Clarinet Parts



Here is an overview of the clarinet parts that will be addressed in the assembly tips.

Put the clarinet parts together with assembly tips 
Go to clarinet mouthpiece and reed setup tips 

The reed of the clarinet usually is made out of a bamboo-like material called arundo donax, and attaches onto the mouthpiece. The tip is very thin, so that when air hits it, it vibrates through the body of the clarinet and makes sound.

The reed is one of the most important clarinet parts.  Imagine your favorite singer on stage in concert with a microphone. Your favorite singer's voice with the microphone's magnification is a similar relationship to the reed's vibration magnified by the rest of the instrument. 



The job of the ligature is to hold the reed onto the mouthpiece. There are many types of ligatures available with different advantages and disadvantages.

Ligatures that have screws on them come in two varieties: standard and inverted. Standard ligatures have screws on the reed side of the mouthpiece and inverted ligatures have screws on the other side.

Shown here is my Bonade inverted ligature. You can tell because there are rails on the non-screw side, and they are supposed to touch the reed. 


Mouthpieces, like ligatures, come in a variety of dimensions and styles.

Usually made out of hard rubber or plastic, different types of mouthpieces vary based on their facing, which involves the reed table (the flat part), the two side rails, the tip rail, and the curve of the rails of the tip (which determines the amount of opening between the mouthpiece and the tip of the reed). 


The barrel of the clarinet connects the mouthpiece to the top joint and also is useful for tuning.

If your pitch is sharp, pulling out a little bit between the barrel and the top joint can lengthen the instrument just enough to lower the pitch. The same applies to pushing in when you're flat.

Most barrels that come with B-flat soprano clarinets are 660 millimeters in length, but other lengths are available. 



The top joint is controlled mostly by the left hand, and its keys are more delicate than those of the bottom joint.

Here is the register key, found in the back of this joint, and it is controlled by your left thumb. Looks kind of like an exclamation point, doesn't it?



The bottom joint is the other clarinet part that has keywork, and it also contains many keys that are controlled by the pinkies.

The right thumb supports the weight of the clarinet on the back of this joint.



The bell of the clarinet is the last of the clarinet parts that the vibrations from the reed go through. Some notes on the clarinet can sound without it, but the bell helps to create a fuller sound, especially in the low notes.