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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000832.txt from 2001/05

From: "Tony Wakefield" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Lips and teeth (Steel jaws)
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 09:44:51 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "David McClune" <>
Subject: Re: [kl] Lips and teeth (Steel jaws)

Pressure on the reed is not evil!

"It is when it`s source is from any direction other than from the lips. I.e.
from teeth or from jaw movement".

1. The jaw closes or bites against the lower lip, thus against the reed.

"No. It is only the lower lip which must apply pressure. Not the jaw (or
teeth). Exception being the top couple of highest notes, when one just does
what one <has> to do".

2. The upper lip pushes down.

"Yes - quite firmly".

3. The lower lip is tight against the reed.

"Not altogether. The lower lip must be aware that it needs to constantly
vary it`s pressure".

4. There is a tight "O" with the lips.

"No comment here - I believe there may be several variables".

5. No jaw pressure at all,


but the lips supports the reed.

"Vague. The lips support and help to control, in fact <give> to the reed
what it requires to enable it to vibrate within the framework of what we
recognise as good sound and good intonation. And on from there - vibrato".

6. Press the mouthpiece and reed into the lips.

"Press - no. Support the m/p (& reed) - yes, by support from the right

The whole point of having a pulled down and flat chin is to help tighten the
muscles of the lower lip, which serve to protect the lip from the pressure
that is applied to partially close the reed against the facing. The lower
lip hurts from the 'bite' when there is not sufficient muscle strength in
the lip.

"But there should be no need to protect the lower lip. If the jaw is applied
correctly the lower lip does not, or should not experience a "bite"


Tony W.

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