2015-09-26 Clarinet: Does your bottom lip get sore when you play clarinet?

Clarinet: Does your bottom lip get sore when you play clarinet? Sent Saturday, September 26, 2015 View as plaintext

Clarinet Mentors
For clarinetists who want to perform more easily and beautifully
In This Issue                  
Sept. 26, 2015                      
  • A Note From Michelle Anderson - Opera and soccer season
  • Free Training  -  Does your lip get sore when you play clarinet? - Here are some ways to protect your bottom lip and minimize pain
  • Michelle Recommends - Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - handy tool to improve the musical apps on your phone, tablet, or computer
  • Clarinet List VIP Opportunity - be the first to hear about updates on my next clarinet lessons course
  • Clarinet Is Easy - Complete how-to lessons for beginners and self-taught intermediate players
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A Note from Michelle Anderson
Hello  !
Welcome to the Clarinet Mentors newsletter. I enjoy sharing my best clarinet pointers with clarinetists all over the world, and I appreciate that you are part of the Clarinet Mentors Community!
I hope you are enjoying your clarinet. For many of us, September is the time to return to regular musical groups. I am sure that many of you are enjoying your community band, orchestra, chamber group and other musical ensembles. (If you are only playing alone right now, I highly recommend that you give your local musical group a try. They often welcome clarinetists, even if you feel you are only just beginning.) I have been rehearsing Rigoletto with the Vancouver Opera, and tonight is our opening night. I sure enjoy playing with this fine orchestra. Not only is it opera season, my son is heavily involved in soccer (or to most of you not in North America, football). In Vancouver, the kids play in September to March, which means they are out there whether the weather is sunny and beautiful, or raining (often), snowing (every now and then), or anything in between. It is great to see young people outside battling the elements rather than some mythical beast on the computer!
In a couple of weeks I will be playing several concerts with the Turning Point Ensemble, a Vancouver group that specializes in contemporary music. We will be playing in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. I look forward to catching up with friends across Canada on this tour.
Life is busy, but fun. I wish you all the best with your endeavours, especially those clarinet-related ones! Thanks so much for being part of my Clarinet Mentors Community.
Free Training: Sore Bottom Lip? - Here are some technics to help minimize the pain...
I recently had a student come in to my studio who had been at an orchestra retreat weekend, and played about 6 hours a day. Her lip got so beat up, it was actually bleeding on the reed. There were a few factors at play here. The biggest one, is that she simply wasn't used to playing more than about 60 - 90 minutes in one day. As embouchure muscles get tired and start to wear out, we tend to compensate by "biting" a bit to try and get any support possible on the reed. Of course, this is a bad habit, but it happens. Her bottom teeth ended up cutting into the inside area of her bottom lip.
I've experienced this myself when I am suddenly playing much more than usual. If you experience this in normal playing conditions, you may be "biting" too much, and should consider changing your embouchure to one with more corner support. (This video will help you to figure out if you are a "biter" - http://youtu.be/a2TUGyTslUM - Embouchure Tester.) If you know you are going to be playing more than usual, you can take some simple steps to help pad your teeth and prevent this problem. The video below will give you two different solutions to this painful problem. If you have other suggestions, please include them in the comments section of the video, or send me a note.
You can click on the photo below, or find the video by clicking here.
Michelle Recommends: Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for your Smartphone,Tablet, or Computer
There are so many great apps that you can use on your smart phone to help with your musical studies. I'm curious to know if you have a favorite that I should review for a future Clarinet Mentors newsletter.
My phone has a tuner, a metronome, several recordings, some fun rhythm and note reading apps on it, and I use these when I teach lessons. If I am away from home, I often rely on my phone to replace the larger (and louder) gadgets that I have in my home studio. I recently picked up this wireless speaker for my phone, and it allows me to crank my metronome up loudly enough that I can hear it even if I am practising a loud and high passage of music.
