All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Tightening the embouchure


I had a little problem today getting the Soprano to come up to tune. It's not unusual - I usually need to push the mouthpiece right down to get it in tune. It was slightly better an hour later when I changed to a new reed, although the instrument had warmed up by then. The MD (experienced player, ex-Birmingham conservatoire) said that I probably just needed to tighten my embouchure, and explained how to do it by using the same/similar embouchure I would use for the higher octave, for the lower one. I know what he meant, but I physically couldn't do it, so I'm thinking I need to do some exercises to get it right. Does anyone have any ideas?

I play on a stock, plastic mouthpiece with a BG Super Revelation ligature and Vandoren Java 2.5 reeds. I'm used to Lawton 7s on the alto and tenor, with JaZZ 2.5 reeds) and am thinking of changing the mouthpiece for the soprano, but funds will be limited. Again, is there any relatively inexpensive change I can make in the mouthpiece setup that will help sharpen the tone.

I should also add that I have one or two missing premolars in my bottom jaw - no dentures - yet!

Thanks for reading.

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Just push the mouthpiece in to where the horn is in tune with itself, or where the middle B is in tune or a hair flat. If you're too flat, bring the pitch up with your vocal cavity, not your embouchure.

Exercises to get it right -- pracatice on the mouthpiece alone. You need to be able to play an octave with a loose embochure by adjusting your vocal tract alone.


Thanks Morgan, I'll try that.

Reminds me of my clarinet teacher, who used to be able to play Reveille on mouthpiece alone.

Members online

Popular Discussions

New York
Los Angeles
New Delhi
Top Bottom