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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000479.txt from 1996/01

From: Neil Leupold <nleupold@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: New User
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 16:05:46 -0500


You're very welcome to my input with respect to the lower-lip question.
There isn't a single clarinet-related subject upon which you will fail to
receive relevant and helpful information from members of the Klarinet list.

With respect to your embouchure building exercises, I continue to feel
that effecting a "smile" in order to achieve proper form may very well do
more harm than good. Pulling the sides of the mouth AWAY from the
mouthpiece by smiling allows very little use of the _upper_ lip, and it
is the upper lip (pushing downward) as well as the sides of the mouth
(pushing *inward*) which should be doing most of the work to allow free
effect of your air column upon the reed. The upper lip and sides of the
mouth, being used correctly in combination with a flat chin, are intended
to FREE UP the reed, such that it may vibrate as fully and resonantly as
possible. Basically speaking, tension in any of these muscles is very
undesirable, because tension will engender pinching of the reed by the
muscles in the embouchure, thereby inhibiting reed vibration and use of the
air stream to manipulate tone production. This is why "smiling" may not
be the best method in your pursuit of a good embouchure. It involves
creating tension in the facial muscles where none should exist.
Ultimately, the muscles in your embouchure should be firm (not tense)....and
RELAXED. The embouchure is just like any other muscle in your body. If
you exercise properly and regularly, those muscles will develop tone and
firmness. A bodybuilder's muscles, while well-developed, are not tense
24 hours a day. They are FIRM. The only area of your body where there
should be any "tension", per se', is the diaphragm, which provides continuous
support of the air column.


On Mon, 22 Jan 1996, Crim wrote:

> Neil
> Thank you very much for your reply!! I must say, out of all 4
> suggestions I got, my teacher liked yours the best!! Ok. He agreed with
> what you said about my embouchure not being fully developed. So, I will
> continue playing the way I had, and I will also add to my daily prctice.
> This is what he told me.
> When he was in college, he used to see instrument players walking
> around with their lower lip stretched to its fullest in order to get the
> cheek muscles stronger and also, to get used to playing with a smile!!
> Thanks again Neil!!
> Bethany

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