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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000557.txt from 2002/05

From: "Gary Smith" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Embouchure malaise
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 10:15:31 -0400


Several things come to mind --

-- amount of practice. Over-practicing is an extremely rare condition :-),
but I have found that once I get those muscles really strained (long job,
difficult music that has me practicing more than usual), it takes some days
of light or no practice to get the muscles recovered.

-- warm up. I have discovered that jumping right in to the music, esp. when
it requires large intervals, seems to fatigue my embouchure more quickly.
Scales, long tones, etc. are good for technique and to get the fingers
working first thing, but I find they also allow me to play longer.

-- mouthpiece. Has Bob experimented with different mouthpieces? I played on
a mouthpiece for a while in my mis-spent youth which made practice a total
strain. The reasons for this are complex, but going back to a rather
standard mp such as a Vandoren B45 as a baseline could be helpful to see if
that's part of the problem.

-- intonation. I have had that experience of feeling totally fatigued very
quickly while playing with a piano or an ensemble, only to find out that the
others are very sharp! That will wear you out as you try to adjust.

>From: Neil Leupold <>
>Subject: [kl] Embouchure malaise
>Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 07:07:10 -0700 (PDT)
>The following question was posed to me offline:
>"I am writing to learn more about embouchure muscle problems. Do clarinets
>suffer from "embouchure mailaise"? What should a clarinetist do about sore
>muscles in the lower lip? (After 10 minutes of playing it feels like having
>played two hours.) Are there specific treatments or exercises that will
>resolve the soreness? Do you know any specialists who diagnose and treat
>embouchure muscle problems?"
>The person who posed the question is named Bob. If any of you have insight
>into his question and would be interested in offering your feedback, I'll
>struct him to monitor the clarinet postings through the site
>for the above subject line.
>Do You Yahoo!?
>LAUNCH - Your Yahoo! Music Experience

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