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Teeth.

LucianoScalise

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Argentina
Hi,
Hope all is well.
Please, I’d like to know if touching the mouthpiece with the upper teeth is absolutely necessary, or if just good lip pressure and sealing is acceptable.
Seems to work best for me (less excess mouth pressure) with just lips...
Many thanks.
Cheers,
Luciano.
 

Veggie Dave

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For the most part my top teeth barely touch the mouthpiece. I haven't had to change a patch for a couple of years.
 

jbtsax

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What you are describing is commonly called a "double lip" embouchure. It is used by a few clarinetists and even fewer saxophonists. In traditional saxophone pedagogy the top teeth rest on top of the mouthpiece. In my playing experience it helps to "anchor" the mouthpiece so the lower lip and corners of the mouth can form the embouchure which controls the vibration of the reed. If placing the top teeth on the mouthpiece is uncomfortable using, a mouthpiece patch can help. You can try playing both ways and see which method works the best for you. Before choosing the "double lip" make sure you can play up to high F using that embouchure.
 
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LucianoScalise

New Member
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13
Locality
Argentina
What you are describing is commonly called a "double lip" embouchure. It is used by a few clarinetists and even fewer saxophonists. In traditional saxophone pedagogy the top teeth rest on top of the mouthpiece. In my playing experience it helps to "anchor" the mouthpiece so the lower lip and corners of the mouth can form the embouchure which controls the vibration of the reed. If placing the top teeth on the mouthpiece is uncomfortable using, a mouthpiece patch can help. You can try playing both ways and see which method works the best for you. Before choosing the "double lip" make sure you can play up to high F using that embouchure.
Thanks JBT.
The only thing is, that in double lip embouchure, I understand teeth are wrapped by the lips, which I’m not doing.
Would that still be ok?
Thanks again!
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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Thanks JBT.
The only thing is, that in double lip embouchure, I understand teeth are wrapped by the lips, which I’m not doing.
Would that still be ok?
Thanks again!
If your lips aren’t touching the mouthpiece on the top then you don’t have a complete seal. Your mouth should be sealing the mouthpiece. I know you asked JBT but I thought I’d answer. Lol :)
 

jbtsax

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Thanks JBT.
The only thing is, that in double lip embouchure, I understand teeth are wrapped by the lips, which I’m not doing.
Would that still be ok?
Thanks again!
Thank you for teaching me something. I didn't know that the "double lip" embouchure typically has the top lip rolled over the teeth. I would not encourage a player starting out to use a "double lip" embouchure because of the added muscle strength required. My thinking is that learning tone production skills using a traditional embouchure would produce faster progress, and that later on in a player's experience they could experiment with trying a different approach if they wanted. One of the advantages of the double lip I have read is that it "opens up" the oral cavity. I have found that using a thick mouthpiece patch accomplishes the same thing with much less effort. ;)
 

Veggie Dave

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I didn't know that the "double lip" embouchure typically has the top lip rolled over the teeth.
I had always assumed that was what you were describing whenever you said 'double lip'. I hadn't realised what I do (most of the time, there are exceptions) was a double lip technique. It just happened as I relaxed my throat.
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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I had always assumed that was what you were describing whenever you said 'double lip'. I hadn't realised what I do (most of the time, there are exceptions) was a double lip technique. It just happened as I relaxed my throat.
So your teeth don’t touch the mouthpiece at all?
 
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LucianoScalise

New Member
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13
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Argentina
If your lips aren’t touching the mouthpiece on the top then you don’t have a complete seal. Your mouth should be sealing the mouthpiece. I know you asked JBT but I thought I’d answer. Lol :)
Thank you Nikki!
It was an “question to all who might be willing to answer” in fact.
Cheers.
So your teeth don’t touch the mouthpiece at all?
Well, I’m finding that (strange enough), is working very well that way...
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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Thank you Nikki!
It was an “question to all who might be willing to answer” in fact.
Cheers.

Well, I’m finding that (strange enough), is working very well that way...
Oh good. I wasn’t sure if I was being rude or not.
Hey! Do what works best for you even if it’s not following general protocol. We are all uniquely different. If you are comfortable with how you are playing then I wouldn't change a thing. You’ve got to do what works best for you. If and when you find a better way then you will naturally change. It’s all good. :)
 
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LucianoScalise

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Argentina
Oh good. I wasn’t sure if I was being rude or not.
Hey! Do what works best for you even if it’s not following general protocol. We are all uniquely different. If you are comfortable with how you are playing then I wouldn't change a thing. You’ve got to do what works best for you. If and when you find a better way then you will naturally change. It’s all good. :)
That’s great news for me Nikki!
Many thanks again.
Cheers.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I started out playing without my top teeth on the mouthpiece simply because I disliked the vibration, even with a mouthpiece patch. I wasn’t putting my lip under my teeth, just not resting the teeth on the mouthpiece. At some point I decide to try “teeth on” and now I do it all the time. My recollection is that some things were easier with teeth on, but it wasn’t a huge difference.

I think it’s easier to bite with a teeth-on embouchure.
 
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Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
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Citizen of Nowhere
So your teeth don’t touch the mouthpiece at all?
I've had to go and practise to see exactly what I'm doing. It turns out that most of the time my teeth are brushing the top of the mouthpiece. Sometimes they're not touching at all and sometimes I'm resting gently on the 'piece - it seems to depend on the note and tone I'm after.

I'd love to say that I play like this because I've studied tongue and mouth postion and how it correlates to certain tones, but that wouldn't even be slightly true. ;) As I've had to go and physically play to see what I'm doing, it's pretty obvious that none of this is being done consciously. My only conscious choice is to relax, and then relax some more.
 
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LucianoScalise

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13
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Argentina
That’s the ideal situation Dave.
I’m having a hard time reaching that relaxation point...
 

Ivan

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Peeblesshire
Please, I’d like to know if touching the mouthpiece with the upper teeth is absolutely necessary, or if just good lip pressure and sealing is acceptable.
Seems to work best for me (less excess mouth pressure) with just lips...
Do what works for you

If this means you are less likely to bite from below, all the better
 

TBay

Member
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64
Locality
Midlands
Fellow beginner here and one who decided to start two weeks before getting an abscess on an incisor! I found the teeth touching the top of the mouthpiece to be a not nice feeling at first. Two months on it feels sooooo natural and the ‘anchorage’ is critical. I use a patch which helps, but I would try to get used to it if I was you as I am sure it has helped with my consistency.
 
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