Maintaining the Correct Clarinet Embouchure

Correct clarinet embouchure enables a player to enhance tone and improve flexibility on the instrument. Avoid bad habits and incorrect embouchure placement from the beginning of your studies to ensure that you learn to play effectively and correctly. Correcting an improperly trained embouchure can be very difficult. Learn proper clarinet embouchure as soon as possible to avoid issues later on down the line.

Clarinet

The clarinet should be pointing toward the ground at a 35- to a 45-degree angle. The exact angle will change slightly among players. Players with an extended lower jaw will need a greater angle, while those with an inward sloping jaw will need less of an angle. The reed of the mouthpiece should face the floor, and the actual mouthpiece should extend into the mouth about 1/4 of an inch.

Mouth

The mouth needs to form a tight seal with the tip of the mouthpiece. To do this, you must tense the muscles in your cheeks. Imagine you are sucking through a straw to form a proper embouchure. Elevate the tongue inside the mouth slightly to create a ramp for the airstream to travel. Place the tip of the tongue close enough to the reed to use the tip for articulations.

Lips and Teeth

The upper teeth will make contact with the top of the mouthpiece. The upper lip then forms a seal between the teeth and mouthpiece. The seal helps ensure that air does not leak through the sides of the lips. To prevent breaking the reed, the bottom lip curls over the bottom teeth and forms a tight bond with the reed and mouthpiece tip. Flatten the muscles at the front of the chin and point your chin slightly downwards.

Throat

Pronounce the vowel sound “ah” to open your throat. When the throat constricts, it hampers the airflow. To prevent this, you must keep your neck relaxed and sit up straight. Poor posture will create tension in your neck and shoulders, preventing you from forming a proper embouchure and appropriate tone production. Try finding the position that gives you the freest sound while pronouncing “ah.” Do this by slowly rotating your neck up and down until you find the position that works best.

Originally published at https://www.uremusic.org.

--

--

--

Teaching the Craft of Music Composition since 1996. Articles on popular music- and art-related topics. Check out our Lists for more in-depth composing articles.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

You to me are everything….the sweetest song that I could sing.

Why Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” Had the Biggest Debut Since “WAP”

Who Really Owns Spotify?;

Spotify

Four Steps To Starting A Musical Revolution

Interview: CASTLEBEAT on his latest album, his record label and more

Can TikTok Rival MTV’s Heyday for Gen-Z?;

Bb19 tiktok 2020 billboard 1500 1608149776 compressed

My BTS Journey

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Kevin Ure (UreMusic.com)

Kevin Ure (UreMusic.com)

Teaching the Craft of Music Composition since 1996. Articles on popular music- and art-related topics. Check out our Lists for more in-depth composing articles.

More from Medium

THE HARLEM FILM HOUSE TO RECEIVE $20,000 GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

From the Desk of Smokey — Fighting for members

CS373 Spring 2022: William Eng, Week 2

Axelar // How it works