View Single Post
Old 05-24-2016, 08:08 AM   #6
Forum Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 71
Default Re: Embouchure stamina

Originally Posted by Jim Fogelman View Post

I use an embouchure very similar to that of a sax or clarinet player, with my bottom lip rolled over my bottom teeth, top teeth pressing the mouthpiece into my bottom lip, and top lip sealing. I found it much easier for me to play with an Airstream or Reed Wrangler mouthpiece because of this. It might be worth looking into for the kid.
Jim has it bang on. A proper saxophone (or clarinet) embouchure would work perfectly on the bagpipe. Assuming your student is using the same embouchure for both, they might have a harder time with pipes because the "mouthpiece" is narrower.
The muscles used to make the seal have to work harder with a narrower aperture. (Sax/clarinet students are sometimes made to hold on to straws with their face to help strengthen weak embouchures.)

Playing bagpipe is probably helping your student on the saxophone side.

As for your student's bagpipe their breathing cycle as they play. I find that students who are feshly transitioning from practice chanter don't use the bag to full capacity. They'll exhale far too long and use their breath pressure (read: not arm) to drive the bag...both of which will fatigue any embouchure.

1)Make sure your student is isn't blowing to match the phrase (or longer than a count of 3).

2)Have them start with a full bag and, using no other breathes, play as far as they can into a tune.
I bet they'll be surprised how much of the instrument lives under their arm.

Potsdam is offline   Reply With Quote