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To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Blow Baby Blow ()
Date: August 31, 2010 06:50PM

It's that time of year again. 5th grader wants to play the clarinet for maybe the next eight years of her life.


Music and Arts will rent any of the band-leader-preferred ones for $216 for the school year, including their 90-day promotion, plus $5.99 per month maintenance fee.

Or, there’s eBay.

BUFFET Bb Clarinet - Tosca - Brand NEW - SHIPS FREE
http://cgi.ebay.com/BUFFET-Bb-Clarinet-Tosca-Brand-NEW-SHIPS-FREE-/390197657887?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ad997c11f
Only $4995. Yes, the decimal point is in the correct place.

Back in reality land…

Selmer Prelude Student Clarinet, Brand NEW CL711
http://cgi.ebay.com/Selmer-Prelude-Student-Clarinet-Brand-NEW-CL711-/270625565223?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f028a6a27
Only $259

Yamaha 250 Clarinet and Case - EXCELLENT- NEVER USED
http://cgi.ebay.com/Yamaha-250-Clarinet-and-Case-EXCELLENT-NEVER-USED-/320582743982?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa43877ae
$250

Windsor Bb Clarinet-black wood grain-Italian pads NEW
http://cgi.ebay.com/Windsor-Bb-Clarinet-black-wood-grain-Italian-pads-NEW-/270629029861?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f02bf47e5
$179.95


And from our friends in China:

BRAND NEW STUDENT BAND CLARINETS W/5 YEARS WARRANTY
http://cgi.ebay.com/BRAND-NEW-STUDENT-BAND-CLARINETS-W-5-YEARS-WARRANTY-/280556106979?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41527274e3
$74.99

Which might actually be available for only $2.00:

Here is a Top Of The Line Bb LAVAL Band Clarinet and not one of those cheap imitations that you may have already seen.
http://cgi.ebay.com/CLARINETS-NEW-2011-Bb-CONCERT-CLARINET-BANKRUPTCY-MINT-/310244699527?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item483c066d87
Yes, $2.00 (plus shipping)

Any recommendations from someone who has been down this road before?

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: been there ()
Date: August 31, 2010 09:30PM

Buffet---get the model that is around $700 (maybe it's $800 now). My son started in 5th grade with the rental. It was okay for a while and then developed a crack. They gave him another that was just as bad. We started giving him private lessons in 6th grade (which I highly recommend if your child wants to really learn to play). That's when we bought the Buffet. He is now going into 10th grade and is still playing in band. He has been in district band once and he has gone to solo festival for 3 years and received superior ratings each time. He recently played at his grandfather's memorial service with a cousin on trombone. They sounded great.

In short, it's not worth it to keep dealing with the rental---it's really more expensive if your child stays in band for more than a few years. The Buffet was a huge change for him right away---much easier to play---which helped him stay with band. The cheap rental frustrated him. The tone is also way better on a wooden clarinet. They usually give you a plastic one on the rentals. It's no wonder kids drop out of band---it's hard to play those cheap things. Good luck and I hope your child enjoys playing. Give your child lots of encouragement and listen to him/her practice. It may seem like a lot of work, but it pays off.

For maintenance, look up Alberto Grossi Woodwinds in Arlington. He is very good and fair---he's in the business for the love of music.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: been there ()
Date: August 31, 2010 09:33PM

Oh, yes, we did get a marching band clarinet on Ebay (because that one has to be plastic)---for around $300 last year. It's sort of what you might expect---not a great tone, but doesn't matter for marching band.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: been there ()
Date: August 31, 2010 10:35PM

I just saw the Buffet on Amazon.com for $904. It's the Buffet E11 Wood Clarinet---I guess the price has gone up since we bought it.

One more thing---the clarinet I got on eBay had to be repaired when I got it.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: eesh ()
Date: August 31, 2010 10:39PM

Clarinets sound like shit and so easy to learn a monkey could play them. Real woodwind players only use double reed instruments.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Consistent ()
Date: August 31, 2010 10:46PM

eesh Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Clarinets sound like shit and so easy to learn a
> monkey could play them. Real woodwind players only
> use double reed instruments.

