Clarinet and Trumpet: incompatible?

In my former life as a clarinettist, I used what I now know to be the “double embouchure”. In those days I knew of no one else who used it, and every teacher I had contact with discouraged its use. Being a naturally good player, and because I played at a high level, I wisely told the lot of them to get stuffed.

However, I became a brass player instead, and I just bought a clarinet in order to satisfy the yen for playing the instrument that would just never go away. The thing is, I’m now wondering if the “double embouchure” technique will affect my brass playing. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t played in a very long time, but my top lip after the first couple of practice sessions was absolutely numb!

I don’t recall having this problem before, but if it’s going to go away, I’m going to stick with it.

Yes, I’m probably using far too much pressure, and it undoubtedly stems from the fact that I have the embouchure strength of a guy who practices hard 4-6 hours per day, 365 days a year- but on a brass instrument, which means my inner-top lip needs a lot of toughening up.

That said, I’m certainly no expert in this department, and I’d like to hear your opinions on the subject.



First, the double lip embouchure is the best therapeutic embouchure for the clarinet.And there is no question it produces the best sound and intoation. I have used both for years and I subscribe to it completely. The finest clarinetists in our history have used this embouchure all of the time.

That is quite enough concerning me, but the trumpet and the clarinet may not be compatible bedfellows.

If you play single lip, you may have less problem, but intrinsically, double-lip is a wonderful way to play.

good luck


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