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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001559.txt from 1999/01

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Embouchre & Altissimo
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 07:25:13 -0500

On Sun, 31 Jan 1999 wrote:
> The other school of thought is that you will not reach the
> altissimo without more lip pressure and that people who advocate no change are
> in fact changing their lip unknowingly. I practised the altissimo A, B and C
> for awhile and found that I could never reach the B and C without increasing
> lip pressure. I have since forgotten those notes as they drive my wife crazy.
> Anyway how about some feedback on how you do altissimo notes.

I advocate no pressure changes in embouchure to my students as a way of
getting them to maintain a correct, fundamental embouchure. But, in fact,
I am lying to them (if ever so slightly). As the situation allows in the
studio, I have them adjust pressure around the mouthpiece and/or at the
reed as they move to the extreme register. A double high Bb requires a
slightly different set of the lower teeth/lip than an octave lower - but
keep in mind - even when I demonstrate for students - they can often not
see the change I am describing here. It is that subtle.

There is a very strong school of thought regarding tongue position - and
many articles and studies. Michelle Gingras wrote a great article
regarding tongue position - and I can't remember the publication - I
thought it was The Clarinet, but I am probably wrong. If I find it, I
will post it - or perhaps someone here remembers.

Some folks believe that there is no movement in the tongue - and the
people who believe they know better simply say that those folks just don't
know that they are moving the tonuge.


Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director - Concert Band, Symphonic Winds & Titan Band
Advisor - Recording Studio
Illinois Wesleyan University

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