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 Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2017-08-11 08:09

I'm mostly self taught and I've never actually gotten a lesson about proper embouchure. I've had summer lessons but summer was way too short and right when my teacher was going to teach me proper technique, band camp started. :( I was wondering if there was any videos on how to get proper embouchure and tonguing. She told me that I needed to work on getting my tongue on the reed when i tongue and also, i should bite less. Also, my whole embouchure is incorrect and I should be pointing my chin. She also introduced a bubble tea straw and there was an exercise that I would do in later classes but summers over and I never got to learn that exercise. If anyone knows it, that would be awesome :), back to the point, any videos or references about proper embouchure would be good.

Also, just a random question, I have a classmate who has the same teacher as me. She has this AMAZING tone. It sounds like every note she plays, there's this amazing ping sound at the beginning of the note that I've never heard before. Is there any video or exercise that will help me get that ping?

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-11 11:39

A couple of thoughts:

1. It would be great if you could get your teacher to give you a lesson or two at school to go over basics. I'm not sure why the summer program didn't start out with basic embouchure formation, but in-person is better than initially learning from video.

2. You could ask the classmate to show you what she can about how to produce a tone - embouchure, breath, reed choice, etc., since she can do what you want to learn.

3. If you open YouTube and type "Clarinet Embouchure" in the search window, a gazillion videos come up. I have no idea which are worthwhile, but many are probably good. I spotted several by players who are well-known, including Anthony McGill, Ricardo Morales, and Michael Lowenstern (Earspasm Music).

Karl

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-11 19:17

I'm personally a big fan of keeping things simple. While a good lesson teacher will be able to observe your embouchure and give you specific feedback, I believe 90% of the work of achieving a proper embouchure can be achieved for free.

Two words: Coffee straw.

When forming an embouchure around a coffee straw and blowing through it, you will naturally form an "ooooo" (as in 'food") shape, where the lips are going both forward and inward. Additionally, blowing through the straw will help to focus the air stream.

When playing, one simply has to roll the lower lip over the bottom teeth while maintaining this shape.

I brought coffee straws to a group of a dozen high school kids just yesterday. I had them play a C major scale, two octaves, then blow through the straw and immediately play the scale again. Two things happened: 1) the tone quality was drastically improved, better matching the ranges of the instrument and 2) tuning was infinitely better.

One thing that helps even more is when you're at a coffee shop to grab a straw- get a large cup of coffee. Motivation and work ethic will be improved!

Hope that helps.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-11 19:21

NBeaty wrote:

> When forming an embouchure around a coffee straw and blowing
> through it, you will naturally form an "ooooo" (as in 'food")
> shape, where the lips are going both forward and inward.
> Additionally, blowing through the straw will help to focus the
> air stream.
>
> When playing, one simply has to roll the lower lip over the
> bottom teeth while maintaining this shape.
>
There's the rub. :-) It's getting that OOOO back over your teeth without distorting the lip shape that can be a problem without having someone to watch. I agree in theory, but the implementation can become problematic.

Karl

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-11 20:07

Karl,

What part of clarinet playing isn't problematic? =) Of course it's best to have someone who knows what they're doing visually/aurally observe the person to confirm they are doing things correctly, but unfortunately that's not always possible for a variety of reasons (money, accessibility, etc.).


However, I would argue that keeping it simple for those who don't have strong fundamentals yet is advisable. I would argue that many of us tend to over-complicate these issues anyway, leading to embouchure shapes that could be best described as "unique"...

"...can become problematic". Sure, you can do this technique and still screw it up. However, it's a simple concept that is simple to implement to get the basic embouchure shape. Even if it doesn't work in changing a persons embouchure on the spot (although it has worked 100% of the time in making at least some improvement with my students as well as myself so far), it does help to solidify the concept. Establishing the concept will help to ensure that over the long-term, improvements towards the goal will be made.

It is worth noting that when I say 100% of the time improvements were made, they were made before any followup beyond "blow into this straw with an ooo shape, now do the same thing with the clarinet with your bottom lip rolled over the bottom teeth". Of course, subsequent comments and suggestions help further, but improvements can be made with no more information than that.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-11 21:12

NBeaty wrote:

> Karl,
>
> What part of clarinet playing isn't problematic? =)

I think, opening the case.

