At around age 11, children can learn to play clarinet notes and take on beginner music designed for this versatile instrument. This age is considered appropriate for learning the instrument because children at that age have full front teeth and the arm strength necessary to support the instrument. Finger span is also large enough to cover the entire clarinet. Children generally start on a B flat soprano clarinet and must learn the different combinations of fingering to produce the desired notes.
The clarinet has one of the widest ranges of any woodwind instrument, with the ability to play 3 ½ octaves. A combination of opening and closing the keys on the clarinet produce different notes.
The clarinet's three different registers make different sounds:
To play, the clarinetist will cover seven of the tone holes, operating the rest using the clarinet keys. Some of the beginner notes are among the easiest to play. As the clarinetist perfects the basic notes, more can be added to practice with.
The beginning clarinetist can perfect basic notes and moving between the notes by practicing scales. Beginners should go through the B flat major scales, the E flat scale, the A flat scale and the F scale. For those seeking intermediate scales, the D flat, C and G scales will warm up the fingers and mouth.