While there are many types of clarinet available on the market - many of which we stock here at Dawkes Music – it is the Bb clarinet that is by far the most popular type. The versatile nature of the Bb clarinet has helped to cement its reputation as the go-to or 'normal' clarinet. (more...) Most new clarinet players start on a Bb, and it has a wide range of musical uses. We stock a wide range of Bb clarinets from leading brands such as Buffet, Yamaha, Selmer and more.
The term 'Bb' refers to the 11th step, starting from the C step, of the Western chromatic scale. It is a diatonic semitone above A and a chromatic semitone below B. The closest alternative to a Bb clarinet is an A clarinet. Both types are sometimes called 'soprano' clarinets, but can be distinguished by their slightly different sizes and the different applications to which they are best suited. A clarinets, for instance, are only really used for certain orchestral and chamber music situations. An advanced Bb player may add an A clarinet to their collection at an appropriate stage of their development as a musician.How could a B flat clarinet prove useful in practice?
It is usually necessary for an orchestral clarinettist to have both a Bb instrument and an A instrument at hand for the same performance. However, the Bb clarinet is used across the majority of musical styles, which goes some way to demonstrating its remarkable versatility. Historically, the Bb clarinet was often used by early exponents of jazz and swing. Music icons known for the use of the Bb clarinet in times gone by included Sidney Bechet, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, who were all big names in jazz music. We have worked hard here at Dawkes Music to assemble one of the most comprehensive ranges of Bb clarinets available on the web. Whether you are looking for a high-end professional model to upgrade to or a more affordable beginner Bb clarinet, we offer both new and second-hand options in our stock. For the finest Bb clarinet used or new, don't place your trust in any online store other than Dawkes Music.