> Of course
> it's best to have someone who knows what they're doing
> visually/aurally observe the person to confirm they are doing
> things correctly, but unfortunately that's not always possible
> for a variety of reasons (money, accessibility, etc.).
>
But Eric has a teacher at school. If I were that teacher I would be eager to spend a few minutes at a time informally helping someone like Eric at least to avoid going down a blind alley in an unproductive direction.

>
> However, I would argue that keeping it simple for those who
> don't have strong fundamentals yet is advisable.

I have no argument against this. As a teacher I completely agree.

> "...can become problematic". Sure, you can do this technique
> and still screw it up. However, it's a simple concept that is
> simple to implement to get the basic embouchure shape.

Yes, and maybe I overstated my reaction to it. It would still be good to have someone knowledgeable evaluate the result. I guess I just think that some players - of all ages - tend to avoid getting help even when it's available.

> Even if
> it doesn't work in changing a persons embouchure on the spot
> (although it has worked 100% of the time in making at least
> some improvement with my students as well as myself so far), it
> does help to solidify the concept.

I don't think we really disagree about any of this. After all, these are **your students** you're referencing. The results *are* being evaluated by someone knowledgeable.

Anyway, to repeat one of my original points, I wonder why the teacher didn't do this very activity at the beginning of the program instead of pushing it off so far that time ran out before getting to it.

Karl

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-11 21:32

Isn't it nice to discuss clarinet playing related things in a calm, professional, and pleasant manner? Somewhat of a dying art on this bboard...


"After all, these are **your students** you're referencing. The results *are* being evaluated by someone knowledgeable."

See the following paragraph of my previous post. Most recently I used this on students at a school where I was just filling in for another teacher doing sectionals.

I don't think we really disagree on any of the basic points made, I just wish to clarify that I believe it works regardless of whether or not I'm there (or any competent teacher) to follow up after they've tried it.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2017-08-11 22:06

NBeaty wrote:

> Isn't it nice to discuss clarinet playing related things in a
> calm, professional, and pleasant manner? Somewhat of a dying
> art on this bboard...

I would actually beg to differ, having run this place for over 2 decades.

Every couple years this kind of thing happens, a month or two later things settle down. Glenn and I don't like to step in prematurely, so things trend to a free-for-all before we do anything. Some of our best discussions start with some contentiousness.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-11 22:19

I was just referencing the most recent mud-slinging that seemed to have nothing to do with the clarinet or playing, perhaps I could have found a better and less general way to say it.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: TomS 
Date:   2017-08-12 18:45

I like the "coffee straw" concept ... great idea! Simple and the idea sticks in your head for quick recall. As a matter of fact, I've just adopted this idea (at age 65!) and it has really helped. You don't have to analyze all the components of your embouchure, trying to remember all the little draws and pulls ... to much to keep in your head ...

The pucker or "draw string" embouchure also has the effect of reflexively raising the hard pallet, opening up the sound. It also encourages not biting with a kinder, gentler foundation for the MP to rest and the reed to vibrate.

Coffee straw ... genius idea! And never too late to utilize and improve your playing.

Tom

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: Ed 
Date:   2017-08-12 19:19

You could check out Larry Guy's book

http://www.vcisinc.com/clarinet.htm#C047

He also has a book on articulation.

At the same time, the BEST solution is spend time with a good teacher who can work with you first hand. We can all make suggestions, but not being able to hear you and see what you are doing makes it much tougher.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-08-12 19:19

Nathan...I'm being a dork and I'm curious why not use a McDonald's 'fat straw' to get a little closer to the mouthpiece size vs using a coffee straw.
Or is this six of one a half a dozen of the other concept.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-12 19:44

Rob

I use the coffee straw because it is smaller and focuses the embouchure and air stream more than a larger one. It emphasizes the point of getting the lips to go both forward and in as well as focusing the air stream. More focus, more ping!



Post Edited (2017-08-12 19:46)

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-12 19:49

Tom,

Never too late, never too early to practice well!

I'll give credit where credit is due though- David Shea of Texas Tech University gave me the coffee straw idea, although I'd be surprised if he was the first person to ever think of it.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2017-08-13 00:54

For embouchure tips, I highly recommend this Michele Gingras video. It might be exactly what you're looking for.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wboXrCwopdo

Gringras also has a number of other videos on YouTube that you might find helpful.

