Easy Clarinet Songs [Top 10 Easiest]

Are you a beginner at playing the clarinet? Are you looking for easy clarinet songs to assess how much you have advanced so far? If so, then the suggestions in this article might help.

The clarinet is no harder than other musical instruments out there. Like other wind instruments, the most challenging part of learning is making the clarinet produce a sound. The learning journey starts once you know where to put your mouth and how hard you need to blow into the mouthpiece.

Here are the top 10 easiest clarinet songs:

  1. Swan Lake
  2. The House of the Rising Sun
  3. When the Saints Go Marching In
  4. Cool Blues
  5. Moonlight Sonata
  6. Mexican Hat Dance
  7. Dallas Blues
  8. Ode to Joy
  9. Fur Elise
  10. Amazing Grace

Just like with any other instrument, you will typically need to learn one note at a time. You should then study how to join them together to form a melody.

Read on to learn more about these easy clarinet songs so you can figure out if these are the right ones for you.

Easy Clarinet Songs

Easy Clarinet Songs

You should remember that not all the songs that a clarinet player plays are highly technical. There are many easy to intermediate pieces that are equally fun to play.

Since you’re looking for easy clarinet songs, it’s safe to assume that you’re a beginner who mastered the basics somehow. The following songs are some of the best choices for your level of mastery:

1. Swan Lake

One of Tchaikovsky’s masterpieces, Swan Lake, comes to life when arranged for the clarinet. Although this is a work of one of the Masters, this piece is an easy-intermediate difficulty song. Its tessitura is relatively high.

That said, you have to control the inside of your mouth to voice the part correctly. You need to manipulate the shape of your palate and arch your tongue a bit. The higher the notes you need to hit, the higher the arch of your tongue.

This song is not overly technical, but you do need to pay attention to the accidentals. These are the notes that are not in the key of A minor. Accidentals include the F# and C# that are in this piece.

2. The House of the Rising Sun

This particular piece uses simple notes but is still quite challenging for beginners. The reason is that it teaches them how to understand the complex rhythms of compound meters. You have to count six beats per measure in two equal groupings of three to feel the song.

In certain measures, the duplex is quite visible. This is so you can stretch the time playing two notes simultaneously that you would play three. It is quite forgiving in this manner. This is a great song that you can use to work on your technique but still sounds great while practicing.

3. When the Saints Go Marching In

This is one of, if not the most, popular jazz standards. It uses the first five notes that beginner clarinet players learned to play for its arrangement. These are the notes C to G, and you can play them using just the left hand.

The beauty of this piece is that you can alter the rhythm to be in style with New Orleans jazz. Alternatively, you can still use the contemporary rhythm and increase or decrease the tempo according to your preference.

4. Cool Blues

This is a swing tune, meaning that the eighth notes are not “straight” but “bounced.” This song will teach you the blues harmony concepts, swing rhythm, and how to do improvisation. In several measures, you can play whatever rhythm or pattern you wish using the provided notes.

The best part is that you can play these parts differently every time you play this song. You can use this to work on your distinct style. You can also mimic the sound of your favorite player and give it your twist.

5. Moonlight Sonata

This piece is almost as famous as Fur Elise. Plus, this is also known as Sonata No.14 in C# minor with a simple key arrangement. This makes it the perfect choice for the budding clarinet player. This piece is also quite long, which does well to improve your breath control and sense of phrasing.

You will need to watch out for the spots in the song where taking a breath makes sense. This means you should avoid breathing in while you are in the middle of playing a phrase. Always strive to hit play four-measure phrases before you must take a breath. If you can improve to above-average breath control, you can play eight measures in one breath.

6. Mexican Hat Dance

This tune is probably the most difficult song on this list, but a beginner-intermediate player like you can learn. Just like “House of the Rising Sun,” this piece uses a compound meter. Therefore, the beats are divided into three eighth notes played equidistant to each other in that one beat.

7. Dallas Blues

This is yet another swing tune that uses blues harmony. This tune also provides yet another chance to work on your improvisation. However, you need to use chord changes that give the student different notes to work with. This tune does have an accompaniment for piano, which makes it a true piano solo.

8. Ode to Joy

Beethoven wrote some of the best symphonic themes ever created, and Ode to Joy is one of his masterpieces. The melody of this piece uses much higher notes compared to the other entries in this list.

You need to be mindful of your embouchure. You should set it correctly and play the tune with proper breath control. Also, your tongue should be in the appropriate position.

9. Fur Elise

This piece is quite possibly Beethoven’s most famous composition. All piano students will be learning this tune within the first two years of studying how to play. In this piece, the clarinet will take the lead in the melody. This tune will give challenge your technique.

For instance, moving from F# to E# (otherwise known as F-natural) will require that you use two different fingerings. This tune is one of the best pieces for learning the alternate fingering pattern for F#.