It is only about 3 inches, or 10 cm, cubed, and is very easy to carry. If you use any of this technology, I recommend that try out a speaker like this. There are many varieties on the market. I bought this iHome cube on impulse out of a bin at a local store, and I really like it. I have an older car which does not allow me to connect an external device into my stereo system. I can now carry this speaker if I want to listen to a podcast while I drive.I can set up an iPod or phone (before starting the vehicle, of course) and listen while I commute.
Clarinet List VIP Opportunity
I am very exciting to be finally nearing the end of a two year project to create a clarinet course for you that uses ALL of my favourite clarinet pointers and combines them with a very organized set of lesson plans to help you master them. 
This course will be designed for players with an intermediate level of clarinet skills. (If you are newer to the instrument, or basically self-taught, the Clarinet Is Easy course, below, is a great starting point to prepare you for this upcoming course.)
There are still lots of video edits to do, and worksheets to finalize, and the huge task of loading it all up to a website where you can access all of the great lessons. I am not announcing the exact release date yet, but I am hoping for the next month or two. It is currently about 80% recorded, and the rest should be recorded soon if all goes well. I have been fortunate to get some great feedback from a few beta testers within the clarinet community, and the course continues to improve in preparation for making it available to everyone,
When this is complete, I will be ready to celebrate! I want to invite you to the celebrations. I will be hosting a series of special events, including some live online trainings that will allow members of the Clarinet Mentors community to have some live mini lessons, and ask me your clarinet questions. I'll also be sharing some great sample lessons from the course with you. If you are interested in taking part in any of these events, the best way to get the advance notice is to sign up for my VIP Clarinet List. It only takes a minute, and then I will know that you are interested in some great new training (and during my celebration week, it is all at no charge to you) to help you play clarinet more easily. I have a quick (less than one minute) video with directions on how you can sign up. VIP Clarinet members will receive special discounts and exclusive offers, so please sign up now by clicking here!
Clarinet Is Easy - Your Step-by-Step Beginner Course - Now Available! (Also enjoyed by many intermediate level players)
How To Solve Your Common Clarinet Frustrations and Play Clarinet More Easily
I firmly believe that if anyone has the "recipe" for how to play clarinet, things are really relatively easy to do. Most of our frustrations come from inadvertently learning bad habits along the way. With that in mind, I have created for you a 10-lesson comprehensive course for beginners (and self-taught intermediate players) that gives you the tools to truly learn the clarinet easily, while avoiding all of the most common frustrations that can plague us. I believe that these lessons can save you hours of grief by giving you the best practise systems that have worked for thousands of clarinetists. The lessons have great content, and are presented in a video format so that you can watch them again and again. If you would like to play with more ease and have a clear understanding of the fundamentals of clarinet playing, you can get more information on the Clarinet Is Easy course here (including some free preview videos):
Click here for the free preview videos to Clarinet Is Easy
If you are curious about this, you can try these lessons with a 100% 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee. (That means that you can try a full 5 lessons before you decide if you have received great value from the course.) If it is not the right style for you, you get your tuition refunded, no problem. I invite you to try it now! Many students have received amazing results so far from this course (and you can read their comments on the order page).
About Michelle Anderson
Michelle Anderson, the founder of Clarinet Mentors,  is a professional clarinetist and teacher who currently lives in Vancouver BC. Her professional career spans over 30 years and she currently plays regularly with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the West Coast Chamber Music series. She has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Touring Orchestra and many other groups. Michelle currently specializes in teaching adults to play clarinet more easily and quickly through online resources, and conducts the Vancouver Clarinet Choir. Michelle is a Backun Musical Services Artist and plays on Backun clarinets and mouthpieces.
Thanks for reading this biweekly newsletter. If you think a friend would enjoy this, please feel free to forward it. If they want to enrol in the Clarinet Mentors Community, they can go to www.learnclarinetnow.com.
Helping you to find success on your instrument with proven, easy-to-follow systems that are designed to help you sound good, and feel better about your playing.

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