In a few months, when I'm fully settled in my new place, I hope to start playing the clarinet again. I'm going to rent one from a local music store with good rates. (I did consider saving to buy one myself, but having to hassle them to meet me at a store to have the clarinet checked, saving the money in the first place, it seemed like too much work than financing it out for a few years from a reputable dealer.) I'm going to start with a used E11 and if I enjoy it enough for three months or so, I'll upgrade to a new one to rent-to-own, since I get more bang for my buck if I rent-to-own a new one (also I will have a pay raise by to cover the difference ).
Some background on my history with the clarinet: I played regularly from age 12 to 17, my junior year, I didn't like what was happening to the band program, so the following year I switched to choir, but didn't have much time for the clarinet. I was all-region through junior high, all-city through high school. I dabbled in bass clarinet. I played on a wooden Buffet B12. I've never played on a plastic one, and we couldn't afford to upgrade me to an intermediate clarinet.
I'm confused on where to start, really. I still remember most of the keys (and there's fingering charts for the rest), I do recall how to read music. I was going to pick up Melodious and Progressive Studies - Bk 1 - Clarinet by and Artistic Studies - Volume 1 - Clarinet because that's what we use in Texas for a great deal of audition pieces and it's what I used through school. What other etude books should I get? Should I consider this one? I was going to start off with Vandoren 2.5s.
Would I be best engaging a teacher? Or will I be okay alone? Is there something I'm missing? I'm worried because I'll have to buy quite a bit to get started, and if it ends in a big pile of failure, well...