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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000317.txt from 2002/05

From: "Steve White" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Playing Clarinet With False Teeth
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 16:07:19 -0400

I have pretty gnarly dental problems that I am going to begin to fix either
this year or the next depending upon other financial burdens. I get a
pretty good sound, or at least that's what my instructors and audiences have
said of me. I find that I end up playing Bass Clarinet because it just
hurts less.

As for embouchure, mine doesn't look very textbook unless I exaggerate the
positions to the point of pain. I don't need have a very defined straight
chin. My overbite and jaw structure are such that I don't look like I have
a very good embouchure. It makes teaching my students more difficult
because I have to exaggerate the condition so they can emulate it.

.02 inserted, digest at leisure.


-----Original Message-----
From: Anne Lenoir []
Subject: Re: [kl] Playing Clarinet With False Teeth

Dear Howard, and anybody else who does not have or is unable to produce
a "traditional" embochure.
I lost several upper molars over the years, and noticed that my
embochure was not nearly as strong as it used to be. In teaching my
students, I have been aware of the fact that some students seem to have
a harder time than others in producing a "traditional" embochure, with a
pointed chin and firm cheek muscles. I went to look at my pointed chin
about a year ago and noticed that it did not look as "defined" as it
once did. Neither did the muscles around my face. In fact, I no longer
have a "picture-perfect" embochure. I recently got new implants and
crowns, and it is starting to "look" better. Somehow I learned how to
survive without those molars for many years. Every once in a while I
have a student who puffs out their cheeks a bit. After a while, I just
leave them alone and let them try to get the air through the clarinet
the best way they can. Some people can sound surprizingly good with
"puffed-out" cheeks. I don't believe in torturing people to get them to
play "correctly". My one student to "puffs" also wears braces and has
hung in there with his clarinet study for quite a while with the braces.
I understand that clarinetist, Acker Bilk, the guy who recorded
"Stranger on the Shore", had terrible dental problems. I don't
particularly care for his tone at all, but he did make a lot of money.

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