For a basic approach to correct tonguing, this video is quite helpful.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=puMrkyPtbrk

What kind of reeds, and what kind of mouthpiece are you using? There are many great choices out there, and a good reed matched with a good mouthpiece does make a big difference.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2017-08-13 09:27

I use a noblissima with a ridenour mt-36 mouthpiece. I know my classmate has an r13 with an m13 mouthpiece and we both play on a vandoren blue box 3.5. I don't think it has much to do with the setup because he can still sound amazing with a plastic clarinet during his solo in our show.

I talked to my band director and he have me a quick run down and i feel much more comfortable with my embouchure. NBeaty said something about how a more focused air means more ping. I understand that means a more faster and concentrated air. Does that also mean positioning the tongue a certain way?

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-13 17:06

The tongue position is equally important. Saying "T", "she", or "knee" should put the tongue in the right position. Usually if the air is focused, the tongue is already raised (would be difficult to focus the air stream with the tongue dropped).

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-08-14 04:10

The word PING can most surely be confusing. Another word is Ring. Maybe they are kinda the same, but I don't look at these words as the same.

It's pretty much like telling someone the difference between warm and dark. The Germans still have that sweet warm sound with the smaller bores, but the French instruments are bigger bores and darker sounding. This is impossible to describe. Up close the dark sound sounds nice, but in halls it may not be heard. The sound won't carry.

So sound really plays games with our ears. At the ClarinetFest everyone pretty much sounded the same. No one had that great sound when you stopped to look to see who was playing. Not one. Everyone had that Vandoren M13 sound and the Zinner sound. It's not bad, but again everyone sounded the same. I think we need to put an end to this and let people sound special. Give them the tools to be a cut ahead of everyone.

One lady recently returned a mouthpiece because it played sharp. Of course it did, she was using a 63mm barrel! She should have been using a 65mm to a 66mm barrel. This kind of shows how screwed up the clarinet sound and intonation is. So she went back to a dead mouthpiece and an out of tune horn, because there is no way to tune a horn with a 63mm barrel. Lots of notes will be out of tune, some sharp some flat and some just dead sounding. But she will be sadly happy!

My personal beliefs are the deep chambers and baffles take away from the ping. It's interesting that the French Zinner mouthpieces are much deeper compared to their German Zinner models. So the ping gets muffled with the French mouthpieces. We need to train our ears to hear that ping and ring on the instruments. It's really that simple.

I'm bringing this back. That ping and the ring. More and more players will want this sound. Even Ricardo went with an Italian glass mouthpiece to get that ping. Smart man. But we don't need glass mouthpieces. Just well designed mouthpieces.

Great topic.

STEUER REEDS Importer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: echi85 2017
Date:   2017-08-14 05:37

When you say she has a ping at the beginning of the sound, are you referring to the actual start/articulation of the sound or the sound itself? All great clarinetists have learned to articulate with a pingy articulation because it projects very well. Often clarinetists lose clarity of articulation compared to other woodwinds because of the difference of how vibrations work on a single reed instrument. A pingy articulation remedies this problem.

If you are referring to the sound itself, I would argue that you have to have a responsive setup. That is say a reed that is as light as you are comfortable with. Brightness projects. A tone that has more higher partials will project more than one without. A slightly buzzy reed is one that has these partials, a warm reed has significantly fewer. The problem with this is that it doesn't sound good up close. If you have ever studied Gigliottis playing under Ormandy, you can hear this idea taken to the limit. I've sat next to some big name clarinetists in my career, I can tell you that many of them don't sound great up close. There's always some stuff in the sound, but they sound incredible in the hall.

The modern clarinet sound we hear is a more moderate approach to tone. One that will project but also sounds fairly good up close. Many players refer to this as "holding the sound". It's a sound that moves away from brightness towards something with more middle partials. It's certainly a trend but one that nearly everyone has latched on to.

I would also add that from what David Blumberg said in a different thread, Ricardo switched to a crystal mouthpiece for reasons of longevity. He said that the Legere reeds he uses wears down the facings of mouthpieces quicker. A crystal mouthpiece is harder and is more durable. Knowing how picky he is with equipment and color, I am sure there are other reasons but this one is certainly compelling.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-14 06:00

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping", couldn't agree more Bob.

