Back to basics - Fix Your Tone by Fixing Your Embouchure

Sent Sunday, November 17, 2013

Clarinet Mentors
For clarinetists who want to perform more easily and beautifully
In This Issue                                    November 17, 2013       
  • A Note From Michelle Anderson - Relaxing...Aaahh
  • Free Training - Time to really focus on improving tone through one small embouchure change
  • Michelle Recommends - Robert Marcellus clarinet masterclasses
  • Clarinet Is Easy - Complete how-to lessons for beginners and self-taught intermediate players
A Note from Michelle Anderson


Welcome to the Clarinet Mentors bi-weekly newsletter.  I welcome new readers to the Clarinet Mentors community, and I hope that you enjoy the clarinet knowledge that is shared here. Feel free to comment on any of the videos on the YouTube page, or by sending me an email. My goal is to continue to make life easier for clarinetists all around the world!

I have a week or two without concerts before a very busy December season. I often use this time to work on "basics". When I put lessons on the Clarinet Mentors site for all of you, I often do a check to see if I need to listen to my own advice. (I often do...) I am currently trying to be "tension-free" in my performing. Light fingers, relaxed shoulders - all things that for many of us do not come naturally when we play. I use this theme as an excuse to also do relaxing things this month. I've been on a couple of great hikes, although like many Vancouverites, I eagerly look at the forecast hoping for two more degrees colder which will fill our local mountains with snow. Soon, I will be snowshoeing regularly, which is great for my body and soul, and I'm sure, somehow makes my clarinet playing better!

musical jack-o-lantern
I hope you are all doing well out there in Clarinet Land, and for those of you that are relatively new to the instrument, enjoy my video below which encourages you to make one small embouchure change with great payoff in improving tone. Thanks for being a part of my community!
Free Training - Improve your tone with one small embouchure change
Sometimes the role of a good coach, teacher, or mentor, is to simply remind us of things that we already know we "should" be doing, and push us until we actually do it. That is what I am doing with you today!
I have some amazing students who come regularly to my home studio, of all levels of playing ability. I have made it my "theme of the week" to focus in on one part of the embouchure - the bottom lip and chin. I would say that 80% of my students have either lost track of this and gotten rusty in this regard, or have not yet fully mastered how to shape this part of their face properly to get the best possible sound on clarinet. When you do it correctly, your tone will be more resonate and warm, your high notes will work better, you will have better dynamic range - all good things!
I challenge you, (and I REALLY mean it), to take this video seriously and take a photo of yourself to see if you might be needing a little tune-up in this area. Most of us do from time to time. It is one of most common things that prevents people from a clearer, freer tone, and it is very fixable if you know how to change it. I welcome your own "before and after" photos if you take this embouchure makeover seriously.
As always, I enjoy hearing from you, so please add your comments in the comments box below the video on YouTube, or send me an email. Click on the video image below to watch this video lesson.
Michelle Recommends: Robert Marcellus Clarinet Masterclass Recordings 
There are a few clarinet teachers that have stood out over time as being very skilled musicians, and better yet for their students, superb teachers. Robert Marcellus taught many of the finest clarinetists of an entire generation how to play better. The University of Illinois has released several audio recordings of masterclasses with Mr. Marcellus that you can listen to. They feature students performing, and then his comments/directions for how they can improve things. Most of my best teachers were students of Mr. Marcellus, and I think they picked up many of their great clarinet pointers from him. You can find these recordings at: 
I have found that sometimes this link does not work, but if I wait a few minutes and try again, it usually does. Perhaps the system simply gets overloaded at times. Be patient!
PS - for those of you who have watched my latest Clarinet Mentors video up above, please notice the great "vertical lines" in Mr. Marcellus' embouchure!
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 hundreds 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  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 Anderson, Clarinet
Thanks for reading this biweekly newsletter.
Helping you to find success on your instrument with sound teaching techniques, and useful learning systems.


Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.