Courses  Instructors  How It Works Plans & Pricing Blog Resources 
x

Log In

Log In 
Don't have an account? Sign Up

Reset Password

Submit 
An email has been sent with instructions on how to reset your password.

Sign Up For Free

Then join a course

Continue 
Already have an account? Log In

Clarinet Embouchure - Why Double Lip is Better

Embouchure (pronounced ˌämbo͞oˈSHo͝or) refers to how we use the mouthpiece on a wind or brass instrument. When talking about clarinet embouchure, there are two kinds: single lip and double lip embouchure.

To give you a little clarinet history: before the 1820s everyone played clarinet with the reed on top, which forced you to use double lip embouchure. Then in the 1820s, Germans clarinet players introduced a new way of playing clarinet with the reed on the bottom, which gave birth to single lip embouchure. As you'll discover in this sample video from Ricardo Morales' online clarinet lessons, there's actually more reasons to play clarinet using a double lip embouchure as opposed to the more commonly used single lip embouchure.

clarinet embouchureSingle lip clarinet embouchure is the most common way to play clarinet, and the advantage is that you get a more secure grip on the mouthpiece, because you are using your teeth to hold onto the mouthpiece. It also makes it easier to play clarinet while standing, which is another reason why it's so popular.

In double lip clarinet embouchure, both lips have contact on the mouthpiece. Although this is the less common approaching to playing clarinet, Ricardo notes that most people actually sound better using a double lip embouchure (himself included!). Especially for playing lyrical solos, and also for practicing purposes, double lip embouchure is a great technique to develop. When using double lip embouchure, we curl the upper lip and curl the tongue inside. Whether you realize it or not, the curling of the tongue is extremely important for voicing and getting a proper clarinet sound.

There are actually a lot of advantages for using double lip embouchure when playing clarinet. One is that the voicing will be better, more lyrical. You avoid clamping down on the mouthpiece when using double lip embouchure, which can be an issue when using single lip clarinet embouchure. You also have a bigger oral cavity when using double lip embouchure, which gives more resonance to the sound. Another advantage of double lip embouchure is that it gives you a better connection to how your fingers move on the instrument.

If you've never practiced double lip clarinet embouchure it may take some getting used to, but as Ricardo reminds us, that's to be expected because the muscles in your upper lip are not built up yet.  If you stick with it and practice this kind of clarinet embouchure though, it will benefit you in the long run. It may be unstable at first, but after enough practice and repetition, you will build strength in your facial structure and will be able to use play using a double lip embouchure with ease. It's definitely worth learning this type of clarinet embouchure because it will help you get a more fluid tone and also better finger technique.

Ricardo demonstrates both kinds of embouchure by playing through one of the common clarinet scales and notes that he has better finger control and air control when using a double lip clarinet embouchure technique. Although it may be difficult to hear the differences in these two clarinet scales, it's more noticeable when playing slow.

 

Watch Ricardo's Free Clarinet Lessons

Ricardo's recommendation? Practice double lip embouchure at least 5 minutes a day. After a few weeks of this, add another minute… Don't worry if it hurts, your facial muscles will increase over time.  As Ricardo says, learning how to play clarinet using double lip embouchure is completely advantageous "in every single way" and can only help you in your career as a musician. Even Ricardo, who did not start off learning double lip embouchure until later his career, says he regrets not learning it sooner because it sounds better when playing legato and staccato phrases. So take the time to learn the double lip embouchure little by little, you won't regret it!

Related Blogs:

clarinet lessons with ricardo morales

Find out more about clarinet lessons with Ricardo Morales at http://RicardoClarinet.com 

 

X

Affordable Plans

Each subscription is for a single school. Pricing and features can vary slightly per school.

$35
1 Month membership
renews monthly
Unlimited Access to Lessons
Unlimited Video Exchanges
Exclusive Content
Forums
$35/month (prepaid)
$90
3 Month membership
renews every 3 months
Unlimited Access to Lessons
Unlimited Video Exchanges
Exclusive Content
Forums
$30/month (prepaid)
$240
12 Month membership
renews every 12 months
Unlimited Access to Lessons
Unlimited Video Exchanges
Exclusive Content
Forums
$20/month (prepaid)
X