It's certainly not fair to imply that no other maker is producing a product that has a naturally nice ping/ring to it. Since you singled out A blank zinners and 13 series vandorens, I'll assume that's who you were referring to (a belief I generally agree with).

To an extent, it's not so much a matter of opinion as to what happens with deep baffles and so forth as it is just physics and geometry.

It's unfortunate that those makers who do emphasize retaining the upper overtones and a focused and clear sound are often frowned upon as being "bright". Bright is a word that really should go away from our vocabulary for describing sound because almost 100% of the time it is meant in a negative way.

We need a certain amount of "brightness" in clarinet sound much the same as when making mouthpieces you need a certain amount of brightness (light). You have to be able to see well to make an artistic product; without it the work would no doubt suffer. It's hard to have a beautiful sound if the light is turned off is the analogy I'm attempting to go for here...


"Darken" the sound often results in other things- usually dull, dead, and lacking resonance. The natural resonance of the clarinet is a beautiful thing and we should all stop attempting to force ourselves to sound this way or that way. I couldn't agree more Bob that clarinetists need to have more flexibility.

Let's take a look at jazz saxophonists for example. They have tremendous flexibility in that one player to the next can sound drastically different! One could argue they have gone too far, but it's easier to argue that clarinetists haven't gone far enough.

If the embouchure is formed properly (reed is allowed to vibrate/minimal pressure, lips forward and in, tongue arched) and the mouthpiece and reed (and ligature for that matter) is setup in a way that it will respond quickly and predictably with a comfortable working resistance, everyone will indeed have a unique sound. Everyone's orientation of their jaw, oral cavity, and preference on mouthpieces/reeds is slightly different as well as their ideal sound concept and would result in a larger variety of sounds than we have today.


Not coincidentally, when playing in a more natural style (allowing your voice to come out rather than attempting to force something else), playing gets much EASIER!


All that is to say that yes it is true that many mouthpieces and reeds tend to de-emphasize a full and vibrant tone and force people's voices to be a bit....the same, there are plenty of mouthpieces out there that DO still have this ring and focus. Even with the "BEST" mouthpiece though, many players use reeds that are so hard that the natural resonance is lost anyway.

To conclude- "I'm not sure that clarinetists really like the sound of the clarinet all that much" was something I said after an ICA conference one time and I still think it's got some merit. Not all that dissimilar from Bob's comment on everyone sounding the same, but just that players are often afraid of aspects of clarinet tone that should be there in its natural state.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: echi85 2017
Date:   2017-08-14 06:32

I agree completely with the modern homogenization of sound. It's something that I have tried to fight my entire playing life. However, I must bring up the fact that these types of sounds are the ones that are gaining employment and as such are then perpetuated.

I can think of at least 5 winners of recent auditions that were won on Vandoren mouthpieces. I myself have won a professional audition on a Vandoren mouthpiece. In fact, most of the professionals I talk to who are still on the circuit say that they switch to Vandoren mouthpieces specifically for auditions because they are the least offensive.

The fact of the matter is that most people on an audition committee don't play the clarinet. They hear a sound that is homogeneous and pleasant. I know quite a few people who won their jobs on Vandoren and then continue to use their Vandoren mouthpieces while doing the job, to the detriment of audiences I would argue.

An interesting thought I often have is what if Robert Marcellus were still alive today? Say he was young and looking for work. Would he actually win the job we know him for? I'm not so sure.

In my opinion, the brightness issue is more complex than we give it credit for. Like I said in a previous post, a bright sound doesn't really sound great up close. Many teachers, band directors, and eventually students are chastised for this. They object to how a person sounds standing right next to them with no regard as to what it sounds like far away. This cripples students from the very beginning. They are put down a path that leads to dullness.

The other fact of the matter is that most students starting playing the clarinet in middle school/high school band. This is the majority of their playing exposure. They are taught to not stick out. I would argue that the generic quality of many mouthpieces lends itself very well to this type of playing. Students are not flexible because if they are, they are scolded for being different. In fact, I knew a few band directors who force all of their students to play the same mouthpiece/reeds in order to achieve homogeneity. This is not all band directors, but it's enough to cause concern. Even more so when they do well at competitions.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2017-08-14 09:33

Hmmm... that brings up a question. Do judges look for a specific sound while they are listening to auditions or recordings? Do they specifically look for a somewhat bright pingy sound, or do they like a more dark rich sound? I understand that they have different preferences but a general guide line would be good.