If nothing else....consistent comment. You are such a jerk!!! Were talking kids here idiot.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: ThePackLeader ()
Date: September 01, 2010 12:31AM

I used to always get my instruments for class from Music & Arts. The first year I tried the violin, then when I moved up a grade to brass & wind, I played the trombone. After that, it was percussion all the way until high school, and I still play the drums.

5th grade was when I remember band first beginning, and it was a lot of fun back then. I hope your kid enjoys it.

==================================================================================================
"And if any women or children get their legs torn off, or faces caved in, well, it's tough shit for them." -2LT. Bert Stiles, 505th, 339th (On Berlin Bombardier Mission, 1944).

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: APorIBMom ()
Date: September 01, 2010 12:38AM

I'd recommend buying an inexpensive plastic clarinet and then having it "tuned up" by a clarinet technician to make sure that all the keys and pads are working properly. The plastic clarinets don't sound great, but they're fine for rank beginners and can be used later on in marching band.

If your child is making good progress and is still playing clarinet during middle school, then it's generally time to buy a wooden clarinet. The Buffet E-11 seemed to be popular with middle school students when one of my children was in the band. A few advanced players used the more expensive Buffet R13.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Bill ()
Date: September 01, 2010 01:26AM

Everybody's kid is going to be the next great music prodigy. Then reality hits, the kid finds something they like better, that is the end of band and you have an instrument lying around.

I did band from 6th grade through 12th. In my case the decision to buy a better quality instrument made sense, and the only mistake was not buying it sooner. (I still have my old high end Buffet, mid 1970s vintage, but it has gone through three users, the case is beat up and it probably needs some new pads-not the type of thing most beginning parents would be interested in.) However none of my kids lasted more than three years before deciding to move on, and we were fortunate that we did not end up buying some top of the line instrument that would be sold for pennies on the dollar, or would end up buried in the closet.

Point is that unless you know what your kid is going to do in the future it is awfully difficult trying to figure out what is best to do today. One thing that you can try to find a used middle grade or better instrument that someone is selling because their kid decided to discontinue band. Obviously it would be better to have started this process last spring when many of the kids were deciding not to do band again, but there may still be some floating around. Try Craigs List, bulletin boards at music stores or simply contact a few parents whose kids took band last year to see if they know anyone who might be selling. If you are going to spend serious money you might want to see if you can get the instrument checked out before buying.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: eesh ()
Date: September 01, 2010 01:42AM

To the parents that want to spend money on their shining star, get a Yamaha. You can't beat the quality of their instruments. Plastic instruments sound like garbage and are only suited for absolute beginners.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: play ()
Date: September 01, 2010 06:54AM

Why buy her an instrument when both of you could master the art of playing my skin flute, for free!

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Eddie II ()
Date: September 01, 2010 08:55AM

I feel sorry for anybody who has to sit and listen to somebodies prodigy kid play his clarinet. Honestly? You had your kid play at a family funeral?????

If my son who wanted to play the clarinet I would wash his mouth out with soap and slap him silly.

Nothing says gay better than a band or drama kid. Especially a band kid playing the clarinet. Seem him off to play football or skip the entire idea of him being a man and start him on advanced skin flute lessons now.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Blank Reg ()
Date: September 01, 2010 09:14AM

I played clarinet for two years in elementary school back in the late 80s, thank jeebus my parents didn't actually buy one. Despite thinking I loved it at the time, I totally lost interest by sixth grade.

