Whether you’re a new player or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to buy quality used instruments that will meet your needs. However, it’s hard to know where to start. Where you buy your used clarinet can be as important as the condition. While online marketplaces might have good deals, but it’s important to test and inspect an instrument before purchase. This ensures you’re getting a clarinet that you love to play. That’s why it’s good to check your friendly neighborhood music store as well as online sources. Here’s a short guide on how to buy a used clarinet in Los Angeles.
Judging The Condition
You can learn a lot about a clarinet’s condition when you first handle it. Take a glance down the bore before you assemble it. If a clarinet has been stored improperly, it may show signs of deterioration. While assembling the clarinet, the joints should fit well and connect completely. As you hold the clarinet, make sure the keys cover the holes completely. When you operate the keys, check if any stick or if the keypads are worn. If anything doesn’t check out this early on, it might already be time to look for a different used clarinet.
Inspect Each Part
After assembling the clarinet for the first time, it’s important to inspect all the parts individually. First, check the joints. The cork segments shouldn’t be warped, bulging, or missing. After that, look down the bore and inside the bell. Make sure there aren’t any cracks or scratches. A cracked clarinet is a broken clarinet. Then check out the keys and pads. Don’t worry if the keys are tarnished. This doesn’t really change the tone or playability of the instrument. Make sure the pads are in good condition and that none of the rods or keys are bent. It’s also a good idea to make sure the serial numbers on each part match.
Important Clarinet Accessories
There are a few essential accessories you’ll need to bring when you test or buy used clarinets in Los Angeles:
Bring your own mouthpiece to test the clarinet. It’s a good idea to purchase your own if you don’t already have one. This should be considered a personal item, and not shared.
Brush and Cleaner
Bring a soft cloth and a cleaning rod with you to give the clarinet a quick clean before and after assembly. While cleaning, you can ensure that the interior of the bore is in good condition, and isn’t leaving unusual marks on your cloth.
Box of Reeds
A box of reeds is an essential part of any clarinet player’s kit. Bring a selection of your own for testing purposes. If a clarinet doesn’t sound right with a fresh reed and mouthpiece, there may be something wrong with it.
It’s a good idea to give the clarinet a good cleaning to get to know it better. Cleaning the keys and exterior can help suss out any cracks or broken parts.
Bring a tuner with you as well to make sure the clarinet holds its tone properly. Play though some scales as well to make sure it stays true across its entire range.
Testing Used Clarinets in Los Angeles
When buying a brand new clarinet, you’re at least guaranteed that all the parts function properly. This isn’t always the case with used instruments. It’s important to play the instrument and feel the mechanical parts. As you test it out, you’ll get a good feeling for the tone and character of the instrument. Does it play well, does it need maintenance, or is it broken? If it plays well, does it sound good? An experienced clarinetist has a better idea of this than a beginner, so it’s a good idea to bring a friend friend who plays along to listen and give feedback.
Shopping for Used Clarinets in Los Angeles?
Adam’s Music is your friendly neighborhood music shop in West Los Angeles. We have a wide variety of instruments and musical equipment for sale or rent, including new and used saxophones. If you’ve always wanted to pick up a new instrument or brush up on your technique, now’s a perfect time! Contact us today to buy or rent one of our instruments, or arrange a free introductory lesson with one of our world-class teachers.