The bass clarinet is a single-reed woodwind instrument that is a member of the clarinet family. It has a low pitch and has a decent range. Unlike the bass saxophone, which has a few curves, the bass clarinet is a little smaller and is straight with the exception of a small curve under the mouthpiece and the curve at the end of the instrument. While it might not be as large an instrument as the bass saxophone, it still has a considerable weight and usually requires the use of a neck strap to help support the instrument while it is being played.
The material that the bass clarinet is made out of differs from the metal that most saxophones are made out of. They are usually made out of African Blackwood, though the less expensive versions are often made out of plastic. Most bass clarinets are often keyed in B flat, but there are some bass clarinets that exists which are keyed in A and C. The uses for the bass clarinet are also more varied than the bass saxophone.
Not only are bass clarinets used in jazz, they are also used in orchestras, marching bands, clarinet choirs and a few other types of bands. The reason why the bass clarinet is more popular could have much to do with the sound the instrument makes. The tones it has are warmer, richer tones that could be more appealing to people than other metallic instruments. In fact, the bass clarinet has increased in popularity since the mid twentieth century as more music calls for its use. There were many classical performers at that time who had decided to take on this particular instrument on as their main instrument for their musical career.
Since then, there are many well-known musicians who have chosen to play the instrument and are best known for their bass clarinet playing. More music continues to be written that includes the bass clarinet and more people are choosing to play the instrument because of the sound the instrument creates. The bass clarinet can be fairly expensive when purchased new, but if a young musician chooses this instrument it can be purchased at a used music store where the price is significantly lower. There is also more of a chance for a young person to have the chance to play the instrument in their school band because the music might not be as expensive as some. As is true with many wind instruments, it requires the musician to have good control of their breathing in order to create the sounds they are looking for.
It takes some practice, but with time the person will have an easier time playing the instrument. The bass clarinet may also be more attractive than the bass saxophone because it is not as limited in todays - music world as the bass saxophone is. There is more opportunity to play the bass clarinet because there appears to be more demand for the instrument in not one, but many different music genres.