I don't know about Music & Arts' prices, they always seemed a little on the high side. I've had great service at both Twinbrooke Music and Lorton Music.

http://www.restonmusic.com/locations.php

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: CBR Dude ()
Date: September 01, 2010 10:11AM

Costco has nice ones for 200.00!! Suzuki brand. I bought my daughters from Costco and it works fine. She's been using it for 3 years now without a single problem. Comes with a nice solid case too. Just sold it on Craig’s list for 50.00!! You can't tell the difference and why on earth would you spend that kind of money for something they are unsure about playing. Music and Art's prices are a royal rip off. The place that takes the payments is also a rip off - NEMC. Do the math people!! The price they quote does not include insurance either or tax. It's a gimmick to get you in the store to sign up. The instruments are also 5+ years old and not cleaned or revamped from the previous user. We fell hook line and sinker for a flute several years ago for other daughter. Had numerous problems with it. Finally took it to another shop who said the instrument was 5+ years old and had not been revamped properly, took it back to Music and Arts and went off in front of others. After everything is said and done I now own a flute that we paid over 600.00 for and daughter number two did not want to play the flute. Also bought the violin from Costco too, sold that after two years to sister-in-law!! NEMC took my money every month electronically then claimed I was late, never paid, ect. Had to call the NJ Consumer agency and found they had numerous charges against them.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: b ()
Date: September 01, 2010 10:22AM

The costco/walmart/ebay chinese-made instruments are useless. They are very poorly designed and even worse built and will be a major impediment towards learning to play well and enjoying it.

I would never put a wood clarinet in the hands of a 5th-grader either. They won't be capable of taking care of it and it'll be ruined. I'd get a plastic clarinet. You can't go wrong with Yamaha at that price range. I'd get a new one. At that price range, the cost of getting a used one checked out and put back into playing condition is going to erase the gains you've made by buying used.

Then, if they are still into it, you can get them an E-11 or some other step-up wood instrument in middle school. This will last them through college if they are an average player and take care of it, or if they really take off and are interested in music they'll probably need a professional-level instrument part-way through high school.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: b ()
Date: September 01, 2010 10:23AM

Oh, and I'd go to washington music center in Wheaton to buy. Their prices are really good.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: really ()
Date: September 01, 2010 10:25AM

Eddie II Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I feel sorry for anybody who has to sit and listen
> to somebodies prodigy kid play his clarinet.
> Honestly? You had your kid play at a family
> funeral?????
>
> If my son who wanted to play the clarinet I would
> wash his mouth out with soap and slap him silly.
>
> Nothing says gay better than a band or drama kid.
> Especially a band kid playing the clarinet. Seem
> him off to play football or skip the entire idea
> of him being a man and start him on advanced skin
> flute lessons now.


Sounds like sombody who has been there.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Eddie II ()
Date: September 01, 2010 10:46AM

I'm not sure which is more painful. Having to listen to some parents' kid playing an instrument they are learning or having to smile and agree with the parent "That he\she is incredibly amazing."

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: CBR Dude ()
Date: September 01, 2010 11:05AM

I would never put that kind of money or cost into the hands of a Elementary or Middle School child’s hands. You're only asking for it to have new owner sooner then later. The instruments issued by the music stores are made of the same stuff, just dipped in alcohol at the end of the year and recycled to another unsuspecting parent to pay for. I would only spend that kind of money if my child was going on to play professionally or was college bound. Seriously we went back to rent the instrument again after the flute incident, opened the instrument up the had been wrapped in plastic and was told it was brand new. It still had left over “stuff†from the previous user on the body of the instrument. The pads were also left over. When I made commit to the guy he had nothing to say and we walked out. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything not made here in the good ole USA anymore.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Blow Baby Blow ()
Date: September 01, 2010 12:25PM

eesh Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Clarinets sound like shit and so easy to learn a
> monkey could play them. Real woodwind players only
> use double reed instruments.

As pot leads to meth, so does clarinet lead to oboe or basoon.

But that's not a concern this year.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Blow Baby Blow ()
Date: September 01, 2010 12:26PM

been there Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I just saw the Buffet on Amazon.com for $904.
> It's the Buffet E11 Wood Clarinet---I guess the
> price has gone up since we bought it.
>
> One more thing---the clarinet I got on eBay had to
> be repaired when I got it.

