Social Question

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

Flute or Clarinet?

Asked by HarryPotterFreak (163points) April 30th, 2012

I love music so, so, so, so, so, so, much!!!! It’s basically the only thing I’m good at. I fail at sports…......I’m talking epic failure. I can play the flute, I can sing, dance(jazz, lyrical, and ballet), I have even been in musicals! That and I’m good at school. But, anyways; my question is: which is better? Flute or Clarinet? (I choose flute all the way!!!!)

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30 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I like both, but if I had to choose it would be clarinet. More useful for jazz.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

The guitar. Both acoustic and electric ones. Bass too. Not so keen on keytars.

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

@Michael_Huntington the question was flute or clarinet…....

digitalimpression's avatar

Jazz flute is far more appealing to me than .. well.. regular flute…

I’ve never quite liked the sound of a clarinet… although there may be some songs that have it in it which I like without realizing it is the clarinet.

Berserker's avatar

I’m musically impaired. I know nothing of it. I tried to play the flute in school, and pretty much just spit all over myself. I tried the acoustic guitar too, and I just ended up doodling on my music sheets, and not learning anything. I did take tap dancing lessons as a kid though, and even performed in some public presentations.
To answer the question, I love the sound of the flute. Not that clarinet is bad, but flute music kicks ass.

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

@Symbeline Your answer really touched me!! Awesome answer!!!!!! I totally agree!!!!! (I don’t curse; but still, I totally agree!!)

digitalimpression's avatar

@HarryPotterFreak I think your exclamation mark button is stuck.

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

@digitalimpression No…...I’m just a very……....ecstatic kind of person, if you will. But seriously; I totally agree with Symbeline’s last two sentences.

Kayak8's avatar

No real use for clarinets (even less for flutes) but I am not really into marching band. If I have to go listen to a marching band, then give me brass and percussion and leave the woodwinds at home!

For classical music, give me strings all the way (love me some cello) and you can still leave the woodwinds at home. You can keep the oboe if you are playing Peter and the Wolf, but that’s about it.

I think my ears just really don’t like the high-pitches of flutes (and detest piccolos), and although clarinet is better pitched for my hearing, it just strikes me as being very nasal. I am ok with the alto sax range and below.

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

@Kayak8 I’m officially offended. Especially about the flute part. :(

Kayak8's avatar

@HarryPotterFreak I thought you wanted honest responses rather than social support for your choices. Sorry . . .

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

I do, and thank you for your participation, I am just in love with the flute. You don’t have to apologize; you were giving an honest opinion.

Plucky's avatar

Depends on the music.

wundayatta's avatar

Flute! No question. If you have ever had to suffer through having a sibling attempt to learn the clarinet, you will know why any instrument is preferable. Unless you have Benny Goodman playing, the clarinet is a menace to society.

Of course, flute doesn’t hold a candle to a trumpet, but that’s not what you asked. ;-)

bewailknot's avatar

When I was a kid I wanted to take flute, but my parents had already bought a clarinet for my older brother, so clarinet it was. I still love flute best, and you can play a variety of musical styles on flute if you are skilled enough.

That said (I vote flute) a girl at my church played a lovely clarinet solo Sunday and her style of playing had a breathy quality that was rather flute-like – very nice.

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

@wundayatta boy do I know the sibling learning clarinet situation! Not fun!

WestRiverrat's avatar

You could go with a Native American flute, it is a cross between the clarinet and traditional flute.


ddude1116's avatar

The flute, by far. I haven’t anything against the clarinet, but the flute is simply better. Rock flute, jazz flute, classical fluteā€¦ It’s so diverse. But the clarinet is just mediocre. I’ve heard some good renditions and additions on clarinet, Some Twenties’ jazz and Outside the Wall, namely, but the flute is more noticeable and more enjoyable to hear.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Clarinetist speaking here…

In my completely unbiased opinion, you should choose clarinet. It wins in every metric.

Yes, beginning clarinet players sound like dying animals. But once you get past that phase, you won’t regret it.

wundayatta's avatar

@PhiNotPi You say “once” as if it is inevitable they get past it. Unfortunately, I can assure you that it is not only possible that they do not get past it, but that they can stay in that stage for years. Years! I think he dropped the instrument when he left high school, but I had been out of the house for a couple of years by then, and I did not miss that part of it one bit.

PhiNotPi's avatar

By “completely unbiased”, you know I did mean “absolutely and totally biased”. But I do know that it can take years. It took me five, maybe six.

jaytkay's avatar


Especially in Latin bands, like this, the guy is amazing: Orlando Valle Maraca – Danzon de la Habana

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I love the sound of a virtuoso level flute. The Baritone Clarinet is amazing too!.
Between the flute and clarinet, I prefer the clarinet.

Of course a 5-string Banjo played Scruggs style is best!

tranquilsea's avatar

When I had the choice between the clarinet and the flute I chose the clarinet and I don’t regret it.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Clarinets. Flutes can be very very annoying after awhile.
But go with whatever sound you like better. They both have very different timbres.

laineybug's avatar

Well, I’m pretty biased about this one because I play clarinet. So clearly I choose clarinet. No offense to flute players, but I like the range and sound of the clarinet more than flute. I like the tone of it, even though beginners most definitely sound like dying geese.

ucme's avatar

I like the flute because of the posture adopted whilst playing the thing.
Looks like someone’s milking a very tall cow at the same time as blowing on a hot cup of coffee, that’s funny to me so it is.

lifeflame's avatar

I always thought the cat (as represented by the clarinet) was the coolest part in “Peter and the Wolf.” Maybe because it was a cooler character than the bird (flute) or oboe (duck) I listened to it as a kid, and that impression has stuck ever since.

filmfann's avatar

Clarinet. The fingering is the same so you can easily go to the saxophone

Kardamom's avatar

This is really a hard choice. Benny Goodman plays some wicked Swing/Jazz clarinet that knocks my socks off.

Plus the iconic clarinet intro into George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is one of the most amazing pieces of music ever!

On the other hand, the jazzy flute in Herbie Mann’s version of Norwegian Wood is pretty cool too.

Or Jethro Tull’s Singing All Day or Jack in the Green are both great.

My favorite classical instrument, though, is the cello.

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