Also, I had another lesson with a colleague who's majoring in music. We had some practice with tonguing. Apparently, I have a very long tongue and I've been tonguing incorrectly for a long time. What I have been doing is "Anchor tonguing" where I tongue with the middle of my tongue. I should be tonguing with the tip of my mouth. I'm supposedly suppose to make an arch with my tongue but it's really hard for me. I know that everybody's face is different and you have to find your ideal embouchure but is seems almost impossible for me. He told me the trick is to make the german eu sound but when I do arch the tongue like that, it's too low to touch the tip of the mouthpiece. anybody have a similar problem?

Also, apparently, I'm very close to achieving the initial ping that I was trying to get. I just need a balanced reed and some better tonging so when I let go of the tongue, a full stream of air goes through the instrument and gets a full sound. I guess I just hear differently for what other people hear.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-14 17:00

GenEric wrote:

> Hmmm... that brings up a question. Do judges look for a
> specific sound while they are listening to auditions or
> recordings? Do they specifically look for a somewhat bright
> pingy sound, or do they like a more dark rich sound? I
> understand that they have different preferences but a general
> guide line would be good.

There is no way to predict this. There are normally at least two, sometimes more, judges listening to each audition and they may have very different preferences from each other. The general guideline would be to play your best, the way you want to sound. My experience is that audition judges at the high school level (where most of my judging experience lies) want to hear rhythmic and technical control with a sound that is also controlled with good intonation.

> Also, I had another lesson with a colleague who's majoring in
> music. We had some practice with tonguing. Apparently, I have a
> very long tongue and I've been tonguing incorrectly for a long
> time. What I have been doing is "Anchor tonguing" where I
> tongue with the middle of my tongue. I should be tonguing with
> the tip of my mouth.

I assume you meant "the tip of my tongue." There are clarinetists in the world who very successful use anchor-tonguing (it's how one of my first teachers, a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the time, taught me to tongue). It isn't the way most modern clarinetists seem to articulate, but it can be done well and isn't in itself "incorrect." The issue is instead, what does your articulation sound like? What is wrong in the sound when you play articulated passages that led to the discussion about it? If it's causing a problem, the you may want to change. But if there isn't a problem or the problem can be solved with less disruption, you may want to try the simpler solution first.

Karl

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-08-14 18:17

>In fact, I knew a few band directors who force all of their students to play the >same mouthpiece/reeds in order to achieve homogeneity.

Yes, but this isn't a specific clarinet issue. They do the same with the brass instruments. Homogeneity? Sure. They would argue (and have) it helps create consistent tuning within the section and the ensemble in large. Fair enough.

>My experience is that audition judges at the high school level (where most of >my judging experience lies) want to hear rhythmic and technical control with >a sound that is also controlled with good intonation.

Same with me. All my judging comes from listening to HS and Jr High kids. I try to keep an open mind with these kids. Do they sound like a clarinet? If it's a characteristic sound, great. If they sound like a sax, we have problems. Unlike a professional gig where the judges are probably sitting in an auditorium (or at least a very large rehearsal hall), HS kids are usually crammed in a small class room and usually just a few feet from the judges. Probably unfair to the student, but everyone is on equal footing.

> What I have been doing is "Anchor tonguing" where I
> tongue with the middle of my tongue. I should be tonguing with
> the tip of my mouth.

I think there's no much made of anchor tonguing. When I was a little kid, I tongued way too hard. My clarinet teacher taught me anchor tonguing (didn't know it at the time) but it solve literally all problems. Perhaps anchor tonguing slowed down my tonguing, but I still play all the tongued stuff in Concertino in the 8th grade, so I guess I just compensated.
My point is, no one ever knew the difference. I never knew the difference. I was in college when my professor asked a generic question about where my tongue was hitting my reed. I asked why he wanted to know...was there something wrong? He said no, but another student is having a lot of problems so he thought he'd check his entire studio. When I told him the tip on my tongue was 'anchored' on my bottom teeth he signed. Actually he laughed and asked how the hell was I tonguing as quickly as I was.
So I spent a month of doing uber staccato (and legato to feel where my tongue hit the reed) chromatic and scales, slowly...emphasizing my correct tongue position. It really helped get a poppier articulation for me (Think 3rd mvt of the Mozart or Midsummer's Night Dream).
Now in my old age, I catch myself anchor tonguing. I try to correct immediately, but I also don't sweat the details since it's working fine...for me.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-08-14 18:38

