ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #24 “Carry That Weight.”
In my last tip I considered the importance of not leaning over too much when playing the clarinet. A related issue is that of head position/weight. Leaning over when playing the clarinet can lead to biting down too much on the mouthpiece because of the weight of the head. FYI, the average adult head weighs about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). Imagine a 10-pound bowling ball on your neck!
So, if I have a student who is leaning over too much when playing the clarinet, in addition to telling them to not lean over, I also often tell them to have more of the weight of their head resting on the neck. Sometimes I’ll mention this head weight issue by itself if I get the feeling they are biting down too much on the mouthpiece. This posture adjustment almost always benefits the student, usually producing a better clarinet tone as the reed is allowed to vibrate more freely. (See E-Tip #4.)
Try it out for yourself and with your students.
ClarinetMike says, “Good posture is always good idea!”
NOTE: Image above is in Public Domain and can be found HERE.