Untitled Document
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!

Elementary jazz clarinet book

Hi all,

I've recently decided to take up the clarinet. I'm an avid jazz drummer and guitarist and have been playing both for fifteen years, but it's time for a new challenge! Although I'm hoping to teach myself as far as is possible, I intend to take a few lessons every now and then to try and limit falling into bad habits...

I'm looking for a decent and thorough elementary clarinet book, ideally one that has a strong jazz focus: I figure that something genre-specific will make it easier for me to keep myself motivated! If anybody has any recommendations I'd be extremely grateful.

Thanks in advance,



Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Any beginning method book will work for your first book and lucky you, you can usually find them at Used Book stores for ten cents on the dollar. Once you get through that (OneBand, Rubank, etc.) then it will get interesting. Do start with a lesson from a qualified teacher if you can afford it, or knowledgeable friend (free lesson usually, I least when I give them) so that you can get the setup, embouchure, and breathing stuff down. Good luck!


Old King Log
Staff member
Lay low on the jazz stuff until you at least have the basics mastered. All the major scales (and the chromatic one), stuff like thirds and all of that. Rubank (and (my favorite) Lazarus) cover all of that very well, although you will find yourself playing stuff that doesn't resemble jazz very much.

In particular, make sure to master the "extreme" keys, since you will be playing in concert A a lot (in order to help out the piano, guitar and bass, the wusses). The "hashtags" clustered in the key signature are irritating at first, but you learn to live with it. And, consider yourself lucky that you're playing a Bb horn; the guys in Eb have it even worse.

Once you've got that (and the move over the break) down pat, it's time to seek out a jazz oriented book that will adapt what you've learnt and build on it there. But, lay the foundation first - then move on to the fun stuff. While you have the syncopation and other rhythm stuff down pat already, but you are moving to a new area of the body, one that has had zero training in music.

Particularly as far as the embouchure is concerned, you need to start with a teacher. There are elements in the embouchure that are best taught by observation, critique and emulation, something that you can just not do on your own.
Top Bottom