Embouchures & Articulation

Here I will attempt to give suggestions to the beginning band director for embouchures and articulation on band instruments. (This page under construction.)

Flute – It’s all about the pooh… Place your lips over the tone hole (centered) and then roll out to a position so that you will be splitting the air across the edge of the tone hole (similar to blowing across a straw or bottle). Pucker your lips and say “pooh” into the instrument. The mouth should not be completely round, but rather should look like a flat oval. Preferred articulation: “twhoo” or “too”.

Oboe – roll both top and bottom lip over teeth, bring the corners of the mouth in.

Clarinet – Say “ee-oo” or “wee-too” to bring the corners in, keep the chin flat and pointed (bring jaw forward) and gently fold bottom lip under. The upper teeth should rest gently on the mouthpiece, never biting, and the lower teeth (covered by the lip) should be farther down on the reed than the top teeth are on the mouthpiece. Articulation: “tee”, to keep the tongue high and arched.

Saxophone: Similar to the clarinet, except the jaw is not quite so forward. Say “voo” for the proper embouchure. Use tonguing articulation “du”.


About Lady Fair

Lady is a musician with a bachelor's degree in music education. She plays multiple instruments and has participated in numerous musical ensembles, giving her a wide variety of experiences and knowledge to use in her teaching career. Of her ensemble participation, she has fifteen years of band experience, nine years choral, and four years in orchestra. Éowyn's primary instrument is clarinet, with voice and piano being close secondary instruments. Throughout her musical education career she studied voice and clarinet simultaneously. In addition to clarinet, piano, and voice, she has also studied violin and oboe at the college level, and also plays recorder, tin whistle, and other instruments in the woodwind family. If you ask her, she will say, "I chose to major in music education because I have a desire to use my knowledge and experience in music to share its beauty and foster a love of music in the hearts of my students. I hope to encourage my students to try their hardest, feel like they have accomplished something, and give them a life long passion for music." Lady currently teaches private lessons on clarinet, sax, flute, oboe, piano, and voice, and recently gained a position teaching orchestra and chorus at a local middle school. She is also a member of the Once Upon a Dream woodwind ensembles.
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