The clarinet serves as the perfect introduction to woodwinds for aspiring musicians. The clarinet's warm sound makes it a central focus for music writers in all forms of music. From slow-paced ballads to something as upbeat as pop music, the clarinet can be found.
The flute is one of the most popular instruments in the band, its trilling voice can be heard clearly over the rest of the music. Composers playing to this skill by making flutes the instrument of choice for many soaring solo pieces. Those who learn the flute, find the piccolo just as easy to play.
Saxophones are often the first choice for those looking to learn an instrument for the first time. The unique shape and style of the instrument as well as its recognizable sound mean you can see it playing in a band just as easily as playing solo. The multiple sizes of saxophones available (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone) all play the same; so, once you've learned one, you've learned them all.
The oboe is a unique, and oftentimes unseen, instrument. It is recognizable for its clear, penetrating sound that makes it clearly audible over the rest of the ensemble. Often, people will recognize the sound of an oboe even if they do not know of the instrument. This relative obscurity becomes prime territory for placing the oboe musician in high demand for scholarships.