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Thread: where to bite?

  1. #1

    Default where to bite?

    I'm a highschool student, and iv just noticed as of lately that im biting too hard. since iv realized this, iv dropped down from superial 3.5 to about a D.C. 3. Now im facing the issue of readjusting my embouchure. Where should my bottom teeth be biting? I used to bite the skin below my lip for support, but iv noticed that i can't play past C4 like that. whenever i play an E4, i generally bite exactly where my lip is. but now im noticing that my lip is slipping off the reed. any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Grimmell73's Avatar
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    Default Re: where to bite?

    You're going to see a few different points of view, but a very good one is that you shouldn't bite at all. The teeth do press on the lower lip, but just enough to sense the reed through the lip, no more. The looser the embouchure, the better. One way to start achieving this is to play the mouthpiece alone. If you have a tenor, the mouthpiece alone should sound a concert E; if an alto, concert G#. Once you have the note right, start using your throat muscles to lower the pitch. Lower it a half-step and then back to the base pitch. As you get used to this, then lower it a whole step. Keep going until you can lower the pitch by a fifth at least, and it's possible to do an octave or more. This will help you develop a looser embouchure, without which you can't drop the pitch very far.

    Also, read the stickies on tone production in the forum devoted to basic tone production, in the section for Learning, Playing, etc.. They contain some great exercises.
    Think in shades of gray; act in black and white; dream in color.

  3. #3

    Default Re: where to bite?

    I read up on David Liebman's book and from what I collect he states that the lip should roll back and forth depending on which note is being played. And the generic "starting position" for middle C#, C and B should be like how your mouth is formed when saying the syllable F or V.

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    Distinguished SOTW member daigle65's Avatar
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    Default Re: where to bite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmell73 View Post
    You're going to see a few different points of view, but a very good one is that you shouldn't bite at all. The teeth do press on the lower lip, but just enough to sense the reed through the lip, no more. The looser the embouchure, the better.
    I agree, but 10 different players will interpret that 10 different ways. It's hard explaining the embouchure on a forum. When we say "don't bite", some will drop their jaw too much. When we say "feel the reed through the lip", some will bite.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmell73 View Post
    One way to start achieving this is to play the mouthpiece alone. If you have a tenor, the mouthpiece alone should sound a concert E; if an alto, concert G#. .
    Don't you mean mouthpiece and neck? Mouthpiece alone should be an A on alto and a G on tenor.

    Quote Originally Posted by denkii View Post
    I read up on David Liebman's book and from what I collect he states that the lip should roll back and forth depending on which note is being played.....
    That's the "rolling lip" concept. It doesn't work for me, I prefer having a stable embouchure, but many excellent players use this technique.
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