Not willing to make a $904 investment in year #1. But thank you for the advice.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Blow Baby Blow ()
Date: September 01, 2010 12:28PM

eesh Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To the parents that want to spend money on their
> shining star, get a Yamaha. You can't beat the
> quality of their instruments. Plastic instruments
> sound like garbage and are only suited for
> absolute beginners.

Yamaha also makes plastic (resin?) models. Those OK?

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Blow Baby Blow ()
Date: September 01, 2010 12:32PM

CBR Dude Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Costco has nice ones for 200.00!! Suzuki brand.
> I bought my daughters from Costco and it works
> fine. She's been using it for 3 years now without
> a single problem. Comes with a nice solid case
> too. Just sold it on Craig’s list for 50.00!!
> You can't tell the difference and why on earth
> would you spend that kind of money for something
> they are unsure about playing. Music and Art's
> prices are a royal rip off. The place that takes
> the payments is also a rip off - NEMC. Do the
> math people!! The price they quote does not
> include insurance either or tax. It's a gimmick
> to get you in the store to sign up. The
> instruments are also 5+ years old and not cleaned
> or revamped from the previous user. We fell hook
> line and sinker for a flute several years ago for
> other daughter. Had numerous problems with it.
> Finally took it to another shop who said the
> instrument was 5+ years old and had not been
> revamped properly, took it back to Music and Arts
> and went off in front of others. After everything
> is said and done I now own a flute that we paid
> over 600.00 for and daughter number two did not
> want to play the flute. Also bought the violin
> from Costco too, sold that after two years to
> sister-in-law!! NEMC took my money every month
> electronically then claimed I was late, never
> paid, ect. Had to call the NJ Consumer agency and
> found they had numerous charges against them.

I agree. Not renting. Can buy a decent one for the same cost. It's just a question of which one.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Blow Baby Blow ()
Date: September 01, 2010 12:36PM

b Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The costco/walmart/ebay chinese-made instruments
> are useless. They are very poorly designed and
> even worse built and will be a major impediment
> towards learning to play well and enjoying it.
>
> I would never put a wood clarinet in the hands of
> a 5th-grader either. They won't be capable of
> taking care of it and it'll be ruined. I'd get a
> plastic clarinet. You can't go wrong with Yamaha
> at that price range. I'd get a new one. At that
> price range, the cost of getting a used one
> checked out and put back into playing condition is
> going to erase the gains you've made by buying
> used.
>
> Then, if they are still into it, you can get them
> an E-11 or some other step-up wood instrument in
> middle school. This will last them through college
> if they are an average player and take care of it,
> or if they really take off and are interested in
> music they'll probably need a professional-level
> instrument part-way through high school.

I like this approach. New plastic Yamaha to start. But do I want the $179 Yamaha, the $250, or the $450? Too many choices.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: b ()
Date: September 01, 2010 04:34PM

$450 seems to be where the junk ends and the truly usable instruments begin. Be careful with ebay and the like, there are some counterfit instruments out there if you can believe it.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Music ()
Date: September 01, 2010 06:27PM

I have played music for most of my life, and like many kids started with band. I've found over the years the best place to go is Craigslist. Yeah, it's used, but it's the best deal around. I've bought and sold so much stuff off craigslist, and as long as you ask the right questions and check it out before buying you can't go wrong. They have some definite bargains. Buy one used, clean it up before you give it your kid, and they'll never know the difference - and have the benefit of having a better instrument. It's true that the better an instrument is the easier it is to learn. I had a crappy guitar when I was 12 or so and barely played the thing because it sucked. Once I upgraded I couldn't put it down. Quality makes a big difference. At least consider Craigslist an option. Just go to their musical instrument section and search for clarinets.

For example here's the clarinet that someone referenced that goes new for $900, selling at $425.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/msg/1929757010.html

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: Music ()
Date: September 01, 2010 06:30PM

Another good thing about buying used is that if it doesn't work out you can sell it for usually around the same price that you paid.

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Re: To Buy A Clarinet
Posted by: watching this thread ()
Date: September 01, 2010 09:37PM

Some great advice and links (b, Music & Others) I have the same need. Thanks

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