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MOUTHPIECE WORKOUTS

Playing a musical instrument is a highly physical activity. And, just like track, swimming, baseball, hockey, and soccer, it requires careful warm-up and conditioning. In the case of wind instrumentalists, warm-up and conditioning are especially important to the development of embouchure.

A proper embouchure will ensure that a characteristic tone and proper pitch center are produced on the instrument. With this in mind, it is a good idea for wind instrumentalists to begin each practice session with a Mouthpiece Workout especially designed to develop the proper embouchure on their particular instrument.

FLUTE:

1. Remove the head joint, and hold it with the left hand.

2. Cover the open end with the palm of the right hand.

3. Form the embouchure, take a deep breath, and produce a steady tone.

4. Repeat the activity in step 3 with an open head joint.

CLARINET:

1. Remove the mouthpiece with reed attached, and hold it with one hand.

2. Form the embouchure, take a deep breath, and produce a steady tone.

3. Repeat the activity in step 2, the barrel attached to the mouthpiece.

SAXOPHONE:

1. Remove the mouthpiece with reed attached, and hold it with one hand.

2. Form the embouchure, take a deep breath, and produce a steady tone.

TRUMPET, BARITONE, TROMBONE:

1. While holding the mouthpiece shank up to your lips with the thumb and first finger only, produce a "free sounding"

buzz.

2. Repeat the activity in step 1 several times, trying to make the buzz last as long as possible each time. Use a "fast" air stream. Take the mouthpiece off of the lips, and rest a few seconds between buzzes.

3. Repeat the activity in step 2 while holding a four inch by five inch piece of paper in front of the mouthpiece. Try to make the paper flutter.

4. Create a siren(glissando) effect with the buzz. Begin with a "low" starting note, and ascend to a "high" peak by gradually making the opening between the lips smaller. Return to the "low" starting note by gradually relaxing the lips and making the opening larger. Be sure to use plenty of "fast" air.

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