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Double-Lip Embouchure

Roger Aldridge

Composer in Residence
Distinguished Member
#1
This topic may stir up some trouble! ha ha ha

I'm curious if others on the forum currently use or have tried a double-lip embouchure.

This article inspired me to try a double-lip first on bass clarinet. I was so impressed with the results (more vibrant sound and greater projection) that I then tried it on tenor saxophone with equally good results. Finally, I switched to a double-lip on clarinet.

http://www.theclarinet.co.uk/articles/doublelip.shtml

Roger
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#2
Roger,

Of course I Have !!

I can play 3 basic embouchures: Symphonic (the tight one :emoji_astonished: ), doublers ( the loose one :D ) and the double-lip (the fun one :eek: ).

The key to any of them is to take in a proper amount of mouthpiece from the get-go to maximize your sound production and expressionability.

I mostly play the more symphonic tight type embouchure. But from time to time will do the doublelip while practicing. I enjoy it, though it feels as if it shakes my brains a bit more .. maybe extra resonance ??

I haven't really recorded myself of the doublelip and compared it to the symphonic for tonal differences for me ... just some basic observances of the two being quite similar tonally. Of course it will vary from person to person .. and maybe my technique for it isn't 100%
 
#3
Hey guys,
Back in college, my clarinet teacher, Caroline Hartig, recommended warming up using a double-lip embouchure. I still do it from time to time now, but I don't really notice much of a difference in sound between double-lip and my regular clarinet embouchure, just a different feel like Steve mentioned.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#4
eddierich said:
Hey guys, Back in college, my clarinet teacher, Caroline Hartig, recommended warming up using a double-lip embouchure. I still do it from time to time now, but I don't really notice much of a difference in sound between double-lip and my regular clarinet embouchure, just a different feel like Steve mentioned.
Welcome Eddie! Why do you think it was recommended? Did you gain anything in the way of control from the use of the double-lip embouchure? I'm just curious.
 
#5
Hi Gandalfe and all,
The exercise Dr. Hartig gave me went as follows:
You must do this sitting down. You allow the bell of the clarinet to rest on or between your knees (which ever is more comfortable) so you don't have to use your embouchure muscles to support the instrument. Both lips act as cushions and it helps you to avoid biting. Once in the proper position, the exercise was similar to the Moyse long tones in De La Sonorite. Start on F2 and slur to E2 and repeat. Then E2 to Eb1, repeat, and so on until you get to E1.
I think the point of the warm-up is to equally engage all of the embouchure muscles, top and bottom.

I think doing this exercise with a single-lip embouchure would be beneficial to feel the difference between biting with the lower lip/jaw and using the bottom lip as a cushion.
 
#6
As a part of my daily practice routine I so a very similar exercise to the one described above. Normally, I play with a single lip embouchure, but I have experimented with and still occasionally use the double lip.
I used it exclusively for about a month, and migrated back.
I love my tone with the double lip, I find that I have no choice other than to use a little softer reeds, or I start to sound a little "stuffy".
It's a nice change though, I used it a lot when I was first learning (believe it or not) and that's really helped me with any biting problems. I've never had biting issues at all actually, I recommend dappling with it for anyone who does. It's a great way to strengthen embouchure muscles and gain control over your tone.
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#7
I was so impressed with the results (more vibrant sound and greater projection) that I then tried it on tenor saxophone with equally good results. Finally, I switched to a double-lip on clarinet.
I have never seriously tried the double lip embouchure. I don't like to work that hard. :) My question for Roger is, do you think you could achieve the same results with a the top teeth resting on the mouthpiece if the jaw is opened more and the bottom lip does not press so hard against the reed? In other words could someone get the same more vibrant sound and greater projection with a modified single lip embouchure?
 
#8
Double lip

I learned clarinet double lip and have never played any other way. I've tried single lip from time to time, but the vibration of the mouthpiece on my upper teeth is very close to chalk-on-blackboard for me, even with a fairly thick pad. As well, I have a tendency to bite, which double-lip keeps better under control.

BTW, what has made the biggest difference for me on embouchure is the Kooiman Maestro thumbrest, which finally made my right thumb a full partner.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#9
i should have added that years ago i think the double lip embouchure helped me improve my single embouchure. I now make sure that the mpc is up against my top teeth thus allowing the lower lip to create "no pressure" to keep the mpc up, and is there for the reed.

In students that is what I find, that the lower jaw actually pushes up, or keeps the mpc up in the mouth, thus added pressure against the reed. Thus I always drive the thumb as the force to keep the mpc up against the top teeth, or "in place" for a double embouchure.

The clarinet embouchure it is best for the lower lip to go towards/out (not up) to meet the reed - dependent of other stuff too.
 
#10
I learned clarinet double lip and have never played any other way.
... as I learned tenor, than bari, double lip and have never played any other way... and I do think my sound come now close to what I'm striving for.

Double lip is supposed to help relaxing the various muscles which play their role in sound production. I confirm I'm tending to use reeds a notch less stiff than "regular" friends with comparable mpcs (rather open: .120 on bari and .100 on tenor) and sound. I'm however not an altissimo star and this might be kinda drawback from using the method.
 
#11
I used this method for a long time on tenor, which was key in relaxing both my inner and outer embouchure. However with experimentation I found I preferred the teeth on top, loose bottom lip, open throat approach.

Never tried this on clarinet, probably never will.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#12
I used this method on soprano, alto and tenor sax and clarinet. But as mentioned, it helped me create a better single lip embouchure making sure the mpc is pushing up against the top teeth, and thus the lower lip having less pressure.

This is what my private teacher was trying to teach me 29 years ago !!
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#13
Can anyone name some of the professional (symphony?) players you use the double lip embouchure exclusively on clarinet?

How about classical saxophonists?

How about professional oboists or bassonists who use a single lip? (just kidding)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#15
CHow about professional oboists or bassonists who use a single lip? (just kidding)
We could then ask if that improves their intonation ....

/me: ducks and runs
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#16
I've heard that their tone sucks, but their embouchure doesn't get nearly as tired. ;)

Does this mean that playing the crumhorn requires a "no lip" embouchure?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#17
jbt, you're making too much rackett.

:p
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#19
Well, I got you to go from double-reeds to brass. I think I won the pun contest.

:p
 
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