Many people say it's really hard to play, but like anything, you need to practice. Don't forget, no one's perfect right off the bat! I've been playing for 5 years and it's not nearly as hard as when I first picked it up. Posture and breath stamina are key. When playing, you need to keep a steady airflow, trying not to puff your cheeks. Posture will help a lot with this, opening up your lungs and help you breath easier. To keep from squeaking, make sure all the pieces are lined up. Having the mouth piece slightly off could cause it not to sit flat on you lips and squeak. Although the clarinet does break into 5 pieces, it doesn't take too long to put it all together. Also remember, this is so its easier for you to carry around. In the end, I highly suggest trying it out, and not just because I personally love it. As you get better, it really has a beautiful sound and an amazing addition to any band or orchestra. Good Luck!

Now...I do agree that the clarinet is a hard instrument to master. I've been playing for about 4 years now...whew! Some things are easy about it, like getting a squeak or a bad tone out of it. I worked with a bunch of 6th graders who for the most part had only touched one about once in their lives. On the first day, almost all of them had made a sound. A squeak or "dying duck" sound, which I admit sounds terrible. To get a good tone practice is required. This is not as much as of a popular instrument as say the guitar, which I notice is up higher on this list. I currently am starting on the guitar; started about a month ago, and I notice that it is easier to make sound, learn the notes, and almost everything else on the guitar. I agree that some aspects of instruments are extremely hard to master, like switching from the low register to the high register on the clarinet or placing your fingers right on the guitar. Arpeggios in fast songs kill on clarinet, where they're easier on the ...more

I've been playing the clarinet for 5 years now and its pretty difficult because you need to find a good reed, you need A LOT of air, you need to be able to articulate notes, change dynamics, and much much more. It's a complicated instrument. Its definitely not easy.

It kind of annoys me that clarinet is so low on the list of hard instruments to play. Violin is the hardest to play apparently which I do not believe but I wouldn't know because I only play the clarinet. I also think that clarinet is harder to play than the piano. To play a note on the clarinet you have to blow enough, hold the clarinet right, have your mouth right, and much more. But for piano all you have to do is push a key. Sorry for my rant.

I've played the clarinet for about 2 years now. I am very good at it but it can take me weeks before I get a song just perfect. I auditioned for my 5th grade honors band and when I got the songs I felt very intimidated. One of the songs was very hard for me. It was William Tell Overture. I couldn't if my life depended on it, play that fast. So when the concert came I just played as fast as I could but I failed with that song miserably. And even though I didn't squeak, there were some squeaks in the concert. You never know when you going to squeak. It's always a hit or miss with squeaks. And if you don't squeak and your your hand placement is off you won't make a sound at all. And since clarinets are quiet instruments, you need to be spot on. Clarinets are one of the hardest instruments I've played in my life.

The clarinet is REALLY hard to master (I should know, since I actually play it). Your embochure has to be just perfect to even make a sound, or else it will squeak. It squeaks the most out of ANY instrument here. And your mouth can get tired SUPER easily too. There are many, many good things about the clarinet, such as how it has the highest range out of all of the brass and woodwind instruments. We have buttons, holes, and many many keys on the clarinet. The clarinets usually get the melody in songs, so you never will get bored while playing a song. Everyone thinks the clarinet is easy, but it's not. All of the instruments are hard to master, but the clarinet should be at least in the top 10. - Minecraftcrazy530

I think its quite hard as there's the reed to worry about and then the keys, and then the right blowing. You also have to get the blowing and mouth position right. As well as that, the air that goes through actually makes a sound slightly AFTER you blow, so you have to be good at time and stuff. No need to brag, but I'm quite good at the clarinet but when I first started it took me 3 weeks to learn how to blow the clarinet without squeaking or getting sensitive teeth fits.

Really? You should try something like the French horn or oboe, then say that you have to use a lot of air

I think that playing the clarinet requires fast moving fingers, lots of air, proper embouchure, and great patience. The clarinet tends to squeak if you have poor embouchure, which is really hard to correct because it tires up your lips. Then there's holding the clarinet, I've played the clarinet for a long time and now my right thumb is freakishly deformed from carrying it. So yes I think the clarinet is a rather challenging instrument to play.

I've played the clarinet for over a year. For people who disagree with me, I can see why. But you are dead wrong. Clarinets usually get the melody on a piece of music, which usually mean the higher notes. Higher notes=More squeaks. When practicing the clarinet, the downside (And I think all the clarinestests can agree) is you can only practice for an hour before your embochure weakens so bad that you can't even blow. After you practice for that one hour, you right thumb hurts bad after supporting your clarinet with your thumberest. Clarinetists have more eye-hand coordination that any other instrument. Buttons, button, holes, side keys, octave keys. Trumpet? 3 keys, a mouthpiece, and a slide valve? Flutes? No complaining, that instrument is hard. Why do you never hear us squeak? We all make sure that during high notes we don't add a stinger.