Nathan:
I wanted publicly thank for you the coffee straw idea. I swiped several from my business and brought them to my 1st year player's lesson yesterday. The change in her quality was immediate and profound. I'd put her sound up against any good HS player. We revisited the straw several times throughout the lesson. I used it like benchmark metric on what she was suppose to be doing. Every time her sound suffered, I'd hand her her coffee straw. She always improved (until she'd poop out a few minutes later and forget - but it'll take some time for for her embouchure to 'stick'.) The student was tickled.

I hope every beginning clarinet teacher reading this bring a bunch of coffee straws to their first day of class.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-14 19:01

That's awesome Rob! Get them doing the right stuff early and the sky is the limit!

Asking someone who's anchor tonguing to use the tip usually feels about the same as offering a piece of bacon to a vegan. An argument and much silliness ensues and in the end everyone walks away annoyed...

That being said- I wouldn't choose to do it that way or to teach it that way due at least in part to the limitations in articulation speed. Many players will say, "well, you just learn to double tongue. Here listen to this" followed by some of the most atrocious articulation you've ever heard. There are players who can double tongue to where people can't tell, but more often than not they haven't gotten it to that point yet.

If you can play the Scherzo at 88-92 with anchor tonguing, I'm impressed. I've personally never anchor tongued, beyond just trying it out to see what it's all about in a practice room. Articulation speed has been difficult enough for me over the years...

Unless there is something extreme with the length of the tongue (as you mentioned) where anchor tonguing really does help and is necessary, then I would advise against it. I would say the frequency of this being an issue that PREVENTS non-anchor tonguing is quite low though.


That being said- double tonguing properly is a skill worth learning for the advanced (beyond high school and early undergrad) player who already has solidified their technique relating to embouchure and single tongue, so long as the sound and clarity doesn't suffer and it doesn't distract from the mountains of other things to practice.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: echi85 2017
Date:   2017-08-14 19:40

I echo the ideas posted above. Although I do have to point out that as long as it works for you, you should not be ashamed in using whatever technique you want.

There are general principles that apply to the vast majority of players, but that doesn't mean that these are the best methods for you. For example, everyone is taught to play with a flat chin yet Stanley Drucker did not really play that way. Everyone is taught to tongue tip to tip yet Peter Hadcock anchor tongued his entire career.

If you find you cannot achieve the things you want to achieve, then a change is required. If you can, don't let anyone tell you differently.

I double tongue regularly. I've been doing it since I was 16 years old and it's gotten to a place that I feel is acceptable in professional settings. All of my colleagues have told me they can't tell when I do it. If you do decide to learn it, make sure you practice it fast. Many people learn the wrong position of the back syllable because they practice it slow. I also found that practicing double tonguing improved my single tonguing greatly. Just an idea.

I will try the coffee straw idea with a few students to see if I have similar results. It does sound like an interesting idea.

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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2017-08-14 21:13

I suppose I despair, rather, when I read threads like this. Much of their content, though not all, consists of prescriptive descriptions of what to do and what to think, according to each poster. (The posters obviously vary in expertise.)

Though I have some expertise myself, I consistently try not to do this. Here are two examples, about embouchure and the 'fast airstream' metaphor:

http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/lookup.php/Klarinet/2002/04/000770.txt

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=283291&t=208541&v=t

Tony



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 Re: Proper Embouchure and how to get Ping sound
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-08-14 21:21

Well in full disclosure I started orchestral excepts post anchor tonguing.

In HS, I use to walk down the hall 'tonguing' sixteenth notes with tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth (mouth closed). I had brass players keep telling me, "Your tongue is a muscle, exercise it!" Over a course of months my speed was fast enough for anything I'd see in HS.

I was always subscribed to Hadcock's theory of 'just throw a slur in it' in crazy tongued stuff. Few will ever know the difference. (not applicable to excerpts)
But in full ensemble stuff, no one has ever said a word to me.

As for double tonguing, I should start working on it. I know how, just never bothered trying. Hummmm...

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75

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