The JP121 Bb clarinet is ideal for players looking for a first clarinet to start learning on or as a step up instrument from borrowed or hired instruments. This clarinet is capable of taking the player through the lower grades until the point where a wooden clarinet is ideally needed.
Our guide to buying your first clarinet will help you know what to look for and explains the different features that can be found on a clarinet.
The silver-plated keywork on the JP121 is hard-wearing and durable whilst the ABS body is lightweight and creates a warm tone. An adjustable thumbrest and sling ring also provides the opportunity to make playing more comfortable.
Those readers who are clarinet teachers will be aware of the wide variety of student quality clarinets that are now on the market both from music shops and the internet. Some instruments should be avoided at all costs being poorly made and if purchased will only lead to frustration both for the player and the teacher! Well the shop says it’s ok for a beginner and can be exchanged for a better instrument later. From time to time this mantra has been repeated by a parent to me despite my attempts at fore warning!
The student needs a good quality instrument if they are going to progress. The recently launched John Packer Clarinet Model 121 Mark 4 is worthy of serious consideration. Seeing its Mark 4 implies some improvements have been made to the original JP student clarinet. Having seen the original instrument I would say that attention has been given to feel of the instrument and it has a response that will suit a young beginner. The model I have seen was free-blowing with good intonation. The mouthpiece is basic and adequate and I know JP offer the opportunity to upgrade to, for example, a Vandoren mouthpiece. The keywork is well-made, silver plated and comfortable. The thumbrest is adjustable. The case will appeal to the student in that a zipped cover is provided complete with shoulder strap. The price will appeal to school and music service purchasers who purchasing in bulk, striving to widen opportunities for children to learn musical instruments, require dependable instruments.
Being I am now, as of Sunday 27, Jan 2019, a 69 year old self teaching student of the clarinet, and I would like to offer my review.
Purchased by my wife with my approval we chose the John Packer JP-121 MKIV for my birthday gift and intro into woodwinds, as a means of exercising my lungs per doctor orders.
Although a skeptic at first, I greased the corks, assembled the instrument, installed the reed, and proceeded to attempt at making a sound within the living room of our home. I had been to You Tube to get somewhat of an idea what to expect.
To my surprise and vocal objection from our dogs a squeal emerged. A quick retreat to our bedroom resulted, due to the dogs reactions and "that look" from the wife. Several more squeals from the JP121, as well as from the dogs, and within tens minutes I was making a rich mellow sound that resembled music. During a 30 minute time span I was hitting all the basic notes and the dogs were now quiet. I am amazed and most of all, having fun.
I find this instrument to be well made, of great quality, and beautiful as well. It was easy to assemble, well balanced, and light considering this is a full sized instrument. I could not be more pleased with our purchase. As an owner of many guitars and harmonica's I am excited to begin the journey to woodwind with my new JP-121.
I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Included with the JP121 is a student JP mouthpiece which is responsive and free-blowing. The fabric case is compact and pocketed in order to store small accessories. There are built in backpack straps and rings to attach a shoulder strap for ease of transportation. Also included is a pull-through and cork grease in order to maintain the clarinet at home.