Clarinet: Renting vs. Buying for Beginners

When you start your adventure with clarinet, you probably wonder what is better: renting or buying the instrument? At many music stores, you will find various clarinet models at different prices. The range of choices and costs available today can make this decision very difficult. This week, we will discuss the pros and cons of either buying or renting your own instrument.

My first meeting with the clarinet

Many students start in a wind orchestra or a music school. In such places, sometimes there are possibilities to rent an instrument. This option is very comfortable, especially for parents of small children, because it allows them the chance to return the instrument to the school or music store if their child changes their mind or desires to play another instrument. Another situation is when your child plays the instrument for a few months and becomes more interested in it. If you are renting the instrument, it is worth considering buying your own instrument at this point, since long-term rentals can be more expensive and cost more than actually buying an instrument.

When should I buy the clarinet?

In life we set goals for ourselves, no matter what age we are. If you decide to play clarinet and that this is the best instrument for you, it would be good to consider buying your own clarinet.  Buying your own instrument does not mean that you need to have a brand new one. You can find really good used instruments in music stores – an inexpensive option to buying a new instrument. Everything depends on your budget and future plans. It is important to receive advice from a professional musician to see if they can help with choosing an instrument. The best way is to speak with clarinet teacher, orchestra director or professional musician. For young children, I recommend clarinets made from plastic, because they are more durable for temperature and humidity changes and less sensitive to falls. If you are beginning the clarinet as a teenager or an adult, it would be wise to think about purchasing a wooden clarinet, as it allows players to develop more musically and to increase their prospective for future playing opportunities. Even so, wooden clarinets require more maintenance and attention since they are more fragile than plastic clarinets.

Pros and cons of renting clarinet

The pros to renting an instrument is that it allows you to have more flexibility.

At any moment you can give the clarinet back and stop your learning or switch the instrument for a different one. If you have played the clarinet for a long time and you don’t have money for buying new one, you can change the model for a higher one with ease, which gives you new opportunities to develop yourself. Paying a small amount every month makes it possible to comfortably pay for the instrument, so that it doesn’t burden the household budget. The disadvantage to renting an instrument is that even when you pay monthly for your instrument, the clarinet will never be yours, and the paperwork you need to sign makes you responsible for everything that happens with the clarinet you are renting. No matter what decision you make, the most important thing is that you are glad to have an instrument and have fun playing it. A good clarinet without any damage or cracks will make learning music more enjoyable and increase your rate of growth on the clarinet.

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