The Clarinet and False Teeth

Dear Sir
I read your questions and answers with great interest. I found your web site by typing in Clainet and false teeth so you can see where my question is leading!
I have been trying to play the clarinet for two years and loving it, however my false teeth are beginning to suffer! I am wondering if it is going to be possible to improve past a certain level and am I going to be restricted in my playing ?Is there anything that I can do to help myself.
I would be most grateful for your comments.
I think your web site is really good
Thank you
regards,M
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Dear M:
(I might preface this by asking you to define”a certain” level.
And I would continue by stating that a certain level is something to which we all aspire, and not to be put off from that level by something as mundane as teeth, having no talent or interest teeth are inanimate.Ear,Interest and desire, and perhaps talent to play music are much more important in the search for the level).

First, let me thank you for your letter concerning the clarinet and false teeth. It is an interesting topic, but there need be no great connection between the two. Moreso you should not be deterred in your clarinet playing by false teeth, for obviously one doesn’t blow with teeth. The teeth simply hold the mouthpiece in the mouth, either with the top teeth on the mouthpiece, or both lips covering, known as double lip embouchure, which is actually a more natural way of playing the instrument and it would seem to me, to be a more natural way of holding the mouthpiece.
I suppose that the greatest fear one would have would be the teeth moving while one plays, however you must determine if that is going to happen and to make sure that the fit of your teeth is tight enough to bear the intensity of holding the clarinet mouthpiece and reed in your mouth.
The mouth, whether or not you are using one of the two methods of holding the mouthpiece remains closed except when stopping for a breath, and I can envision no problem in playing with false teeth.
I would think that you would use a medium mouthpiece and a reed which has less resistance in order to develop sound and embouchure.
I myself have had a lifetime of difficulty with teeth in playing the clarinet and I would envision less difficulty with a good set of false teeth adjusted by an excellent condition who would be mindful of your problem,
In developing your embouchure I envision no more particular problems than playing with your “own” teeth for that matter, and I encourage your playing ambitions.

sincerely,
Sherman

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