Teeth on mouthpiece

by Fiona
(Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Hello Chris,

I've been playing clarinet for three days now :) I am having problems with my embouchure (surprise, surprise) and found your wonderful site. Thanks to you I now know how to place the reed on my bottom lip, not my teeth and how to point my chin. So far so good. However, I'm unclear as to whether or not keep my upper teeth on the mouthpiece as I blow or just to bring them back down between notes. I seem to naturally release the mouthpiece as my cheeks inflate.

Thank you,



Hello Fiona,

Welcome to the clarinet. I'm glad you are asking questions so early in your career.

So, please do this. Keep the upper teeth on the mouthpiece even when you breath. Keep the pressure of the upper teeth and lower teeth (cushioned by the lower lip) biting when you play.

You should not open the mouth to breath. You can breath with the corners of your mouth and keep the pressure of the teeth the same.

You wrote about your "cheeks inflating," are they puffing out? Make sure you inflate your lungs and keep from puffing out cheeks. You can control the cheeks.

Best of luck to you. Make sure you check out the Famous Clarinet Player page to hear professionals playing many different styles on clarinet.


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