Best Student Clarinet Mouthpieces

15th March 2023

In the first few years of Clarinet playing your choice of mouthpiece is very important. Student Clarinet mouthpieces are usually plastic, primarily for cost reasons, and they come in a variety of designs. The 3 most popular (and best) student clarinet mouthpieces are made by Buffet, Yamaha and Windcraft. In this blog, with accompanying video, we discuss and demonstrate the options.

Importance of Student Clarinet Mouthpieces

Mouthpieces can vary massively in quality. It’s very important to start on a student clarinet mouthpiece which has been designed and produced with care. When you’re a student, the mouthpiece is crucial to helping you develop a good embouchure and making a strong sound. As you can see in the image below, there are various elements of clarinet mouthpiece design. All these measurements work in harmony (when produced correctly) to ensure the mouthpiece is free-blowing.

clarinet mouthpieces anatomy

The Main Contenders

The 3 student clarinet mouthpieces we recommend are from Buffet, Yamaha and Windcraft. They vary in price from around £65 down to £22 (prices will vary over time, please click the links to check). Cost variance is generally down to the route to market rather than any quality differences. The Buffet and Yamaha models come through multiple distribution channels to dealers which adds another layer of cost.

The Windcraft student clarinet mouthpiece is produced in the USA (by the J.J. Babbitt Co. – arguably the most experienced manufacturer in the world) to a Dawkes design and we buy direct from source in high quantities. This helps keep the Windcraft very affordable.

student clarinet mouthpieces

Which is Best?

Each player or teacher will have their own opinion based on how they play, what resistance they prefer and what sound they like. In our opinion (and Alastair in the video) we feel the Windcraft is definitely the best value for money and offers a good sound and playability. The Yamaha is perhaps just the easiest to play so of the two more expensive options that’s the one we’d recommend in a 4C size.

In Summary

The most important points to take away are:

  1. Student clarinet mouthpieces can vary in quality depending on design and construction
  2. Price is not always wholly indicative of best sounding/playing
  3. Always ask your teacher and/or a specialist supplier for advice

We offer a range of these and other clarinet mouthpieces here at Dawkes Music. If you’d like any assistance with choosing please contact us. Also, do remember we offer a 14 day home trial period so you can make sure the mouthpiece is right for you.