The reason is that it will repeat a couple of times throughout the tune. In other words, you can get ample practice using the alternate fingering just by playing this tune.

This song holds the label “presto,” which is the second-fastest tempo marker. The “presto” tempo includes 176 beats per minute or faster. If you have been working on your technique for a couple of months now, you may be able to play this tune quite well.

10. Amazing Grace

This is a tune that works quite well when played by a skilled clarinet player. Even if you haven’t attended church service for years or haven’t set foot inside a place of worship in your life, you can still play this song.

You can even do it with the kind of feelings that believers also have. In addition, it’s a popular song that, when played, those listening to you may sing along with you.

These songs are some of the easiest to play, even if you are still a beginner. However, there are still varying degrees of difficulty between them. You can use them to gauge how much you have improved over time.

Again, is it hard to play the clarinet? Like other wind instruments, the toughest part of learning how to play the clarinet is how to produce sound. You should start learning where to put your mouth and how hard you should blow into the mouthpiece.

Is It Hard to Play the Clarinet?

easy clarinet songs to play

Not an Extremely Difficult Instrument to Learn

The clarinet is not an extremely difficult instrument to learn, but it is also not that easy. The clarinet has a rather steep learning curve. It is steeper compared to most of the other woodwind instruments. It may even take many years before you can consider yourself a master.

Mastering Requires Investment of Time and Effort

On the other hand, the clarinet is just one of the many instruments you have to invest a lot of your time and effort into before mastering it. Like other musical instruments, the most challenging part of learning how to play the clarinet is figuring out how to produce the right sound.

It would be nice to be smooth sailing from there on out, but that is not the case. If you want to become a competent clarinet player, dedicate an hour or so of your day to practice. Spend even more time practicing if you’re going to play this instrument professionally.

A Lot More Than Just Blowing Air

There is a lot more to the clarinet than just blowing air into it and moving your fingers. You will most likely breeze through the beginner lessons as you would likely be playing on just two octaves.

However, the following levels on your way to becoming a master will be much more difficult. You will need to focus on the finer details involved in playing the clarinet. These include tone, sound dynamics, and accurate tuning.

Can You Teach Yourself to Play the Clarinet?

It is not impossible, but it is advisable to get the services of a professional tutor. This should be at least for the first couple of months. Let a professional teach you the basics then you can branch-off on your own if you so wish.

Many online videos teach how to play the clarinet. However, the good thing about having a teacher is getting instant feedback and personalized tips on better playing. These are the things that you cannot get from an online clarinet video tutorial.

On the other hand, there are advantages to using online tutorials, like studying at any time.

Technical Parts of Learning How to Play the Clarinet

easy clarinet songs for beginners

Mastering the Instrument’s Range Is the Most Technical Part

Many professional clarinet players can attest that the most technical part of the learning process is mastering the instrument’s range. Among all the woodwind instruments, the clarinet’s pitch range is the widest. The clarinet can produce four octaves. You need to master all of them to consider yourself a master clarinetist.

Unorthodox Positioning of Keys

To make things even more difficult, the positioning and organization of the keys are a bit unorthodox. This makes the clarinet one of the trickiest musical instruments to play. In addition, this instrument comes with a straight cylindrical bore.

Requires You to Learn Different Fingering Styles

It has the principle of playing of twelfths. What this means is that you will need to learn different fingering styles for every octave.

Cover Holes With Fingers to Make Unique Pitches

Also, unlike other woodwind instruments, the clarinet does not typically come with keys that you push. You have to cover up the holes with your fingers to produce different pitches. Moreover, the clarinet comes with side keys.

You need to play using the edges of your fingers. This means you have to do a lot of work to improve your fingers’ strength and dexterity.

All these things might seem like they’re unbeatable challenges that prevent you from mastering the clarinet, but they’re not. As with learning other skills, grasp the fundamentals, and keep practicing every day.

Even the masters at playing the clarinet do not stop practicing. This will prevent them from getting rusty while ensuring that they will also continue to improve.

Conclusion – Easy Clarinet Songs

Learning how to play the clarinet is not harder than it is with other musical instruments. Like other woodwind instruments, the most challenging part about playing the clarinet is making the sound correct.

Once you know how to position your lips over the mouthpiece and how hard you should blow into the instrument, your journey towards clarinet mastery has already begun.

The songs provided in this article are among the easiest to play using a clarinet. However, note that this does not mean that they are not challenging. Of course, a complete beginner might not even know how to play these tunes. If you have been practicing for at least a couple of months, they would be challenging but still doable.

Again, here are the top 10 easiest clarinet songs:

  1. Swan Lake
  2. The House of the Rising Sun
  3. When the Saints Go Marching In
  4. Cool Blues
  5. Moonlight Sonata
  6. Mexican Hat Dance
  7. Dallas Blues
  8. Ode to Joy
  9. Fur Elise
  10. Amazing Grace