Which instrument for school music lesson: guitar or clarinet?

(33 Posts)
Fayrazzled Sat 15-Jun-13 19:39:59

My daughter has just started private piano lessons at home and has the opportunity to start peripatetic music lessons at school next year (y4). I think the clarinet would be a good choice for her and would give her the opportunity to play in a group (band or orchestra) a bit further down the line should she wish to. She wants to do the guitar (because her mates are doing it). I think the guitar is a) difficult to do well, especially if she's only receiving 20 minutes lesson a week in a group and b) is another solitary instrument when she also does the piano. What do you think?

Artsacademy Thu 27-Feb-14 15:29:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

nemno Mon 17-Jun-13 14:26:18

Lancelottie, one of mine fancies a ukelele! I discouraged it unless he got rid of something else as we had 7 guitars of various types lying around at any one time (wall hangers are a godsend).

But I would say that although both boys get equal enjoyment from the guitar the one who had earlier formal guitar lessons is the one better at it. This could be for a number of reasons of course but if anything the more self taught one is the more dedicated so I think is related.

Lancelottie Mon 17-Jun-13 14:17:18

Nemno, DS has in his time learnt brass, piano and clarinet.

The one he gets out for pleasure is the ukelele, bought for a couple of quid from Oxfam and self-taught via youtube.

Lancelottie Mon 17-Jun-13 14:15:11

She's, what, 8? 9? Don't panic that she'l never have a chance to catch up on clarinet just yet, especially as she's already doing piano. If she changes her mind this time next year she could still catch up before secondary.

nemno Mon 17-Jun-13 14:13:55

My 2, now adult sons, played 1)trumpet and guitar, 2)sax, drums and guitar through school. They were in many school ensembles with the trumpet and sax respectively. They played their other instruments with bands socially at the weekend. They never played the trumpet and sax again since leaving school. Guitar provides both of them with amusement on a daily basis, many years later. They both jam informally with each other and any musical mates so yes, guitar is very sociable.

WhoNickedMyName Mon 17-Jun-13 14:04:35

If you choose for her, and you choose the instrument you prefer, or think is better for her, then be prepared to do battle every time she has to practice or learn a piece of music, because you'll probably have to practically force her to do it.

curlew Mon 17-Jun-13 08:28:02

I suppose it depends what you mean by "sociable" music. My guitar player does a lot more noodling about and informal playing together sort of music than my clarinettist.

BeckAndCall Mon 17-Jun-13 07:18:24

From a sociable point of view, def the clarinet - just to play in an orchestra, which is a whole different type of music making.

There's no stopping her also picking up the guitar in a few years time. But if she misses Out on starting the clarinet, she'll never catch up on it enough to join in an orchestra.

Theas18 Sun 16-Jun-13 13:09:57

Caveat dd1 played clarinet from about aged 9 to 18. Distinction at grade 7 but never fell in love with it and gave it to dd 2 hen she left school...l but dd1 is inherently a "less sociable" musician. Her thing is small group stuff at high standard. She mainly sings.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 16-Jun-13 09:58:36

DD plays the clarinet she is also year 4. She choose it because it is used in so many genres of music she loves that it can be a lovely classical instrument and also fab jazz too. I think we are blessed that she has a great teacher who has her in an orchestra and small jazz group quickly so she could see the adaptability of the instrument.
If it is still on the iPlayer it maybe worth listening to the clarinet section in radio 2s guide to the orchestra.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 16-Jun-13 08:37:20

My DS plays guitar and clarinet (and saxophone). You can get quite far with the guitar using you tube tutorials. For the clarinet (which is most certainly not shit, anyone who thinks so is projecting) you need lessons. So I'd go for buying a guitar, and having clarinet lessons.

Theas18 Sat 15-Jun-13 21:56:07

ds says guitar "it's cool" , he wishes he could play beyond a few self taught cords

DD2 says "clarinet s more sociable" she plays properly.

So 2 opinions (usually you get more than 2 form these 2 kids but you did only give 2 choices LOL) clearly they both are good!

WeAreSix Sat 15-Jun-13 21:30:55

I completely disagree that the clarinet is shit. I've played for 25 years and still love it. I play in a concert band and it is really sociable. We play some Dixie jazz which is fun, kind of competitive between brass & woodwind. Well, I enjoy it and I am no fuddy duddy!

However... Guitar is good for a sing along with friends, supporting vocal work if she can sing.

I think both have their merits.

WeAreSix Sat 15-Jun-13 21:25:54

I c

Fayrazzled Sat 15-Jun-13 21:22:22

Brilliant, thanks for all your thoughts. Guitar it is then.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sat 15-Jun-13 21:07:23

Classical guitar may be difficult to do well (don't know) but the brill thing about guitar is that if you can sing along you can use it to entertain people even if you only know a few chords. Took me years to learn anything entertaining on the clarinet.

Dackyduddles Sat 15-Jun-13 20:47:08

Guitar and piano have to be the most sociable instruments ever really. That combination is frankly knockout.

Dackyduddles Sat 15-Jun-13 20:45:53

I learnt the clarinet. It's shit. Shit fuddy duddy music.

She's doing piano, mostly classical/exam stuff. Fun stuff when she can. Let her do something fun (guitar) with her mates in a group musical setting. It's not 'lonely'. No where close.

curlew Sat 15-Jun-13 20:42:23

I have a guitarist and a clarinettist- both now at secondary school. Guitar is definitely cooler - clarinettist only gets any street cred when she plays the saxophone!

GrumpyKat Sat 15-Jun-13 20:39:35

Clarinet <disclaimer:is a Clarinet teacher so may be slightly biased grin >

valiumredhead Sat 15-Jun-13 20:37:48

I agree about it being a sociable instrument most definitely.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sat 15-Jun-13 20:35:19

I learnt the clarinet for years and I always wish I had learnt the guitar instead. I was never in a good orchestra because they only need a few clarinets (violin better for that, they need loads) and despite getting to grade 8 I haven't touched it since I was 18. Guitar is such a sociable instrument, my favourite way to spend an evening is a singsong with someone playing, and I wish I could do it myself. I keep meaning to learn but I learnt 3 chords and now it sits reproachfully in the corner...

JudithOfThePiece Sat 15-Jun-13 20:27:09

By the way, what I mean by 'easier' is obviously 'easier for me' and my point is that everyone finds thing different so it might be easier for her, too. Sorry, didn't think I explained myself well!

JudithOfThePiece Sat 15-Jun-13 20:25:35

Not only would I say it's incredibly important that she does what she wants to do, but I would also say she is far more likely to practise if her friends are doing it.

Also, IMHO, playing the guitar is far easier than the clarinet. I have attempted to learn both in my life and am far more accomplished on the guitar. When I was at school, I got to play at the Royal Festival Hall with my guitar and a number of other venues, with the school orchestra. I was also in a wind band, but we only played in the school hall at Christmas!

valiumredhead Sat 15-Jun-13 20:25:23

There is as lot to be said for being able to play with your mates and swap notes/learn new songs etc so not a bad thing.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now