Teeth not on mouthpiece!!!
I have been playing for 3 years and the whole time I have had the wrong embouchure. I don't put my top teeth on the mouthpiece, instead I roll my top lip over my teeth. I seem to get a good sound out of it though and whenever I try to put my teeth on the mouthpiece I can't get over the break very well, my sound seems funny and it feel like my teeth are getting a drill in them from the vibration. Should I try to change my embouchure or just leave it the way it is, and if I should change it how do I get used to it?
Well Laura, I’m going to tell you, your embouchure is not wrong. You are playing what is called “Double-Lip Clarinet Embouchure.” It is actually the embouchure I play; however, I teach the more commonly played “Single-Lip Clarinet Embouchure.”
It is very interesting that you are finding crossing the break harder with the single lip embouchure. Double-lip embouchure played well will give you a better legato over the break as well as all over the clarinet range. Yes, if you put the teeth on the mouthpiece, you will feel more of a vibration in your teeth and bone structure.
Leave your clarinet embouchure as it is. If you see a clarinet teacher, make sure they do not try to sell you on the single-lip embouchure. If you have a chance, try to study, private clarinet lessons with a teacher who plays double-lip clarinet embouchure. You will have a hard time finding a teacher who plays double-lip.
I started clarinet with single-lip clarinet embouchure. I had a masters degree and a full, professional job with the West Point Band before I changed to double-lip clarinet embouchure with master teacher Kalman Opperman in New York City. As I know there are many great clarinetists who play single-lip, I found that my sound was better with double-lip. However, the disadvantage is it takes twice the work and does create some pain.
The sound on double-lip clarinet embouchure has a better ring to it. With good finger technique, the legato throughout the range is better also.
As I do have to march on my job, I switch back to single-lip playing as to not mess up my upper lip by biting into it. I’m hoping you do well playing clarinet and best of luck.
Click here to read or post comments
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Clarinet-Now.com Questions.