Beginner Clarinet Tips

Need some beginner clarinet tips?

If you have just started to learn to play the clarinet, this must be a very exciting time for you!

These tips, while unable to replace a private lessons in person, can help you develop good habits if you don't have a teacher right now. This can also supplement what you've already been learning.

Putting the Clarinet Together

I remember hardly being able to wait to get home before taking my first clarinet out of its case.

Speaking of which...

How do you put that thing together, anyway?

Click here for an overview of the parts of the clarinet 

Click here for an overview of clarinet accessories 

Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to assemble the clarinet. 

Click here for more information on clarinet mouthpiece setup and reed placement 


A balanced posture will improve everything about your breathing and playing. Find out how, and how to do it! 

Click here for posture basics based on the Alexander Technique 

Click here for clarinet-specific posture tips 

Click here for University of Colorado clarinet profesor Daniel Silver's wall drill 


The clarinet is a wind-powered instrument. Air causes the reed to vibrate and the vibrations of the reed create sound through the instrument.

In other words...

Efficient Breathing = Good Air Supply = Reed Response = Success!

Click here for tips on the mechanics of breathing 

Click here for breathing exercises 

Click here for clarinet-specific breathing and air support tips 


Another element of making a good sound on clarinet is the embouchure, or the way your facial muscles form around the mouthpiece.

Video on reed/mouthpiece assembly, embouchure and first sounds 

Does your face feel like it's tied up in knots? Untangle it with my embouchure tips. 

Sound Production

You may understand breathing and how to form an embouchure but you're unsure on how to combine them get the sound started.

Sound production tips will help you get on your way to getting the sound to start when and how you want, every time.

Hand Position

Say you've put your clarinet together and you're on your way to making good sounds. Your hand position will make a huge difference down the road when it comes to playing quickly and fluidly. Correct hand position also can prevent injury! 

Click here for general beginner clarinet tips on hand position 

Click here for details on right hand position 

Click here for details on left hand position