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Does anyone have any experience, thoughts or theories re: pros and cons of Double Lipping as it affects tone quality?
 

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Well, I guess I'll try this again!!! This discussion seems to revert to a question of religion before long and very few people seem to listen to the players that use this technique. First off, can we agree that the players most qualified to comment based on experience would be those who have been taught and play double embrouchure? Right? This would include such notable players as Branford Marsalis, Wes Anderson, Antonio Hart, Jesse Davis, Donald Harrison, Shelley Carroll (Ellington Band, Cheryl Crow), Quamon Fowler (3rd Place Monk Competition 2008), ...

When you first start any new technique it is harder rather than easier - Right? What was it like when you first started playing single lip? It wasn't easy either - Right? It's not about which is BETTER! It's about creating a respository of knowledge that saxophonists can refer to that covers all aspects of saxophone playing. There have been many legendary saxophonists and 1st chair symphony clarinetists who have played and taught dbl embrouchure. Comments like ".... I don't know any professional saxophonists who play this way" and on ... Kind of reminds me of asking a Christian about the merits of Islam. It just doesn't convey much sincerity in ones approach ... I hope this makes some sense to someone out there? If not, I tried and I'm sorry I've wasted the forums time! Live long and play well!!!
 

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I use double lip on clarinet through Bari. I feel it improves my playing and feels completely natural to me. I don't know if the listener would hear any difference if I switched between the two, however. I also feel it gives me more flexibilty when doubling.
It's not for everyone, but really, it doesn't take that long to switch, with a little persistence.
 

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Some experienced and professional players do well with the double lip embouchure but they are in the minority. I am not in favor of recommending teaching beginners to start out with this embouchure because of the difficulty involved. Learning to play a saxophone or clarinet is hard enough without adding a playing technique that is challenging for even seasoned players to master at first.

Naming professional players who use this embouchure to justify its use for a beginning player is akin to pointing out Dizzy Gillespie's style of playing and telling beginning trumpet players it is ok to puff out their cheeks IMO. On the other hand I teach and recommend the double lip embouchure to oboe and bassoon students all the time. :mrgreen:
 

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My son would revert to this style when he was learning the saxophone because the vibrations through his top teeth bothered him; and unfortunately, mouthpiece pads/patches didn't solve the problem for him. I was unnecessarily hard on him to quit the double lip technique, and it got to the point where he chewed up and ruined a mouthpiece trying to make it look like he had his teeth on the top rather than with his top lip folded over them. This made me feel horrible. So instead, I fell back on the wise words of others on this very site and let him be in this regard. His tone was always solid, and one of the best things about his playing.
 

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I was taught to play this way when I started back in the 4th grade (MANY years ago) and continued throughout high school. After picking the sax back up after a very long layoff, and finding out this is not the "preferred" method, I tried to "unlearn" this but it just feels too unnatural after all these years, so I am resolved to play this way regardless.

I thought I read somewhere that Paul Desmond played this way, can anyone confirm or disprove this?
 

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I was taught to play this way when I started back in the 4th grade (MANY years again) and continued throughout high school. After picking the sax back up after a very long layoff, and finding out this is not the "preferred" method, I tried to "unlearn" this but it just feels too unnatural after all these years, so I am resolved to play this way regardless.

I thought I read somewhere that Paul Desmond played this way, can anyone confirm or disprove this?
Sometimes it's good to take "the road less traveled". I believe there was a time when it was, if not the preferred, at least a commonly taught method. If it works for you, go with it.
 

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Sometimes it's good to take "the road less traveled". I believe there was a time when it was, if not the preferred, at least a commonly taught method. If it works for you, go with it.
good to hear! i just started playing tenor saxophone a couple days ago, after playing trumpet for about a year, and the double lip embouchure came naturally to me from the second i picked the sax up. this is probably because the trumpet embouchure has both lips curled, so it just feels right to me. after reading that the double lip embouchure isnt the preferred way i have tried to adjust it so that i dont curl my upper lip, but all i seem to do is just make squeaks. since the double lip embouchure is working for me already, should i continue with it, or should i really try to change it to just my bottom lip curled?
 

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After hearing this i have tried a couple of times. i really notice a difference in the jaw skull vibration. i wonder if its a good thing? when your teeth touch the mouthpiece, you really feel the vibration. could it hamper your ability to match the pitch and keep it in tune with others? It seems possible. your whole skull is vibrating more and maybe you dont hear just the eardrum vibration. I dont know the resonant frequency of a skull but that might affect things too.
 