Clarinet is VERY easy to play. You squeak a lot at first, but I believe from my experience that after the first month or two, you almost completely have it down with the basics. The fingerings are WAY easier than other instruments I have played (and friends have played). Once, my friend and I decided to swap instruments, and she got the hang of the clarinet almost instantly while I was having a 70% chance of getting a clear sound and getting confused by fingerings on the scale.

Clarinet needs to get more credit, it looks easy but it is NOT! (coming from someone who actually plays it.) 1,000 things have to be perfect. You have to have your fingers in the right position, blow JUST the right amount of air, your mouth has to be in a certain position, it gets hard to remember!

It's hard to not get a squeaky noise when you play and also you have to make sure that your fingers are completely covering the holes and you also have to worry about the extra keys on the side of the instrument. It may seem complicated and if you say that then your so totally right.

Clarinet is super hard to lay. You have so many different fingerings to remember for alternate ways to play notes. And to play the higher notes is difficult to if you play it wrong it screeches like crazy! And the care for the instrument is even harder!

I play Piano, Clarinet and vocals. Clarinet is regarded as the hardest to me as I keep making the same mistake all the time, I try to blow off the reed which annoys me though it's the thing providing the sound. It is really hard to master and should be higher, though I'm sure violin or French horn or trombone is harder. Piano is easier compared to most, it should be lower. - sryanbruen

I've been playing 10 years. Clarinet fingering is an absolute nightmare, as is tuning at the top. This is exacerbated by composers' tendencies to have us supporting the flutes when we haven't got the tune. The instrument simply does not want to do all that high frilly stuff so it's a constant fight with it.
The tuning thing can best be seen in the fact that in orchestras it is very normal for clarinetists to have both a Bb and an A clarinet because without being able to switch between the two, some keys are physically impossible to play.

Yes it's hard! There's ways more keys on it than on the violin! Also, you have to move fast all the time and be able to breathe out the notes! If you can't then too bad for you. On the violin, you can play any note easy.

I play the clarinet too It's extremely difficult to play but, I have been playing it for 2 years and I'm the best clarinet player in my class, anyways It is hard for those who haven't tried it before, for those who think its easy, GO ahead and play the hardest song possible, and you will change your idiocy.

The clarinet is pretty hard. I've been playing it for 3 years. I also play the piano. Let me tell you. The piano is pretty easy to get good at. When you hit the note it makes a perfect note. Clarinet however is VERY hard. My dad and grandma keep talking about how easy it is though and it is very frustrating. The reed can get moldy if you don't clean it off properly. Also it constanly can squeak. It took me a while to get that under control. Also at times it can sound odd. It has a HUGE range of notes and I've only memorized up to the high f. Also you have to make sure you are completely covering the holes if you don't well. It sounds like a goose. The other instruments don't have to do that. That's why clarinet is one of the hardest inturments to play. - Echoecho88

Honestly, many people make jokes about "Oh hey lets go play the clarinet and derp around! " It is actually a difficult instrument. If you look at a picture of one, you will see 6 holes on the front and 1 on the back. You will also notice a ton of keys. These have multiple fingerings for each. Also, saxophones have an octave key. That means that if they are playing, for example, low G, if they press the octave key they will go to a high G. On a clarinet, we have a register key. If we play a fingering for low G, it turns into high D. You have to go to a completely different fingering altogether.

Not to mention that you have to have your mouth in the exact right position on the exact right spot. If you have your mouth in the wrong spot on the mouthpiece, you will either squeak or have no sound coming out at all. It is an underrated instrument for being difficult.

It's pretty hard, in my opinion. You have to have correct embouchure every time, and there are tons of different key holes and key stuff blah blah, and you have to memorize them all. The staccatos are hard (in my opinion), too.

What gets to me the most is the squeaking. Your embouchure has to be perfect, your fingers covering all the holes, you can't blow too hard or soft, if you want it to not squeak. Its also pretty embarrassing when you squeak in a band concert, which happens to me all the time.

This should be a lot higher! It is a lot harder than the saxophone! My brother plays it and he showed me the fingering. I found it quite confusing! The fingering is a lot harder than the saxophone (which is what I play).

I play both clarinet and alto sax, the clarinet much harder because it doesn't have an octave key. I couldn't agree with you more.

Even though you need the reed to play this, that's the thing that's annoying about this considering you have to buy one nearly every month, week etc. I play it and I can only play 2 songs so far! That's how hard it is and I started 2 years ago on it! - sryanbruen

The clarinet is hard to play! The fact that you can squeak within a slight movement is crazy. You have to be still and straight with the ability to hold your breath for some time. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done before!

You have to make sure that you don't squeak, have the right fingering and are in time which can be quite hard

Every played a 4 octave chromatic scale in sixteenth notes on a clarinet its impossible. Also its very hard to play quickly once you get into the the third octave as the fingerings are completely random