at Dawkes Music, we can guide you through your options among our clarinets for sale, in addition to helping you to get the most out of whatever instrument you purchase.

A brief history of clarinets

The clarinet was developed as a result of Late Baroque composers such as Handel and Bach increasingly requiring their trumpets to play tricky melodic passages in the higher register. A register key was added to the chalumeau instrument to create what is widely regarded as the first clarinet. This design was subsequently refined over time to enhance the clarinet's playability and tone. Today, there is a broad variety of clarinets from which to choose. This means you can be confident of picking out the perfect clarinet for sale for a given application when you browse the complete product range in the Dawkes Music online store.

What types of clarinets do you have to choose from?

It's precisely because different types of clarinets suit different purposes that we strive to stock the most comprehensive range of clarinets for sale here at Dawkes Music. The Bb clarinet, for instance, is the most common type of clarinet, being especially popular in early jazz and swing. It has been favoured down the years by such esteemed musicians as Benny Goodman, Sidney Bechet and Woody Herman, and is the instrument that any new clarinet player would start with.

Alternatively, you may presently be on the lookout for an A clarinet, which is very similar to the Bb clarinet, but produces a somewhat mellower sound. An A clarinet is used in advanced orchestral and chamber music scenarios, and an advanced Bb clarinet player will often add an A clarinet to their collection as part of their progression. The Eb clarinet, meanwhile, is commonly used in concert or military band situations, as well as some orchestral music. It is shorter and thus higher pitched than the Bb or A clarinet, and is regarded as a speciality instrument. It uses its own smaller mouthpiece and reeds suitable only for an Eb clarinet. Another option is the bass clarinet, which was originally associated with the works of 19th-century orchestral composers like Wagner, Ravel and Berlioz. To this day, the bass clarinet preserves a strong orchestral influence and also features in concert bands and contemporary music. The bass is pitched in Bb and can go down to a low Eb or low C, depending on the model. Finally, some of our customers are most interested in purchasing an alto clarinet, which is known as a tenor clarinet in some countries. This clarinet is larger than the soprano instruments, and consequently has a lower pitch enabling a rich and dark sonority. The alto clarinet appears in concert bands and chamber music and is pitched in Eb.

Peruse the Dawkes Music online store today, and you will encounter various categories of clarinets for those of beginner, intermediate and professional levels of ability. We even give you the option of dipping into the second-hand market to find the best possible clarinet price. Our stock represents brands including Yamaha, Buffet, Selmer and Uebel. In short, when you are next in need of a high-quality and well-priced clarinet, there's no finer place to look than Dawkes Music.

As well as a huge range of new Clarinets we also offer second hand clarinets from student to professional level. We also offer a large selection of Clarinet accessories such as mouthpieces, reeds and ligatures to help you get the most from your instrument. All items are available to try in store or via mail order and most are available on 14 day approval so you can make sure you're happy. As well as offering all the kit you need we also offer a repair and servicing centre for Clarinets. Our in-house workshop employs six full time repairers who can look after all aspects of Clarinet repair - from minor adjustments to full overhauls.

Clarinet Advice

The Clarinet Reed is an important part of your clarinet playing setup. Our Clarinet reed page goes into detail about reed strength, trying Clarinet reeds and includes a Reed Comparison Chart. It is very important to clean your Clarinet after you have played it and our page on Clarinet cleaning & maintenance show the various Pullthroughs and Swabs available. Questions such as "Where should the reed sit on the Mouthpiece?", "How long does a reed last?" and "Do I need to oil the bore of a Wooden Clarinet?" are discussed on our Clarinet advice page. Do you feel your clarinet isn't playing as it should or as well as you remember from when you first received it? Our Clarinet repairs page explain some of the issues that may affect your instrument now or in the future.

Clarinet Rental

Our Instrument Rental Scheme is perfect if you're not sure that you wish to purchase an instrument just yet. For example, you may have a young beginner and you want to see how they progress or you may be an adult adding another instrument to your collection. Our 'Start Right' rental scheme is flexible, affordable and you can use some of the money spent on the rental towards the cost of a new instrument. The most common Clarinet to start on is the B♭ Clarinet – it's the choice of most beginners and we offer the reliable Yamaha student model. We also offer a wooden upgrade model, an A or E♭ Clarinet for specialist orchestral use and the Bass Clarinet for anyone wanting to try one before committing to a purchase.

Dawkes Music are a globally recognised UK based Music Industry company that have expert staff who specialise in products, performance, teaching and repairing in the brass and woodwind sector. With the largest square footage of display in the UK we hold our unique stock of Clarinet spare parts, Clarinet accessories and repair materials for the brass and woodwind retail and wholesale market.