Steps for a Correct Embouchure (Detailed Version)

  1. Top teeth rest on top of mouthpiece.
  2. Top lip rests firmly against the top of the mouthpiece.
  3. Bottom lip goes over the bottom teeth.
    • More specifically, where the lip and the skin meet (the lip line), place this directly on top of the lower teeth.
  4. The bottom teeth should be slightly in front of the top teeth. Blow air on the tip of your nose, you will notice your jaw move forward slightly. The forward placement of the jaw is the general position we want.
  5. Corners of mouth come in →← and a little forward
    • 3 Step Process to Make sure the corners are correct:
      1. Open your mouth
      2. Without moving the jaw, make a tight, small circle with your lips and keep a small opening in the middle
      3. Bring bottom lip in, insert mouthpiece, and close mouth onto mouthpiece
        • When corners are in, the bottom lip forms a firm cushion.
        • All embouchure muscles are now pushing toward the center from every angle.
  1. How much mouthpiece do I place in the mouth?
    1. Where the reed and the mouthpiece come together
      • The reed and the mouthpiece forming a V, viewing from the side
      • Draw a line across the reed in relation to the bottom of the V
    2. Place thumb on the line
    3. Keep thumb fixed and use the thumb for measuring the amount of mouthpiece going into the mouth.
    4. Remove thumb from the reed and you have your placement
  2. Use your jaw to apply the correct amount of pressure to the reed to produce a tone.
    1. The bottom teeth push on the reed through the bottom lip
      • Too much pressure produces a pinched, thin sound
      • Not enough pressure produces a honky spread tone
  3. Adjustments
    1. Spend some time making adjustments to the following points of the embouchure to produce the best possible tone.
      • The amount of lip in mouth
      • The amount of mouthpiece in the mouth
      • The amount of pressure placed on the reed with the jaw

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