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 Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: SKlarinette 
Date:   2018-09-13 07:17

I am new to this forum, and just need some outside advice...I hope you can help me. I am a senior clarinetist in high school, and plan on going into music in college next year. My top priority is my clarinet and practicing for auditions throughout the year.
My director asked if I wanted to learn tenor sax for our school's extracurricular jazz band, and at first I was excited and agreed. However other clarinet players that I have talked to have warned me that learning sax can have detrimental affects on your embouchure due to the difference in mouthpiece angle/tongue position/firmness etc.
I think jazz would be a neat experience, but if it will affect my clarinet I definitely would want to avoid learning a new instrument. What do you think?



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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-09-13 12:35

SKlarinette wrote:

> However other clarinet players that I have talked
> to have warned me that learning sax can have detrimental
> affects on your embouchure due to the difference in mouthpiece
> angle/tongue position/firmness etc.

Baloney! Only if you stop practicing clarinet. Were any of these "other clarinet players" older than 16?

> I think jazz would be a neat experience, but if it will
> affect my clarinet I definitely would want to avoid learning a
> new instrument. What do you think?
>

I'd say, go for it!

Karl

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2018-09-13 14:48

I never found that playing sax or a bass clarinet had any negative effect. My embouchure makes slight adjustments on each to achieve the sound I want. When I go back to clarinet I just use my "clarinet embouchure". As Karl mentioned, likely it would only hurt your clarinet playing if you stopped playing clarinet and focussed only on sax.

In all likelihood, it would make you a more versatile and flexible player. Have fun with it.

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-09-13 15:31

Tenor sax embouchure is far more relaxed than clarinet, so it won't have any effect on your clarinet playing.

Just don't play tenor sax like a clarinet, especially in the upper register otherwise you'll end up going painfully sharp up top.

Chris.

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-09-13 15:55

As someone who is a clarinet purest and also someone who cannot even stand to listen to saxophone........I could not agree with the above more! I spent a good part of my first ten years of clarinet study obsessing about embouchure. And I can unequivocally say looking back that most of that time and effort was wasted. I would even say that the saxophone approach to embouchure will enlighten your efforts on the clarinet.


If anything, the difference in playing approach (I believe) has more to do with the pressure differential between the pressure in your mouth versus the standing air column in the instrument, with slightly more pressure being needed for clarinet.


Try this:

Take a deep breath and hold it back in your mouth, allowing your cheeks to puff out. Let a little air escape through your lips and experiment with pushing to various degrees. You'll notice more strain against your cheeks and more air flow with the effort. For me THAT is really the only difference, not embouchure.



.................Paul Aviles



Post Edited (2018-09-13 19:17)

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-09-13 17:22

They are two significantly different embouchures. Different bite, different muscle strength, different air requirements etc. If you can keep them different there will be no problems. Players that play both sometimes have a 'hollower' clarinet sound but they also mostly play jazz where that kind of sound is more appropriate.

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-09-13 19:55

While in HS I played Tenor as well as clarinet, then took up the oboe as a senior and flute in my first year of conservatory hoping to be a ww doubler. Then I sold all those, except my clarinets, and decided to be an orchestral clarinet player and bought a bass and Eb clarinet. I studied clarinet with several leading teachers and none of them ever mentioned anything wrong with my embouchure. The secret is to approach every instrument individually and not necessary relating to another. I played clarinet and bass clarinet for 50 years in the Baltimore Symphony so tell your friends their full of it, but do it politely. :-)
Our second player years ago in the BSO played tenor and alto as needed for years. He's wasn't the only orchestra player in the US that doubled on sax.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

Post Edited (2018-09-13 19:56)

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-13 20:18

I play several woodwind instruments. As stated by other posters, likley more experienced than I, they are different embrochures. I put away my bass clarinet for several months this summer and was focusing on saxophone. It took some time to form a saxophone embrochure! It also took me a couple of practice sessions to get my embrochure under control again and shaped up for my clarinet playing season these past couple of weeks. If you have the time to practice both then you will find a key that allows you to switch from one embrochure to the other easily. Especially if during your practice sessions you practice switching instruments!

There are many VERY SUCCESSFUL players who play multiple woodwinds in professional pit orchestras and jazz bands. In fact, in some genres it is seen as a requirement to be proficient on clarinet, saxophone and flute just to be considered for a job.

Just look at the JLCO players. All the woodwind players play multiple instruments at an enviable level of proficiency.

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2018-09-13 20:24

Hi all,

ESP and the others are right on about the doubling issue. I never hear anything like this from any of my clarinet teachers who all knew I was doubler.

However, here is doubling issue that is a tougher one to solve. I've played the Reed III book for Chicago a couple of times. It calls for: clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone. Talk about some embouchure changes.

But here's the real problem; getting all those instruments arranged in an often small space is really tough. One time the musicians were on an elevated area at the rear of the stage with each of us having a space about the size of a postage stamp. And there were some quick changes to boot.

So, some doubling problems are logistic rather than musical.

HRL



Post Edited (2018-09-14 05:50)

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: el gitano 
Date:   2018-09-14 01:11

yeah, it will effect, but positiv

Claus

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-09-14 02:11

It's easy to double on the clarinet and the saxes if you start on the clarinet first. But sax players trying to double of the clarinet have a harder time achieving a sweet clarinet sound.

Yes the sax embouchure is more relaxed. Well it should be if they are good players. I've seen sax player bite way too hard and this is a wrong approach. Actually it's wrong for clarinet players as well. Don't bite. Ever!

Frankly playing the saxes is easier. Less notes, but if you bite the low notes won't usually come out very well and you will often hit the octave above. It's a joy to play the saxes. Easy to learn.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: andy63 
Date:   2018-09-14 03:34

Hello.
no!

Buffet Tosca ,Buffet Rc Greenline ,Yamaha YCl-881 Eb

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 Re: Can doubling on tenor sax affect my embouchure?
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2018-09-14 04:46

As long as you keep practicing clarinet while learning saxophone, you'll have no issue. The thing that helped me the most was to practice mouthpiece exercises on both. If you can hit the desired pitches on each mouthpiece on the first try after switching, you'll be fine. This is what I do when going back to playing a sax that I typically don't play often (like bari).

Playing both instruments is honestly beneficial to your marketability. I'm primarily an oboist, but play all woodwinds. My orchestral line-up of gigs in the next few months include oboe/English horn, flute and saxophone. This isn't even including the musicals on violin/synthesizer and whatever woodwind part I get assigned! It helps being well versed in classical and jazz playing on both sax and clarinet.

Ron Ford
Woodwind Specialist
Performer/Teacher/Arranger
http://www.RonFordMusic.com

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