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Does anyone have any experience, thoughts or theories re: pros and cons of Double Lipping as it affects tone quality?
It is best to learn the traditional "single" lip sax embouchre first. For the beginner this way only the bottom lip hurts until it toughens up. The Double lip allows extremely soft dynamics with a nice clear tone that is barely audible. The con part is until you have that capability the top lip will ache for awhile.
 

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The earliest editions of the Universal Method described the double lip embouchure only so it can be said that it is (or was) the traditional method.
 

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As I understand many of the great players used double embouchure include Hank Mobley and Trane, though I'm not sure. My sometimes teacher Noel Jewkes is a monster player in the bay area and he told me to switch to it. I'm an amateur though and my opinion is not worth a damn.
 

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I picked up the sax recently after 20 years off (long story). The hiatus actually allowed me to realize I had no sound concept before. I listened to and loved great sax players, but I was never really LISTENING to them, or to myself. Having now developed an "inner ear" in my soul, and an inner urge to free the sounds within me that I was now hearing, I have had so many amazing revelations! One of them has to do with biting. I did it from the start because I started on Bb clarinet and switched to tenor in 7th grade, using the same concept and never having a good teacher to see that I was all wrong on sax. I didn't even know when I put the horn down how much jaw/tooth/lip dysfunction was going on. So now after starting fresh with all thees light bulbs going off, I went from 2 reed to 2.5 to 3 to 4 to 5, thinking my "embouchure muscles" were getting way strong from playing & doing Larry Teal exercises. But then my jaw got way jacked up - major issues - and I couldn't get high tones, upper register, low tones - sheesh! Turns out I way overshot the reed strength concept, was biting more than even in the old days (even though this time I wasn't biting through my lip). So the latest light bulb is that I went back down to a 2.5 reed (6* Link facing), and am taking in way more mouthpiece to prevent biting (it doesn't do anything when you have a lot of mpc in your mouth). Now I am also taking my teeth off the top of the mpc, and using breath support & focus/airstream speed, plus throat for high tones. I guess I am now a double lipper. It feels and sounds great!
 

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hey SchlockRod, it is interesting...when I played as a kid I did not put my top teeth on the mouthpiece. Now that I have taken it up again, I, like you, am studying all I can and I AM placing my teeth on top, following the traditional teaching. I did not do it as a kid because I remember feeling uncomfortable...I can feel the vibration through my teeth up into my head I am going to try one of those mic patches I have seem. Maybe that will help. I do like using my teeth, I feel I have more contra over the mpc. I am going to look for these Larry Teal exercises you mentioned. Also...I still can not find pm in my general settings.
 

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Hi Will
last things first - when you're in the Forum, go to the very top of the screen and click Settings. On the left, you should see My Messages, Inbox, Send New Message, etc. If you don't, it may mean you haven't enabled PM. So look instead (on the lower left) for My Account (with a padlock picture), then click General Settings. In there is Private Messaging. Turn it "on" and tell it from whom you will allow messages (all or selected members).
If you play with your teeth on the mpc you will be like 99% of players, from the very worst, to most of the very greatest, so it's sure not a bad thing. Since you were double lip before I'm guessing you never developed a biting style (using jaw pressure), which for me (with my teeth firmly diggin into the top of the mpc) was the start of a lifelong bad habit that I'm just now overcoming but it isn't easy even with my teeth off the top - I can still exert considerable jaw pressure even that way so I have to police myself and be very careful with reed strength - not too hard nor too soft. I'm using a patch only as an aid to keep my top lip way up high on the beak - beyond the fwd edge of the patch. This also helps me not bite and is really freeing up the reed and as a result my sound.
I'm not sure how important the Teal lip muscle exercises are as I learn to play very loose. I'm still trying to figure out the biomechanics and effects of jaw/teeth/lips on reed/mpc. But I don't think the exercises have hurt - I think they enable one to use more mouth/lip muscles, less jaw.
 

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I learned the clarinet using top teeth on the mouthpiece. When I switched to alto sax, I didn't like the feel of the teeth on the mouthpiece so I learned not to use them. To me double lipping is more natural and I have better intonation and tone control now.
 
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