TME Podcast Season 4, Ep. 17: Making Sure Your Clarinets Have a Proper Embouchure

Description: In the heat of teaching beginning band students, it is easy to overlook developmentally subtle details. Making sure your clarinets have and maintain a proper embouchure is worth the time and effort you invest. Today we are going to review and reinforce the foundational practice for developing the ideal clarinet embouchure.

To Review

The Clarinet Embouchure

Steps to for a Proper Embouchure

  • Start by placing the top teeth on the topside of the mouthpiece. This should only be a little of the way past the tip. Probably less than an inch.

  • Next, roll a portion of the lower lip over the bottom teeth. The reed should come in contact with this part of the lip in middle portion of the shaved off section of the reed. If you look at the mouthpiece and see where the curve of the mouthpiece separates from the reed, this is an idea location to place the lower lip.

  • Third, the lips are simply going to close around the mouthpiece to create a seal. There is minimal pressure used to create this seal. Be sure not to squeeze or clamp down with the lips.

  • The “Set-Up” should be held at an approximate 45-degree angle. If this is done properly and the student is not clamping or squeezing their mouths shut, then he or she should be able blow across the reed and the through the “Set-Up” to create a sound that approximately registers an F# in pitch.

The Tongue