Clarinet Embouchure Checklist

by Cally Laughlin


Hi everyone, those lazy summer days are almost over! It’s time to put away your summer gear, get your clarinet out, and start getting back into shape.  Today, I’m going to give you an embouchure checklist to help you get back into the groove. You are going to need a few things to help you with your embouchure checklist. First, you will need a mirror, large enough to see your entire face.  This will allow you to watch yourself play to make sure you are keeping your embouchure correct while you practice. Second, of course, you are going to need your clarinet. Okay, let’s get started.

A good embouchure allows maximum vibration of the reed and allows you to control the sound over all dynamic levels from the lowest note to the highest


First, fold your bottom lip over your bottom teeth, push you jaw slightly forward, so your top and bottom teeth are parallel, and then stretch your chin muscles flat against your jaw, like so. 


Next, leverage your mouthpiece to your top teeth. Now you can create a seal around the mouthpiece. Bring your corners in and your top lip down. This will help you control the sound and prevent air leakage.


Whenever you go to play, your sound should be warm, vibrant, and easy to control. Don’t forget to take a big breath when you go to play. 

Now I’m going to show you how you can practice this on your own at home.

Go ahead and get that mirror out, and put it on your stand. This is how you are going to watch yourself play. Bottom lip over bottom teeth, jaw forward, chin flat.  Leverage your mouthpiece to the top teeth, and create a seal, bringing your corners in and your top lip down. Double check in the mirror and make sure all parts of the embouchure look correct.  While you’re playing, always check into the mirror to make sure you are keeping your chin flat. As soon as you see you may be doing something incorrectly, go back through the steps of making a good embouchure and then continue playing.

Let’s review this one more time. Don’t forget to have your mirror. Fold your bottom lip over your bottom teeth, jaw slightly forward and flatten your chin.  Bring your corners in and your top lip down and go ahead and play!

Great job today! Contact me through my website, for further questions. Thank you so much for watching!

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