• Amy Chambers

Top 3 Clarinet Solos for Early Beginners

One of the most common questions I hear

from students and band directors is, "What would be a good solo to play?" Before contest time, I always see kids digging through file cabinets, trying to guess if the piece of music they grabbed would be a fun one to play that is appropriate for their ability, or if it is a real snoozer.

I'm here to help.

Early Beginner

  • Contains mostly quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes

  • Uses mostly left hand

  • Does not "go over the break"

  • Uses varied articulations and dynamics

These are three of my favorite tunes for early beginners, listed in order of difficulty:

1. Melody by Albert Biehl. Very easy for a new player, this piece contains quarter notes, half notes, and dotted half notes. The range is B-A, and it contains one chromatic fingering. This is located in Festival Solos by Standard of Excellence.

2. Crab Apple Crossing by Ann Lindsay. Very easy for a new player, this peppy little tune has a range of C-Bb. It is located in 1st Recital Series by Hal Leonard.

3. Wooden Shoe Dance by Victor Herbert. This fun, quick piece in 3/4 has a range of B-A and contains some repeated eighth notes. This is located in Festival Solos by Standard of Excellence.

There is a lot of great music out there, and I certainly haven't had my hands on everything, but these are three of my favorite pieces that my own students have enjoyed. Be sure to check back for solo recommendations for Advanced Beginners, Intermediate Players, and Advanced High School/Pre-College Clarinetists.

Happy Clarineting,


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