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Embouchure Question

I would appreciate your thoughts/input --

What is the correct note to be produced on the bass clarinet mouthpiece to help get the feeling of a good, "proper" embouchure?
G# Concert?
THANKS!
 

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G# Concert would be fine but I imagine any note would do. I used to do it in C. Use a tuner. That should help.
 

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Your question seems a bit vague to me. Are you asking about about playing a bass clarinet mouthpiece off of the instrument in order to get a particular note?

Personally, I never did that when I started playing bass clarinet. I had played soprano clarinet for many years. In approaching the bass clarinet I mostly had discussions with several classical bass clarinet friends to pick up some pointers, did some trial & error, used my intuition a lot, and then did lots of practice to develop a style of embouchure that feels good to me and enables me to acheive a good quality of sound and performance.

If you search the forum you should be able to find several threads where we've had discussions about the subject of bass clarinet embouchure. You'll see that different approaches can be taken. Some use an embouchure on bass clarinet that's similar to what they use on soprano clarinet. However, there are some classical bass clarinetists who have taken different approaches to embouchure. One of my friends uses an embouchure on bass clarinet that is considerably different to what he uses on soprano clarinet. Personally, I've taken that direction.

The particular embouchure that I use on bass clarinet -- double-lip, taking in a lot of the mouthpiece, with a small amount of puffed checks -- gives me excellent results. However, there are other bass clarinet players on the forum who would not dream of using it. Rather, they get fine results with other types of embouchures.

Therefore, the first thing is to determine the type of bass clarinet embouchure that works best for you. You can't go wrong in taking some lessons with a local clarinet teacher who is also a good bass clarinetist in order to develop a good foundation on the instrument. Then, practice the whole range of the bass clarinet.

Good luck!

Roger
 

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In the "Teacher's Guide to the Alto, Bass, and Contrabass Clarinets" Donald McCathren of Duquesne University recommends the following mouthpiece pitches:

Alto Clarinet - Ab Concert
Bass Clarinet - F Concert
Eb Contra - Eb Concert
Bb Contra - C concert

Hope this answers your question.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all your replies.
John that's exactly the info I was looking for. I had the "mouthpiece notes" for the saxes and soprano clarinet but not the low clarinets. I find it helpful to check that once in a while for embouchure changes when playing different instruments.
Yeah, Roger it's just the mouthpiece off the horn. Playing a F concert on the bass clarinet mouthpiece (and remembering what that feels like when playing the instrumnet) may help center and stabilize the embouchure.
Thanks again,
Simon
 
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