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Double-Lip Embouchure

Discussion in 'Advanced Techniques' started by Roger Aldridge, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. All of a sudden I have noticed this as a problem, but only with certain mouthpieces (seemingly plastic ones only). A bite pad doesn't help the issue for me either, the vibrations go straight to my brain. It's not comfortable at all. I avoid those mouthpieces, I have slightly crooked front teeth if that has anything to do with it, but that same problem is what keeps me from using double lip more often, as the "point" of my one tooth digs right in to my upper lip, even without any pressure or tension.
  2. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    my two front teeth are not flat together, and I actually play slightly skewed to the right. I also use a medium thick (Yamaha) toothpatch to prevent the buzz that I started feeling years ago.

    I used to never feel a buzz then I definitely felt it once I started using metal mpcs more (sax), and then felt it on regular rubber mpcs (sax & clarinet) too.

    Ironically, I don't get this buzz with crystal clarinet mouthpieces which goes against normal logic.

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I too have uneven incisors (plus a long history of cracked molars), the long-term curse that I inherited from hitting one too many mines in RVN. They have deteriorated to the extent that nothing lies even any longer. Last week, I even had to adjust what is left of my bassoon embouchure in order to obtain even pressure on the reed. (Well, actually I just twisted the reed a bit.)

    My current drummer just happens to be a dentist (actually a 70% dentist and 30% commedian, but let's not quibble), and he has periodically dealt with all of the chips and cracks to help me out. It was really a zoo before - now it's merely a minor irritant.

    The moral of the story is to not nit expedient anti-tank mines (mostly made up of our dud 500 pound GP bombs) when riding atop a tank.
  4. When I first started playing in junior high, it was "natural" for me to use double-lip, but I was taught that that was an "old" way of playing and that the newest instruction was for single.

    So that's probably why I bite too hard. Have to use a hard reed to hit the high notes, but then it's too hard to manage the low notes without sounding stuffy, airy, and then I run out of air and become exhausted. To make my lower and middle notes sound nice, I need a softer reed, of which I bite the heck out of and choke off my high notes. I didn't notice this so much in high school as I was playing so much I guess I had more strength to play my #4 reeds..... now I'm battling between 2.5 and 3, thinking of trying a 2.

    Nice to know my years of bad habits were totally unnecessary :cry: But, I did say I wanted to take getting back into playing slowly, take it seriously, and become a good musician.

    Lesson #1 Down, many, many more to go :O)
  5. Interesting post. I have very uneven front teeth myself (hard to notice visually but it shows up on a mp for sure) but I have a pretty straight angle on the clarinet, no left or right, nor on the tárogató.
    Other note, I feel the buzz on certain plastic mouthpieces, not so much hard rubber. On most plastic mp's I need a bite pad to avoid the tingling shooting up my brain. I hate that.
  6. It's all about control! I was told to use it to improve my seal around mouthpieces. But I would never consider playing with it as a substitute for the standard symphonic setup. Although, I do know people who do play with double lip setups and are some of the best players I've ever heard.
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