Method Books and Etude Books

There are many different method books and etude books available, and they are a wealth of study music for clarinetists of all levels.  I have compiled a list of books I love to use for both myself and my private clarinet students.  The list is by no means comprehensive, but I have tried to list the books in order of increasing difficulty level under each heading.

Scale Methods

  • Complete Method for Clarinet, Third Division op.63
    Carl Baermann
    COMMENTS: A must-have for every clarinetist! All major and minor scales, chord studies, and scale patterns and more are included in this essential publication.

Method Books

  • Breeze-Easy Clarinet Method, Book 1
    Valentine Anzalone
    This is a great method book! Very simple, clean layout. Ideal for private instruction settings.
  • Rubank Elementary Method
    N.W. Hovey
    The Rubank method series has been around for ages and is still one of the best.
  • Celebrated Method for the Clarinet: Complete Method
    H. Klosé
    COMMENTS: This is the Clarinetist’s Bible. Owning this book is essential!  Loaded with great material and instruction, this method covers all the bases.
  • Rubank Intermediate Method
    J.E. Skornicka/Robert Miller
  • Rubank Advanced Method
    H. Voxman/W. Gower

 Etude Books

  • Melodious and Progressive Studies, Book I
    Newly Revised Edition by DAVID HITE
    Southern Music Company, San Antonio, TX

    COMMENTS: Expressive studies based on scales and chords and melodic studies and etudes. Great for intermediate students. More advanced students may enjoy using this book for sight-reading practice (if you’ve not studied it yet, of course), or for warm-up material.

  • Melodious and Progressive Studies, Book II
    Includes 20 Caprices by Gambaro and 20 Etudes by Dont
  • Melodious Etudes for Clarinet
    Selected from the Vocalises of Marco Bordogni
    Compiled and Edited for clarinet by Larry Clark and Sean O’Loughlin
    Carl Fischer
    COMMENTS: A great study book for working on smooth over-the-break melodies. Tone quality, phrasing, and line direction will all improve from studying these etudes.  The range is very moderate; in fact, most of the etudes can be played by saxophone, flute, or oboe. Very appealing. No articulation exercises.
  • 48 Studies for Clarinet, Book I
    Alfred Uhl                                                                                                                                   SCHOTT
    COMMENTS: Excellent exercises for improving all aspects of playing.  Book I includes the first 24 etudes. Intermediate to Advanced
  • 48 Studies for Clarinet, Book II
    Alfred Uhl                                                                                                                                   SCHOTT
    COMMENTS: A continuation of Book I
  • Artistic Studies Book I – From the French School
    Edited by David Hite
    Southern Music Company, San Antonio, TX
    COMMENTS: Simply put, this is a compilation of the Cyrille Rose’s 40 Studies, 32 Etudes, and 9 Caprices.  It’s the best deal if you are going to study Rose’s work, which every clarinetist should.  The state of Mississippi takes the Lion’s Band audition material from this book. Ranges from Intermediate to Advanced.
  • Thirty Caprices
    Cavallini, Ernesto
    COMMENTS: Italian virtuoso studies that cover everything technical in the most common keys and meters. Fun to learn and play.
    *These are included in the Artistic Studies from the ITALIAN School

  • Seize Études Modernes (Sixteen Modern Etudes)
    Jeanjean, Paul
    COMMENTS: Advanced level French etudes that are incredibly challenging. Modern tonalities and techniques. Unless you speak French, a French dictionary is a MUST, as all the instructions are in French!
  • Polychromatic Diversions for the Clarinet
    Ronald L. Caravan
    Ethos Publications
    COMMENTS: Extended technique studies. The etudes in this book cover extended techniques that are used in some modern literature, including semi-tones and multiphonics.

Rhythm Studies

  • Odd Meter Etudes for all instruments in treble clef
    Everett Gates                                  Sam Fox Publishing Company, Inc. FL
    COMMENTS: Limited-range etudes that cover the most commonly used odd meters (5/8, 7/8, 5/4, etc.). Enjoyable and fun and presented in order from easiest to most difficult.
  • Douze Études De Rythme (Twelve Rhythmical Studies)
    Marcel Bitsch                                                                                     Alphonse Leduc, Paris
    COMMENTS: These etudes are based on challenging rhythms and use of the full range of the clarinet, along with some unusual sounding melodies (very modern).  The music falls nicely under the fingers for the most part, so the focus remains on rhythm and meter. Challenging, but enjoyable studies.

Jazz Studies

  • Artie Shaw’s Jazz Technic: Book One, Scales and Exercises
    Artie Shaw
    Warner Bros. Publications
    COMMENTS: Written by the great band leader himself! Book one is really indispensable for any clarinetist working to improve, covering whole tones, throat tones (this is a FANTASTIC set of exercises), minor thirds exercises, and more.
  • Artie Shaw’s Jazz Technic: Book Two, Fourteen Clarinet Etudes
    Artie Shaw
    Warner Bros. Publications
    COMMENTS: Jazz-style etudes that are somewhat challenging and super fun!
    If you listen to Artie Shaw’s music, you’re likely to recognize some of the licks and lines from his big band solos.


5 thoughts on “Method Books and Etude Books

  1. I have had a read of the list you have given and need some advice on the best books for my 11-year-old daughter who is looking at learning the Clarinet.

    Unfortunately we don’t have a teacher locally so I am a little concerned that the books may not be the best way for her to start.

    However would any of those first books be recommended for the absolute beginner?

    Thank you

    1. The Rubank elementary method is good for learning beginning reading skills, but does not teach how to form an embouchure (lips) around the mouthpiece and produce a good sound. The best bet is a teacher, but if you can’t get her one, you might opt for the Essential Elements 2000 method or Tradition of Excellence (neither are on my list yet), which are designed for full band use, but are loaded with great media resources. The clarinet embouchure is very complex and can be difficult to master without a teacher.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Best regards,


  2. Having recently purchased my first clarinet I am excited to begin the journey from beginner to average so that I don’t kill my audiences with poor sound!

    In my search for information I have been told that I need to have a look at Cyrille Rose’s work.

    I see from your listing here that you rate this publication as a bit more difficult than most others which begs me to ask if this compilation is too much for a beginner?

    If it is too far advanced for a beginner does this musician have other works which are more suited?

    I would appreciate your assistance.



    1. Hi Steve.

      The Rose studies are definitely more advanced. It is a good idea to work through the Rubank methods (all three levels), then go on to the Melodious and Progressive Studies. From there, you would be much better prepared for the Rose studies.

      All the best,


  3. I have practiced 4 of the etude books listed over decades. A few others I would recommend for the advanced player are by Polatchek, John Russo, the Jettel series, and Contemporary Studies by Frantisek Zitek. The Zitek and Uhl books most closely resemble my own book “The Most Advanced Clarinet Book” published by Austin Macauley. I, too, have several flute books and a couple of trumpet books and found some good stuff in those.

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