Clarinet/Clarinet Basics/Tone/Creating Good Tone Quality

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Basics[edit]

Good tone production has a lot of factors in it when playing the clarinet. All the factors this book has already talked about are what create a good tone, but there's still more to think about when trying to create a good sound. All of this stuff might seem overwhelming, but it is not meant to be learned all at once, just try taking these ideas one at a time. Soon you will not have to think about it, and by that time you'll know that you'll be ready for the more advanced steps.

Tight and correct embouchure[edit]

Keep your embouchure loose, pucker your chin muscles to make a nice flat chin, this is super important for quality tone production. Sometimes using a mirror will help you keep your embouchure positioned correctly.


High and backward tongue positioning Make a haaaaaaa sound with the clarinet in your mouth, to do so notice that your tongue is positioned low and backward to make the sound. This is the way your tongue should be positioned at all times throughout the clarinet register. Doing this will slow down the air, and aim the air flow at the reed so that it will vibrate more steadily, resulting in a steady and velvety tone output. This is the real deal for proper tone production; this is really the most important aspect in clarinet tone production along with air support from the diaphragm and good embouchure.

Student Tips[edit]

Make sure you sit up straight, and if you can't get a sound out try a note higher, look for leaks, or if you are a beginner, try and get a squeak out of your clarinet's mouth piece. If none of these work talk to your local band director or take it to a music store. A size 2 or 2.5 reed is recommended for beginners.

Good Posture[edit]

Sit at the end of your chair; back straight and feet flat on the floor for the best tone quality.

Reed Hardness[edit]

Use the correct reed hardness. Reed hardness is measured on a scale from one to five. Reed strength does not say how good you are.

Mouth Piece[edit]

The mouth piece that came with your clarinet is probably of less than superb quality. Invest in a good rubber mouth piece that will cost around $10.

Develop your mouth[edit]

As you progress in becoming a clarinetist, your mouth muscles will become stronger, allowing you to play the instrument with better tone. Also, tightening up your embouchure might help as well.

Fast Air[edit]

Always use fast air with the air coming from the diaphragm.